FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2016
NYCHA AWARDS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS TO OUTSTANDING CUNY STUDENTS LIVING IN PUBLIC HOUSING
“NYCHA is proud to support the next generation of doctors, engineers, social workers, lawyers, artists, teachers and business leaders,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “These dedicated and talented individuals have overcome significant obstacles to pursue a college education.”
The 17 scholarship winners were chosen from various NYCHA developments including Baruch, Riis, and Carver Houses in Manhattan; Marcy, Williamsburg, and Whitman Houses in Brooklyn; Butler and Throggs Neck Houses in the Bronx; and Mariner’s Harbor in Staten Island. The $1,000 scholarships can be used to pay for education-related expenses including tuition, books, and fees.
“NYCHA provides an opportunity to move forward and advance in your life and I love the people and sense of community,” said scholarship winner Cristian Alvarado. “In Williamsburg Houses, where I live, every Sunday from around noon to 4 p.m., people of all different ages all come together to play basketball.”
Alvarado, who is the first in his family to attend college, took an interest in CUNY because its mission to provide opportunities for low-and moderate-income families closely resembled NYCHA’s. His professional goals include working with inner-city youth to help them build bright futures, too.
“NYCHA and CUNY are the twin pillars of my salvation,” said scholarship winner William White. “The drive to improve my life is to have the opportunities to improve the lives of others.”
With the support of NYCHA, he was able to have a place to call home after his mother passed and continue his studies. After dropping out of high school, CUNY gave him a second chance to pursue an education. He now has an almost perfect grade point average, and plans to attend law school.
NYCHA awarded $17,000 in scholarships this year. The funding was generously provided by elected officials and Jeffrey Levine, an alumnus of both NYCHA and CUNY. Levine is the first former NYCHA resident to donate to The Fund for Public Housing, the Authority’s non-profit dedicated to raising money to improve the lives of NYCHA residents. Over the next 10 years, he will provide $100,000 for the Levine Family Scholarship – an annual award of up to ten $1,000 scholarships to NYCHA residents enrolled at City College. This year, 10 scholars received the Levine Family Scholarship.
“Having been blessed to grow up in NYCHA and have access to affordable housing, it’s only appropriate for me to give back,” said Levine, who grew up in Linden Houses and graduated from City College.” I am thrilled and proud to do this and can’t wait to see what these students achieve.