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Raleigh Group Seeks to Improve Education for Needy

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RALEIGH — Ten percent of all Wake County Public School students live in Raleigh public housing. Many of them have limited educational opportunities due to poverty, but there's a group that's trying to help those children get a good education.

Many of these children hope to become successful in life. They know a good education will help them, yet growing up in public housing can place tough obstacles in their way. That's where the Raleigh Housing Authority Scholarship Fund can help.

"We create a group of students who serve as mentors for younger students," says Folami Bandele. "They show that there is hope and opportunity for students who do finish high school and can go on to have valuable careers."

Sandy McNeill, 19, grew up in Chavis Heights. She now works as a bank teller at South Trust Bank in Cary during the summer. Thanks to the RHA fund, she is now a rising sophomore at Johnson-Wales University in Rhode Island.

"They helped me along the way to stay in the community as a leader as well," says McNeill. "There were a lot of things that I could accomplish, and at first start with yourself."

Ebony Dudley, 25, is also benefiting from the RHA fund. The single mother of a 3-year old, she lives in low-income housing, but the scholarship fund enables her to study nursing at Durham Nursing School.

"It is hard out here today, as far as financial status and being a mother and I work part time" says Dudley. "I get a lot of help and [the fund] really helps me out big-time."

The RHA Scholarship Fund provides $2,500 to each student. It is a non-profit organization that believes every child in public housing deserves an opportunity to succeed.

To ensure their success, RHA Scholars are also provided counseling and support services during their college careers.


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