July 14, 2023 - Yesterday, the Choice Neighborhoods (CN) Scholarship Ceremony took place at the newly renovated and historic Roosevelt Hall. The event was hosted by the Choice Neighborhoods Department of Atlanta Housing under the leadership of Ernestine Garey. Atlanta Housing staff, scholarship recipients and their family enjoyed lunch and the ceremony at the picturesque rooftop venue. Atlanta Housing Chief Operations Officer Terri Lee delivered an encouraging speech directed at the young scholars.

“I am proud to say who I am now as COO, I started at Jackson State University as a participant in a community development fellowship program,” Terri Lee revealed. “If not for that opportunity, I would not be where I am today. It showed me the importance of giving back and set the foundation for everything I do daily. I commend you for the work you do daily, and your participation and partnership with Atlanta Housing, and I congratulate you once again for being a part of the Choice Neighborhood Scholars program.”

The ceremony’s highlight was the presentation of scholarships totaling $18,500 to six returning Choice Neighborhoods scholars intended to provide continued support to them throughout their academic journeys. These recipients were awarded based on application scores and GPAs. Additionally, the event celebrated the achievements of three recent graduates who were former scholarship recipients. The array of prestigious schools attended by the scholarship recipients was a testament to their hard work, dedication, and the ongoing support they have received. These remarkable students included Aliyah Garrett, a sophomore at the University of South Florida, Ashanti Carter, a junior at Alabama State University, Evelyn Navarrete, a sophomore at Georgia State University, Keanna Olajide, a senior at Georgia State University, Miriam Olajide, a senior at Spelman College, and Tamia Brown, a sophomore at Clark Atlanta University.

Miriam Olajide shared her gratitude for being a repeat recipient of CN scholarship funds stating, “The Choice scholarship alleviated the financial burden of college. I had the privilege of enjoying college without working a full-time job and had the option to pursue internships. I don’t think many people know what a luxury it is to enjoy college without that burden.”

Since the CN scholarship program’s inception in 2016, a total of 62 participants have been awarded, amounting to $180,500 in scholarship funds.

The ceremony was also an opportunity to showcase the newly revitalized Roosevelt Hall. The picturesque rooftop venue provided the perfect space for an intimate yet laid-back event. In the coming weeks, Roosevelt Hall will continue to be a hub of community activity, as the CN team hosts a Back to the Block Expo on Wednesday, July 18th. The expo will feature barbecue and refreshments, school-supply giveaways, games, and more. Furthermore, starting in August 2023, Roosevelt Hall will offer ongoing onsite programming and services to Choice Neighborhoods residents.

Atlanta Housing recognizes the importance of stable housing and access to a quality education as a foundation for success. In 2022 alone, AH youth received over $90,000 in scholarships. AH empowers families with cradle to college programming and support. To learn more about Atlanta Housing and partner scholarships, visit atlantahousing.org/scholarships.