iSchool student Charlene Hinton (first row, second from right) was one of 12 scholarship recipients surprised today on Katie Couric's daytime talk show.

By: J.D. Ross
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School of Information Studies (iSchool) sophomore Charlene Hinton was presented with a Dream Award Scholarship by television show host Katie Couric in an appearance on Couric's talk show program earlier today. Hinton was also a recent recipient of the Chancellors Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship.

Scholarship America, the organization working with Couric to fund the award, released the following statement about Hinton:

“‘Successful and accomplished college student’ and ‘homeless youth’ do not typically go hand-in-hand, but for Charlene Hinton, those descriptions are just the tip of the iceberg. Charlene became homeless the summer before she started her first year at Syracuse. Despite needing to work to cover costs, Charlene is an excellent student who also volunteers many hours of web development work and youth mentoring to local community organizations.”

The Dream Award is Scholarship America's program for financially needy students who have overcome barriers and have successfully started their college education. Awards were made today to 12 students who are entering their second year or higher of education beyond high school.

The program awarded more than $150,000 to this first group of students, with scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 based on the individual student's financial need. Each student's award will increase by $1,000 each year to help them successfully finish school and earn their degrees.

Couric has been a supporter of Scholarship America for several years, after selecting the charity to be the beneficiary of proceeds from her book, The Best Advice I Ever Got. Couric's initial donation provided the seed money for the Dream Award.