Durham, North Carolina. The Ruffin/Edward Academic Development Scholarship
(READS) was established by the Housing Authority of the City of Durham and
Learning Assistance, Inc. as an education-oriented nonprofit organization
to provide post-secondary educational scholarships and stipends to individuals
who reside in public housing. Since 1987, the program has awarded scholarships
to more than 95 students.
Any students living in the Durham Housing
Authoritys public housing communities who are accepted to attend
a college or university
Charlie Smith (l) and James Tabron (rc) receiving
Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (lc) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez
are eligible to apply for a scholarship. To
be eligible for these scholarships, students in local high schools must
complete application requirements, which include recommendations, high school
transcripts, financial aid information and an essay on Why I Wish
to Continue My Education. Funding is provided on a yearly basis and
level of awards are determined by available funds. Recent scholarships were
for $1,200 per year. Money can be used for tuition and books, housing or
for moving expenses associated with attending an out-of-state college.
A constant challenge to maintaining a scholarship
program is raising the funds to support the scholarships. The READS program
has joined forces with local government agencies put on an annual recognition
banquet that serves as a fundraiser for the scholarships. This partnership
provides an expected, if not constant, source of funding for the program.
Donations from community churches, businesses and individuals also contribute
to the scholarship fund.
Recipients who have graduated are pursuing careers in fields such as accounting,
education, computer specialties, television production and nursing. Several
students are pursuing or have already received advanced degrees.
Keys to the success of this program include:
successful fundraising; raising awareness of the program among eligible
students so they will take advantage of the opportunity to apply; and finally,
working closely with the colleges and universities involved, particularly
the schools that students most often attend, to arrange for timely payments
of the scholarships.
Contact: James Tabron, Phone: (919) 683-1551 Ext. 271
Tracking Number: 2944
Winning Category: Program (Public and Indian Housing)