Six Local Students Awarded College Scholarships From Opportunity Rising

Opportunity Rising Scholarship Banquet

Local Students Receive College Scholarships From Opportunity Rising

DESOTO – Six local students from the Best Southwest area were awarded college scholarships from Opportunity Rising.

The students hailed from local schools like Duncanville High School, Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute, Mansfield Legacy High School, Cedar Hill High School and Life High School Waxahachie.

The students included Ja’Quashia Janae Johnson and Kamaurja Jerry Darnell Kenney
from Duncanville High School, Nakevia Janae Gill, a Duncanville resident who graduated from David W. Carter High School, Ahjine’ Shabreon Asia Seay from Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute, Destiny Renee Bluitt from Cedar Hill High School and Zayla Torres from Mansfield Legacy.

Twenty-two North Texas students in all were awarded college scholarships from Opportunity Rising, the education foundation for DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas (formerly Dallas Housing Authority), according to Ayona Anderson,Founder & CEO EJP Marketing Co. LLC.

“Opportunity Rising serves the low-income youth residents of DHA and provides them with scholarships, mentoring, college tours, leadership training to help them become self-sufficient and pursue higher education,” Anderson says.

College Bound

Recipients will attend universities including Texas Christian University, University of North Texas, Tarleton State University, The Art Institute of Dallas, Texas A&M University, University of Miami, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Southern University and A&M College, Hardin-Simmons University, and Sam Houston State University.

The advisory board of Opportunity Rising issued a joint statement regarding the scholarships saying, “The mission of the advisory board is to help the foundation reach more students than ever before while expanding youth’s exposure to educational opportunities that can help to propel them towards self-sufficiency. We are thrilled to see the students receive scholarships that help them pursue their collegiate goals. And a special thank you to our sponsors, like Macy’s, Capital One, and the DHA staff, for your generous investments in our scholars.”

The college scholarships were awarded at the Opportunity Rising Foundation Scholarship Awards Banquet last month. In 22-years DHA’s education foundation (previously known as the Phoenix Foundation) has awarded nearly $1.5 million in scholarships to high school graduates & returning college students – all of whom are DHA affordable housing residents throughout North Texas.

“DHA, our board of commissioners, and our staff are immensely proud of each of our Opportunity Rising scholars,” says Troy Broussard, president, and CEO of DHA. “Providing solutions for our residents to become more self-sufficient and attain their goals for a college degree is a long-term solution to combating poverty. At Opportunity Rising and DHA, we encourage academic excellence, high self-esteem, positive self-image, leadership and community involvement among our families. Our scholars remind us that perseverance and support can truly be a formula for success.”

Criteria for the scholarships included the student’s residence being in a DHA supported housing; being an upcoming graduate with a high school diploma or GED; being enrolled in an institution of higher learning for the Fall Semester of the upcoming school year; completion of the CAPT’s Preparation Training Seminar and having submitted a scholarship application.

Based on historical data, 71% of previous Opportunity Rising Foundation scholars were first generation college students and 76% were able to move on to employment and no longer receiving government assistance.