27th Annual Howard T. Collins Memorial Scholarship Awards Ceremony Inspires and Gifts Gratitude


Balancing school, jobs, and family, many of Eden's residents  are steadfast in their commitment to higher education, be it through a trade school, an undergraduate or master's degree. Many are the first in their family to pursue a college education.
Eden Housing celebrated the academic accomplishments of 38 inspiring residents at our 27th Annual Howard T. Collins Memorial Scholarship Awards. These funds will assist residents as they attend Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, and UC Merced; University of Southern California, CSU East Bay, CSU Fullerton, and CSU Monterey Bay; San Francisco State, San Diego State, and San Jose State, as well as many local community colleges. 

Sommer (above) of Savannah Apartments in West Sacramento shared how living at Eden gave her stability when she needed it most going into her tough junior year of high school. 
"I will always be motivated to work my hardest and succeed. Because I know about those who never even get the chance to try," she wrote in her application. Sommer is in her first semester at Stanford University this fall to study Engineering with a sub-plan in Product Design and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. 

Geraldo (above) of 801 Alma Family Apartments in Palo Alto pumped up the crowd with an inspiring speech about sticking to one's goals. In his application, he wrote that before coming to Eden housing, his family moved around a lot, but once they were approved for Eden, their lives improved dramatically. They now had more space and lived in a family-friendly neighborhood.  
"The affordability of the rent gave my parents more days off from work, enabling more family time together," he said. "We're definitely a closer-knit family since being here." Geraldo is in a post-baccalaureate program with plans to become a medical doctor.
Since the program's inception in 1993, Eden Housing has awarded more than 500 scholarships to many deserving residents. The scholarship program was created to honor Howard T. Collins, an active, dedicated member of the Eden Housing Board of Directors who believed in education and opportunity for all. 

It was a poignant moment when a representative from Hayward area Assemblymember Bill Quirk's office, Carolina Salazar Herrera (above), stood up to speak about her families' struggles living in their car and how she now advocates for the unsheltered and affordable housing. 
Chase volunteers (pictured below) ran arts and crafts in the employee breakroom, where children and family members made congratulatory posters for the awardees. Chase volunteers also helped distribute backpacks which were donated by Workday and helped set up and clean up the event. 

The scholarship committee, comprised of the Eden Housing Board of Directors, staff, and community partners, had tough decisions to make while carefully evaluating the 41 completed applications. The recipients, residing at 28 Eden Housing properties across eleven counties in California, provided compelling essays describing their educational and career goals, personal life stories, letters of recommendation, and education-based financial needs.  
Many thanks to all of our residents, volunteers, and friends as well as the event sponsor, Union Bank, for making the 27th scholarship year a huge success.
To see all of the pictures click here.


eden housing does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or any other arbitrary basis.