October 21, 2020 – Opportunity Rising, the education foundation for DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas, awarded 10 students with college scholarships during the DHA Board of Commissioners Meeting on September 14, 2020. The Foundation presented awards in the amounts of $1,500-$4,000.00.
Scholarship recipients are attending the University of North Texas, Prairie View A&M University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, The University of Texas at Dallas, Hardin-Simmons University, Chapman University, Eastfield Community College and Collin County Community College at Plano and Frisco.
Scholarship winner Isáilah Edwards Mervil, who’s now attending Collin County Community College, said, “Without the help from DHA, and not only the scholarship, we wouldn’t really be as far as we are now. With that being said, it’s just a big thanks to them. It’s a blessing. So I like to use everything they’ve given us and run with it, because not everyone gets that opportunity.” Read her full profile.
UNT freshman and Leadership Award winner Sarah Apio took the initiative to apply for the scholarship knowing how challenging it would be for her mother to send both her and her twin brother to college. “I really think the (Opportunity Rising) foundation is a great idea,” Apio says. “It’s very helpful for families that aren’t able to afford college. Any amount of money is really helpful. I appreciate the foundation for that.”
The Opportunity Rising Foundation believes that education helps to provide our residents with the boost that they need toward self-sufficiency. With the support of donors, Opportunity Rising provides resources for postsecondary education and success for DHA students. Though students from low-income backgrounds graduate at lower rates than their peers from higher socioeconomic backgrounds, Opportunity Rising’s goal is to create a clear path for DHA students. The Opportunity Rising Foundation strives to be the catalyst in our students overcoming adversity to achieve their educational and professional goals.
“At Opportunity Rising, we know that we can power success through education, and by providing educational scholarships to DHA residents, it can help them achieve their self-sufficiency goals. Students who have received scholarships continue on to attend top universities and historically black colleges across the country. Opportunity Rising Foundation scholarship recipients have become attorneys, epidemiologists, entrepreneurs, pharmacists, clinical audiologists, physician assistants, class case managers, registered nurses and educators,” said Troy Broussard, President and CEO of DHA.
Based on data, 71% of the previous Opportunity Rising Foundation scholars were first-generation college students and 76% were able to move on to employment and no longer receive or need government assistance. Opportunity Rising has provided 1,119 students with more than $1.5 million in scholarship funds over the last 23 years.
2020 Scholarship recipients:
- Nahome Abraham, 2020 Graduate of Naaman Forest High School
- Sarah Apio, 2020 Graduate of Lake Highland High School
- Destiny Cooper, 2020 Graduate of L.G. Pinkston High School
- Kiara Euins, 2020 Graduate Harmony School of Innovation-Dallas
- Isáilah Edwards Mervil, 2020 Graduate of Ray Braswell High School
- Briana Muhammad, 2020 Graduate iSchool Virtual Academy of Texas
- Tierra Roper, 2020 Graduate of Skyline High School
- Demarieh Wesley, 2020 Graduate of Skyline High School
- Kamari Wilkerson, 2020 Graduate of Frisco High School
- Adriann Wrice, 2020 Graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performance and Visual Arts
Opportunity Rising Advisory Board
The foundation’s advisory board consists of nine diverse North Texas community leaders with expertise in academics, business, community relations, economic development, healthcare and nonprofits. Members are:
- Ashley Brundage, MSSW, senior vice president of community impact at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
- Byron D. Johnson, sales executive for Enterprise Holdings
- Clarisa Duran Lindenmeyer, executive business strategist
- Drexell Owusu, senior vice president of Education and Workforce for the Dallas Regional Chamber
- Danielle Wesley, MHA, PMP, CSSBB, senior director, school & virtual health program for Children’s Health
- Erin Offord, senior director of programs for Big Thought
- Froswa’ Booker-Drew, Ph.D., director of community affairs & strategic alliances for the State Fair of Texas
- Nakia Douglas, executive director of TRIO and Pre-Collegiate Programs at UNT Dallas
- Scott Fawcett, founder, and CEO of Empowered Consulting
To learn more about the foundation and support its mission, please visit: https://opportunityrisingfoundation.org/.
About DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas (formerly the Dallas Housing Authority)
DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas provides quality, affordable housing to low-income families and individuals through the effective and efficient administration of housing assistance programs. The agency aims to create opportunities for program participants to achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence. DHA provides housing opportunities to ~55,000 people through public housing developments and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs. Our mission is to provide affordable quality housing and access to supportive resources across North Texas. DHA is governed by its Board of Commissioners and administers housing programs funded and regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. DHA is an independent, local government entity, that is separate from the Dallas City Housing/Community Services department, which is governed by the City of Dallas. For more information about DHA, please visit www.dhantx.com.