The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park is committed to nurturing the creative spirit.
“Support for the arts always tends to fluctuate,” Executive Director Keith Strom says, ”and with today’s emphasis on STEM-related career paths, we think it is essential to continue to support and inspire those with artistic talents through our ongoing programming and student scholarships.”
In 2020, Allen White was attending Oak Park River Forest High School for his junior year when he decided to enter the Foundation’s essay contest. White had previously written short stories, poetry and screen plays but never considered entering a contest until a school counselor encouraged him to give it a try. His essay, entitled “Diet Chicago”, looked at the restaurant and street life of Oak Park and its similarities with Chicago.
In recognition of his work, White was selected as that year’s foundation scholarship recipient, receiving a $1000 scholarship award and a mentorship for his senior year with the Foundation’s writer-in-residence, Laura Young. White dreamed of going to the University of Southern California to major in screenwriting since he was in seventh grade. During his mentorship with Young, they worked on the creative writing admission essay helping secure a spot at White’s dream school. “I would not have made it this far,” White wrote to the foundation, “had I not received the extensive help on my common app essay that Ms. Young gave last fall. I truly and sincerely thank you for your help.”
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park