Housing Authority showcases recipients of revitalized scholarship program

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Housing Authority of the city of Elizabeth has unveiled the recipients of its newly revitalized scholarship program. Three scholarships have been made possible through the success of HACE’s first Scholarship Gala, which is aimed at empowering individuals within the community. The HACE scholarship recipients have been selected from among residents and Section 8 participants of the Housing Authority, as well as Elizabeth residents.

The HACE Scholarship Fund, established in 2015, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to supporting the academic aspirations of Elizabeth residents. The fund’s primary mission is to provide financial assistance for educational expenses such as tuition, books and other fees. Scholarships have been awarded to individuals with aspirations to enroll in traditional two- to four-year colleges, universities, trade schools or graduate programs.
The following individuals are the proud recipients of scholarships:

• Shawn’Yae Myers – William D. Jones Historically Black College and University Scholarship: Morgan State University, nursing major;

• Jahziyah Carter – John Robert Rumola Memorial Scholarship: Clark Atlanta University, business major; and

• SSha’Don Taylor – HACE Commissioners Graduate Scholarship: American International College, master’s degree in criminal justice.

Born and raised in Elizabeth, Shawn’Yae Myers attended the Elizabeth Public School System. She graduated from high school in June 2023, having attended the J. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy. She is an alumnus of the Elizabeth branch of the Boys and Girls Club. Myers has the honor of attending Morgan State University, a Baltimore-based historically black college and university that was founded in 1867. Her primary field of study at Morgan State will be nursing as her goal is to become a traveling nurse practitioner.

Myers said, “The HACE Scholarship provided me with the opportunity to attend my first choice of an HBCU, the illustrious Morgan State University, with a major in nursing, at a lower cost. It allowed me to put more focus on my school and career development of becoming a nurse practitioner, providing me with the financial means. It has contributed to my long-term goals and I am truly grateful!”

Additionally, Myers worked with HACE during her winter break. Myers worked closely with Mravlag Manor property management staff with operations and the Jobs Plus and YouthBuild grant programs.
Jahziyah Carter attended the Elizabeth Public School System and is a native of Elizabeth. She attended the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technology Academy for her entire high school education and graduated in June 2023. Carter was named valedictorian of her graduating class as a result of her strong academic performance. She was also recognized by the Elizabeth branch of the Boys and Girls Club as the 2022 Union County Youth of the Year. Carter will be attending Clark Atlanta University, an HBCU in Atlanta. Founded in 1865, it is the first HBCU in the southern region of the country. Her long-term objectives are to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a finance concentration and become an entrepreneur.

Sha’Don Taylor is a native of Elizabeth and an alumnus of the Elizabeth Public School System. He graduated summa cum laude in May 2023 from American International College in Springfield, Mass., with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in advocacy for social change. He was featured as “Mr. AIC” in one of the college’s videos this year, available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ6XIW2TBRg.
Taylor said, “As a first-generation student, I look forward to being the first in my family to graduate from college. One thing I learned at AIC is not only how to be a part of the community, but how to play a part in the community.”

In addition to serving in student government as president of the freshmen and sophomore classes, student body president and Persons Ready in Defense of Ebony president from 2021 to 2023, Taylor also won multiple awards along the course of his undergraduate studies. Among them are the Community Benefactor Award, the John Homer Miller Emerging Leadership Award and the Most Active Freshman Award. His extracurricular activities never interfered with his academics during his undergraduate career, despite the fact that he devoted his time to many areas, and he was named on the dean’s list several times. Taylor has returned to AIC to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice and is a resident adviser for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“These scholarships exemplify HACE’s commitment to nurturing the ambitions and goals of our community members,” said William D. Jones, executive director of HACE. “These awards are not just financial aids; they are testimonials to HACE’s resolute mission to nurture personal growth, academic brilliance and the realization of career ambitions among the vibrant community of Elizabeth.”

These scholarships are a testament to HACE’s unwavering commitment to supporting educational pursuits and fostering academic excellence among the residents of Elizabeth. HACE believes that education is a powerful tool for personal growth, and these scholarships will undoubtedly help these deserving individuals achieve their academic and career ambitions.

HACE would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to all of the scholarship recipients and wish them every success in their educational endeavors. HACE also expresses its deep appreciation to the generous sponsors, supporters and all those who contributed to the success of the First Annual Scholarship Gala.

Community members and partners, local leaders and supporters of education will soon be able to purchase tickets and sponsorship packages for HACE’s second Scholarship Gala, which will take place on Friday, April 26. For more information, contact scholarship committee members Curtis Myers, director of Finance and Administration, or LaChelle Thompson, director of the Jobs Plus Program, at 908-965-2400, ext. 141 or ext. 153, or Barbara Johnson at 908-591-4496.