Iliss Marie Benjamin Memorial ENDOWED Scholarship

Curtis and Deborah Benjamin, through the Saving Our Daughters organization, establish the Saving Our Cinderellas’ Iliss Marie Benjamin Memorial Scholarship in honor of their daughter.

Purpose: The Gift will be used to establish the Saving Our Cinderellas’ Iliss Marie Benjamin Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund (the “Fund”) in support of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ Theatre Department. The Theatre Department Scholarship Committee, in consultation with the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Office of Financial Aid, will determine eligible recipients, in accordance with University policy, subject to the following criteria:

I. Applicants must be a rising Junior or Senior-level student pursuing a Theatre degree;

II. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5; and

III. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

Saving Our Daughters, a 501(c)(3) organization, works with girls from multicultural backgrounds through theater, film and television, to help them to overcome the many obstacles they face growing up: bullying (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), dating abuse, domestic violence and other esteem slayers.

Saving Our Daughters creates the tools to get teen girls discussing key issues and fired up to take the power away from negative issues.

Saving Our Daughters initiatives are rooted in the arts through Broadway musicals, television, film and music, to focus on reaching thousands of teen girls and youth across the country with help from celebrity, corporate and community partners, making it possible to spark positive thoughts and actions.

Saving Our Daughters took on a deeper meaning in 2009, when Founders Debbie and Curtis Benjamin’s youngest daughter, Iliss Marie, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. In 2011, she sadly lost her battle to cancer at 12 years old. Since 2014, the engine of Curtis’ work is now fueled by the devastating loss of his daughter.

Through the establishment of this scholarship, the Benjamins encourage Cleveland State University Theatre students to follow their dreams wherever they may take them.