Senator Van Pelt


CHICAGO – Due to support from State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), Malcolm X College was awarded a grant for a Certified Recovery Support Specialist Success program to prepare students for work as behavioral and mental health professionals.

“As people are still processing the pandemic and other worldly tragedies, mental health services are more important now than ever,” Van Pelt said. “It is crucial that we are training and preparing behavioral health personnel so they are equipped to serve the masses.”

Malcolm X College was one of 11 colleges and universities throughout the state who were awarded a total of $4 million in grants through the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Students participating in the CRSS Success program will be trained to work in various capacities, including inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance use treatment services, mobile crisis teams and more.

“This program aims to train people with the lived experiences to relate to those in need of their services,” Van Pelt said. “Anyone interested in the behavioral health field should strongly consider applying.”

The program will prioritize post-secondary education for up to 600 students who have lived experiences with mental health or substance use recovery. Funding for selected students can be used for assistance with tuition, textbook costs, childcare, application fees and transportation.

Interested students can apply for the program at Malcolm X College by contacting Veronica Sek at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A complete list of colleges and universities offering the CRSS Success program can be found on the IDHS website.