Red Wagon Fund

“Until we have equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.” — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 

Issam and Dr. Rima Abbas, who along with their three children, were tragically killed by a drunk driver in 2019, believed deeply in the power of higher education and its ability to help shape a brighter and more equitable future for all. They felt strongly that access to higher education ought to be a right, rather than a privilege.

In keeping with these core beliefs, The Abbas Family Red Wagon Fund, housed at the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), is launching a new initiative, The Issam and Rima Abbas Endowed Scholarship for exceptionally driven and talented senior high school students at Fordson High School, who wish to make a difference in the world. This scholarship program aims to further the commitment that Issam and Dr. Rima — both Fordson alumns — had to higher education.

Thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous donor that was matched by Dr. Rima’s sister, Rana Abbas Taylor and her husband Tom Taylor, an initial $100,000 has been secured. With your help, we hope to grow The Issam and Rima Abbas Endowed Scholarship to $200,000 so that we can positively impact even more students.

We hope you will consider supporting this important initiative and upholding the Abbas legacy by making a donation in honor of Issam and Dr. Rima Abbas.

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Congratulations to our very first Issam and Rima Abbbas Endowed Scholarship Recipients! Read about the scholars by clicking this link. 

Scholarship Details

The Issam and Rima Abbas Endowed Scholarship is awarded to exceptionally driven and talented senior high school students at Fordson High School. The intent of this scholarship is to support motivated Fordson High School students who wish to make a difference in the world and who demonstrate a commitment to higher education. It is anticipated that each student will be awarded $1,000-$2,500. The fund will make all grant distributions directly to the student’s affiliated college or university once they are enrolled. All colleges and universities must be accredited.

View full application instructions here

Congratulations to our 2021 Scholarship Recipients. Applications are now closed for 2021.

Questions? Please contact Mikala Cox at