FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2017
NYCHA HONORS 23 PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS WITH CUNY SCHOLARSHIPS
Since 2005, the NYCHA-CUNY Resident Scholars program has awarded more than $175,000 in scholarships to students demonstrating outstanding leadership in their communities.
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) celebrated 23 residents who earned scholarships to support their academic efforts at City University of New York (CUNY) campuses.
Launched in 2005, the NYCHA-CUNY Scholars program recognizes residents from all five boroughs for their commitment to furthering their education with $1,000 scholarships that they can use toward their education expenses.
“The recipients of the NYCHA-CUNY scholarships are residents who represent the future of their communities,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff. “We’re proud to continue our collaboration with CUNY and are honored to be a part of our residents’ path toward professional and personal success.”
“Between CUNY and NYCHA, our partnership serves more than one million residents of New York City,” said Chris Rosa, Ph.D., CUNY’s Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. “Together we share an ethic of care and a commitment to the holistic development of the individuals we serve, and these students are the embodiment of that partnership.”
For the last 13 years, the NYCHA-CUNY Resident Scholars program has helped more than 170 residents focused on improving their and their family’s futures. The earliest scholarships were funded by fees the Authority collected from production companies that filmed on NYCHA property. Today, NYCHA-CUNY scholarships are funded through a combination of public contributions by the New York City Council and private sponsors.
The program has grown to include additional scholarships: the Levine Family Scholarship, which is funded by former NYCHA resident and CUNY graduate Jeffrey Levine; the Regina A. Figueroa Memorial Scholarship for residents with disabilities, which is named for a NYCHA employee who passed away and is funded by a current NYCHA employee; and the Kofi Hormeku Scholarship provided by Nehemiah Economic Development, Inc., for residents living in Brownsville, East New York, or Ocean Hill, Brooklyn.
All recipients are awarded a $1,000 scholarship that can be used to pay for education-related expenses, including tuition, books, and fees. Recipients must be enrolled in a CUNY program full-time and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The NYCHA-CUNY Resident Scholarship program recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance, leadership, and contributions to the NYCHA and CUNY communities.
In 2015, Levine Family Scholar Mahfuzur Rahman, 20, became the youngest member of his community board. Today, he’s vice president of the Taft Houses Resident Association in East Harlem. Rahman, a student at The City College of New York, said the scholarship is an important resource for NYCHA residents “because you may feel a bit of disdain that you could not have gone away for college, but you also feel satisfied that you have a place in New York, you have a place in your community, and that your community is going to support you, even in your educational endeavors.”
Regina A. Figueroa Memorial Scholar Ayana Chung, 24, studies mental health and human services at Kingsborough Community College in hopes of becoming a social worker. As a former foster youth, Chung is committed to becoming an advocate for other young people in need. “When I was worried about being evicted and homeless, I wasn’t doing well in school,” Chung said. “I’m so grateful to have NYCHA and I’m happy they provide these resources to New Yorkers that need them.”
Since 2005, the NYCHA-CUNY Resident Scholarship Program has awarded more than $175,000 in scholarships. As part of the Authority’s ongoing efforts to support NYCHA residents in their pursuit of higher education, this year’s 23 scholars were recognized at a reception at Borough of Manhattan Community College on Tuesday, September 18. Speakers included NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo, CUNY Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Chris Rosa, President of the Fund for Public Housing Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, Hormeku Family Scholarship sponsor Mawuli Hormeku, and Regina A. Figueroa Memorial Scholarship representative Carmen Roman.
2018 NYCHA-CUNY Scholars
Adiba Chowdhury, Washington Houses - Baruch College
Mohammed Islam, Stapleton Houses - College of Staten Island
Fayel Mustafiz, Surfside Gardens - Hunter College
Cheikh Ndiaye, Polo Grounds Towers - College of Staten Island
Oluwatominsin Oredipe, Richmond Terrace - College of Staten Island
Dana Wu, Gravesend Houses - Hunter College
Farhana Yasmin, Stapleton Houses - Kingsborough Community College
2018 Regina A. Figueroa Memorial Scholar
Ayana Chung, Queensbridge South Houses - Kingsborough Community College
2018 Levine Family Scholars
Jannatul Brishty, Woodside Houses - The City College of New York
Natalie Figueroa, Pelham Parkway Houses - The City College of New York
Brandon Gracia, Wyckoff Gardens - The City College of New York
Matthew Jacome, Farragut Houses - The City College of New York
Mahfuzur Rahman, Taft Houses - The City College of New York
Dayra Rivas, Forest Houses - The City College of New York
Dalia Saavedra, McKinley Houses - The City College of New York
Joel Sanchez, Manhattanville Houses - The City College of New York
Pristine Sermeno, WSUR Brownstones - The City College of New York
Tina Zhu, Rutgers Houses - The City College of New York
2018 Kofi Hormeku Scholars
Kiara Cepeda, Brownsville Houses - Brooklyn College
Julissa Fernandez, Boulevard Houses - Borough of Manhattan Community College
Yanisleidy Lewis Magan, Van Dyke Houses - Brooklyn College
Ana Minaya Garcia, Howard Houses - Baruch College
Paola Paulino, Cypress Hills Houses - York College
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Almost 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 325 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.