Twenty-seven Public Housing High School Graduates Receive Academic Scholarships to Pursue Higher Education

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) awarded twenty-seven (27) students from housing developments academic scholarships towards their college education. Selected students were from multiple developments, and in the fall will be attending a wide range of schools from UC Berkeley to the San Francisco Art Institute.

The event was preceded by last week’s scholarship workshop, where the selected students were invited to HACLA to learn about other opportunities for financial aid in college. Nadila Yusuf and Maria Salgado from College Track lectured on the transition to college life, and Mary Starks of the Trade Tech Summer Youth Center gave advice on internships and careers.

To conclude the workshop, Professor Ann Owens of the USC Department of Sociology led the students in a focus group to let them share their stories and work together to build trust and self-confidence.

During the scholarship award reception on June 24th, Dr. Cherrie Short, Assistant Dean of Global and Community Initiatives at the USC School of Social Work, was recognized for her support and contributions toward improving the quality of life for children residing in LA’s public housing developments. Dr. Short was appointed to the Mayor’s Human Capital Working Group for the Jordan Downs Redevelopment Project. Dr. Short has demonstrated strong support in HACLA’s efforts to move the Jordan Downs redevelopment forward.

Two scholarship recipients —Jacqueline Ramirez from Pico Gardens and Manuel Rivera from Jordan Downs —delivered heartfelt personal speeches about the challenges they overcame to be able to attend college and their plans for the future, bringing the audience to tears and applause.

In addition, Patti Colston, Public Information Officer of the California Student Aid Commission gave a short talk about the federal budget for student aid for the upcoming semester, and directed the students to the FAFSA aid forms for additional government-sponsored scholarships.

HACLA has great expectations for the students who have risen to this occasion, and hope that our scholarships and workshops will provide them with some of the aid and self-confidence they will need to graduate their respective colleges and lead successful lives. Congratulations to all of our scholarship recipients!


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