Jocelyn, a first-generation college student, is starting her third year at UCLA, where she is studying psychology.
Alexis, a resident of Citrus Grove apartments in Rialto, is starting her first year this fall at Sonoma State, where she will pursue a Bachelor of Science in biology.
Davide, also among the first in his family to attend college, will be heading to Cal Poly Pomona to study mathematics.
They are just three of the 34 residents of National CORE properties who are receiving $1,000 each in scholarships and six residents who are receiving laptops as part of Hope through Housing Foundation’s third annual Building Bright Futures scholarship program.
“Hope through Housing is dedicated to providing our resident with pathways to success – from our after-school programs to support for families, seniors and formerly homeless individuals,” Hope through Housing President Gregory Bradbard said.
“Our scholarship program reflects that commitment as well as providing a tangible gift that helps our residents take the next step in their journeys to a brighter future,” he added.
This year, Hope through Housing received scores of applications for the scholarship program and gave awards to 21 youths and 19 adults. Each applicant shared stories about their dreams and struggles.
Jocelyn, for example, is the daughter of a single mother whose family struggled with housing and food insecurity before moving to National CORE’s Vista Verde apartment community in Ontario. She shared how expectations for her future were limited.
“I was always told that my role in life was to simply marry and raise children,” she said. “I realized with time that I wanted more than that. I wanted to have a life and career of my own that I could be proud of.”
“It makes me proud to realize that all the hard work that I put in as well as my mother’s sacrifices are helping me to acquire an undergraduate education and soon my master’s,” she added.
Now, she plans to earn a master’s degree and pursue a career in educational psychology, possibly as a social worker or school psychologist.
“I want to be able to offer resources to individuals of lower socioeconomic statuses that I wish I had when I was younger,” she said. “I want to give back to my community in a way I feel most passionate about.”
She thanked Hope through Housing for the support.
“Without their contributions, many students like me wouldn’t be able to pursue higher education,” she said. “I feel eternally grateful for all the opportunities that I am being offered.”
While many students from National CORE properties qualify for scholarships, they often don’t receive resources to cover the cost of books, travel or living expenses.
“That’s where the Hope through Housing scholarships can make such a significant contribution,” Bradbard said. “We help cover those gaps in aid that can create barriers to success.”
Bradbard said stories like those of Jocelyn, Alexis and Davide, also shine a light on the importance of Hope through Housing’s focus on learning and efforts to raise expectations for the future.
“These are extraordinary individuals who are overcoming extraordinary challenges,” Bradbard said. “We feel so thankful we are able to help them on their journeys.”