Aug. 22—ALBANY — Hoping to give promising students a hand up, the Albany Housing Authority will award college scholarships to two students this week.
The effort was spearheaded by authority CEO William Myles and former interim co-CEO Jeanette Henderson, who retired in 2018. The scholarships, named in Henderson's honor, will go to a traditional student and to a non-traditional student and will be awarded at a Thursday banquet that also will serve as a fundraising event to fund additional scholarships.
During Henderson's retirement party in November 2018, Myles expressed his desire to establish a scholarship fund, and a month later Henderson paid him a visit to put up the first $1,000 donation toward making it a reality, Samala Carrington, the resource development officer at the authority, said.
Both Myles and Henderson know the hardships of disadvantaged youths, Carrington said, as he spent part of his childhood living in a public housing development and Henderson growing up on an Early County farm as one of nine children.
"Her father had a third-grade education, and her mother had a fourth-grade education," Carrington said. "Education was the path she took to better her life."
Henderson attended what was then Albany State College, working jobs at Sears & Roebuck and on campus to pay her way. She got her first job with Easter Seals, Carrington said, before coming onboard at the housing authority as community services program manager and eventually working her way to the top during a 35-year career.
The planned inaugural banquet was canceled due to the COID-19 pandemic. A group of about seven students applied during the first application year.
The Thursday banquet will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, with tickets on sale for $55 for individual seats and $80 for couples. The banquet begins at 6:30 a.m.
Individuals also may make donations to the scholarship fund.
For additional information, contact Carrington at (229) 854-0169.
The Albany Housing Authority serves 2,500 families.