NORWALK, Conn. Eliza Brown "didn't get the chance" to attend Temple University when she graduated from Norwalk High School two years ago, but she's going now. Brown was recognized by the faculty at Norwalk Community College for leadership and the ability to overcome obstacles to get an education and has received a full Norwalk Housing Foundation scholarship to Temple.
Brown is one of 34 students honored this week in a ceremony at Stepping Stones Museum in which the housing authority gave away more than $100,000 in scholarships. Cesar Ramirez and Curtis Law watched, proud of the students and pleased. When they began the scholarship program 14 years ago, they had only $3,000 to bestow upon housing authority residents. "We started out with two students," Law said. "We had to go out and round up those students." Law said great leadership, support from the commissioners and community teamwork has led to the generous gifts handed out for hardworking students.
Ramirez has enjoyed seeing "the changes that will enhance the quality of life for individuals who are looking forward to being somebody, and they will be somebody. They will be the new generation that will inspire others to go forward and make changes in our community."
Brown is a graduate of the Norwalk Housing Authority Learning Center and the I Have a Dream program . She was offered a scholarship to NCC that paid for her tuition and her books, and chose to accept so she could continue working and save money. In April, faculty honored her as a Woman of Promise and Distinction. "I learned that college is not an easy process, but if you do what you have to do and stay on top of things, everything will fall into place and turn out the way you want it to," she said.
She is studying criminal justice and working toward becoming a juvenile probation officer.
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