MANCHESTER, NH – Briana Small of Concord was awarded the NH Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH) 2015 Hope Starts Here Scholarship in the amount of $3,000.
It has been quite a journey for Briana.
Briana, currently a student at Southern NH University, was awarded the scholarship at Monday’s annual New Hampshire Homeless Providers conference, where she shared some of her experiences with homelessness while attending school.
“I was homeless for a couple of months [and] was in and out of school for a little bit,” said Briana as she accepted her award. “My last year of school was my best, academically. I am very proud of myself and very happy with how far I’ve come, from being homeless to know.”
Briana is the seventh recipient of the Hope Starts Here Scholarship. The fund has distributed over $13,000 since 2009.
The scholarship fund was established to award students currently living in New Hampshire who have experienced homelessness, have demonstrated academic achievement, and have the desire to continue their education beyond high school. The scholarship can be used to help with the costs of college tuition, fees, books or other educational expenses.
A committee representing educators, policy makers, homeless providers, businesses, and other community members reviewed each application and made the final selection.
“We received many amazing applications from students who, despite facing continual adversity, have exceeded academically,” said Dr. Cathy Kuhn, Director of the NHCEH. “We selected Briana for this year’s scholarship award because of her remarkable resiliency and her resolve for maintaining high academic marks.”
The NHCEH has traditionally awarded $1,500 each year to the scholarship recipient. In addition to private, individual donations, this year’s award was made possible through a match provided by Bank of New Hampshire.
“The scholarship fund is truly unique in that it helps our state’s most vulnerable – students who are living without a place to call home,” said Karen Wilson, Vice President and Community Reinvestment Act Officer at Bank of New Hampshire and member of the scholarship selection committee. “Investing in our next generation is essential to promoting a healthy and productive future for our community and what’s a better way than breaking down the barriers to higher education for homeless students.”
The scholarship fund is supported by Bank of New Hampshire and by individual donors. To make a contribution, which is doubled by Bank of New Hampshire’s match, please visit www.nhceh.org/HopeStartsHere. For more information about the scholarship fund, please contact the NHCEH at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-641-9441 extension 251.
The NH Coalition to End Homelessness is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of eliminating the causes of homelessness through advocacy, education and community organizing. For more information about the NHCEH, visit www.nhceh.org or call 603-641-9441.
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