|North Meck High graduate's long road to scholarship|
|Destinee Green earns housing authority grant|
|Published Friday, July 18, 2014 9:06 am|
National scholarship winner Destinee Green is one of the 90 students that will be recognized on Sunday when the Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund awards over $160,000 in scholarships to nearly 100 students.
The annual awards and recognition ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2020 West Sugar Creek Road. The program is open to the public.
Green, a North Mecklenburg High School graduate, was 13 years old when her mother decided to leave her father and an abusive relationship.
“We literally left with only the clothes on our backs,” Green said. “My mom’s only plan was a better, safer life for her children.”
While Green’s mother had nothing but good intentions in mind, things didn’t quite go as planned and the family soon became homeless. The young teenager’s life now consisted of living in the family’s car, bathing at rest stops and many nights of crying and praying. After eight months, the family’s domestic violence caseworker was able to help them find housing through the Charlotte Housing Authority’s Family Unification Program.
“Although we didn’t have any furniture, we had a beautiful, new three-bedroom home,” Green said. “The very first night we slept in our home, I heard my mother crying as she locked the door and turned out the lights.”
Through all of her hardships, Green continued to excel in school with a goal of going to college. She graduated North Mecklenburg High with a 3.95 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. This spring, the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association named Green the 2014 recipient of the National HD Supply Company Scholarship, worth $5,000. In August, she will begin her studies at UNC Charlotte, with the hopes of paying it forward one day as a United Nations ambassador. She plans to major in international studies.
“We have so many amazing young people living in our communities,” said Millard McCluney, CHA’s youth outreach and scholarship coordinator for the Charlotte Housing Authority and CHASF’s manager. “They work very hard and have already overcome so many obstacles in their short lifetimes. Their perseverance is truly inspiring.”
The scholarship fund was established over 30 years ago to help public housing residents further their education. The fund has given more than $2 million in scholarships to over 700 students at 71 colleges and universities across the country.
“The annual awards ceremony is one of my favorite events of the year,” housing authority CEO A. Fulton Meachem said. “To be able to provide this opportunity to almost 100 deserving students is quite humbling. The scholarship fund provides an opportunity for students to achieve a better life, which why the housing authority exists.”
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