Our History

The Madonna Foundation traces its roots back to 1949 when the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago opened Madonna High School on the City’s Northwest side. For more than 50 years, Madonna High School provided high quality, Catholic
education. In 2001, the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago transitioned their educational support from a bricks and mortar school to scholarship and programming through the newly established Madonna Scholars Program. The Madonna Scholars Program allows the legacy of the Sisters, along with the mission of Franciscan Ministries, to continue its focus on educating and empowering teen girls.

What We Do

The Madonna Scholars Program promotes empowerment, academic achievement and a path to college. We award scholarships to students of all faiths who demonstrate financial need and a desire for academic success. As students
from first-generation and minority backgrounds, our scholars face barriers. Our programming helps them overcome these barriers and acquire the confidence, critical skills and competencies needed for success in high school, college and
beyond. Tutoring, college visits, career days, ACT preparation classes, financial literacy training, STEAM workshops and summer internships are among our core programming components.

What Sets Us Apart

The crucial combination of scholarship support and dynamic programming distinguishes us from other scholarship programs in the region. Need-based scholarships in tandem with robust college readiness programming is the key to
our success. The Foundation supports an average of 65 girls annually at the six remaining all-girls, Catholic high schools in the Chicago area. It is the only program of its kind in Chicagoland focusing exclusively on educating and empowering
teen girls. The Madonna Foundation has awarded over $3.3 million in funding representing over 1400 scholarships.

Our Scholars

Madonna scholars come from a variety of Chicago-area neighborhoods and have one thing in common: the desire for a superior high school education at all-girls, Catholic high schools. They share a strong work ethic and a desire to achieve academic success, despite some of the economic and academic challenges they may face. Our belief is that with the right support and programming, each student has the potential to grow and develop during high school, forging a path to college with the promise of a bright future.

Proven Success

Our success is measured by our 99.7% high school graduation rate as well as our 100% college acceptance rate. Madonna scholars are awarded multiple college scholarship offers and go on to selective colleges and universities throughout the
region and nation, pursuing a variety of majors and career paths. Our Chicagoland Partner High Schools

Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart
Mother McAuley High School
Our Lady of Tepeyac High School
Regina Dominican High School
Resurrection College Prep
Trinity High School