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LMHA Hosts 36th Annual Scholarship Ceremony

LOUISVILLE, KY (July 12, 2022) - Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) today awarded five students $1,500 each during its 36th annual scholarship ceremony. After a two-year hiatus connected to the coronavirus pandemic, LMHA staff joined local leaders at Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc. to distribute the one-time awards. 

“The LMHA Scholarship Committee is excited to return in person to honor this small but mighty group of students,” LMHA Special Programs Director, Dan Farrell, noted of the event. “We applaud them for working hard to build a better future for themselves and their families.”

Mayor Greg Fischer and outgoing LMHA Board Chair Manfred Reid, Sr. presented awards to the following students during the 36th annual scholarship ceremony:

  • LaTroya Coleman earned a Mabel W. Wiggins Scholarship. Coleman is enrolled at Western Kentucky University and majoring in Workforce Administration. LMHA named the scholarship in honor of Mrs. Mabel Wiggins, who served on LMHA’s Board of Commissioners for 13 years. The scholarship benefits a public housing or Housing Choice Voucher participant who wishes to improve their quality of life through advanced education.
  • Jeanetta Craney is enrolled at Jefferson Community Technical College and pursuing a degree as a licensed practical nurse.
  • Jasmine Grant is attending Jefferson Community Technical College with the goal of becoming a nurse.
  • Celeste Smith also received a Mabel W. Wiggins Scholarship. Smith is pursuing a degree in Healthcare Administration from Purdue University Global.
  • Valissa White is the recipient of the Pat Randolph Scholarship. The honor recognizes a student who demonstrates volunteerism and community involvement. White is pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville. LMHA named the recognition after late public housing advocate Pat Randolph. Randolph served as LMHA Board Commissioner for over three years.
Each 2022 scholarship recipient is a Housing Choice Voucher participant. The students range in age from 18 to 62 and are simultaneously pursuing their education, working, and providing for their families. Scholarships are awarded based upon a student’s grade point average, financial need, additional financial aid, written essay response, and an interview process. Money for the LMHA Scholarship program comes from Housing Choice Voucher reserve funds and supports the recipients’ tuition or books.

During the ceremony, LMHA Executive Director Lisa Osanka shared that the agency is renaming the scholarship program after Reid, who announced his resignation as Board Chair in early 2022. Reid joined LMHA’s Board of Directors in 1999 as a public housing representative. His peers promoted him to Chairman in 2000. During his tenure, Reid provided input into the revitalization of nearly all of Louisville’s publicly owned housing developments. Reid is the 2016 recipient of the Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership by NeighborWorks America and the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award. Reid will assume the role of LMHA Chairman Emeritus in summer 2022.

Robert Gunn, Chief Impact Officer of community-driven nonprofit Metro United Way (MUW) served as keynote speaker during the ceremony. In his role, Gunn is leading MUW’s shift from investing in nonprofits to investing in solutions. Gunn is also the founding principal of the W.E.B. Dubois Academy in the Jefferson County Public School system. The all-male school opened during the 2018-2019 school year and provides Afrocentric and multicultural curriculum that is both engaging and rigorous.

LMHA launched the newly named Manfred Reid, Sr. Scholarship Program in 1987 to help public housing residents attend college or vocational school. Since its beginning, the LMHA scholarship program has awarded over 520 scholarships, totaling $1.3 million to public and assisted housing residents. WATCH THE 2022 CEREMONY HERE.


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