In 2000, the Alabama Affordable Housing Association (AAHA) created a scholarship program for residents of member-owned apartment properties in Alabama. The scholarship funds are donated by the owners, contractors, architects, accountants, property management companies, investors, lenders, developers, and various vendors that make up AAHA’s membership as well as other non-member individuals. Since its inception, the AAHA resident scholarship fund has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships.
Father Robert, in addition to being a police officer, is the resident manager of Angela Meadows. It was through the development’s management company that he first learned about the scholarship program. He said, “The management company, Olympia Management, contacted me for all the eligible students and for my daughters. I gave out applications [for eligible residents] to apply.”
Older daughter Morgan was the first to receive a scholarship award in 2008 and 2009. She applied the funds to tuition at the University of Alabama and graduated in 2010 with a degree in marketing. Morgan is now working in sales and marketing. “I was able to make my own way through college with the help of the scholarships,” she said. “That made it much easier for me. It helped me get my degree and get to where I am today.”
For younger daughter Taylor, the scholarship allowed her to pursue her education and afforded her time to participate in extra-curricular activities like being a Crimson Tide cheerleader—time that, otherwise, might have been spent working to save money for tuition. “[The AAHA scholarship] made a huge difference for me,” said Taylor. “I worked enough to cover my rent. But having this scholarship allowed me to go to Alabama and cheer and do all the things I had dreamed about.” Taylor continues to receive a scholarship award while she pursues a master’s degree in secondary education at the University of Alabama.
The Bethunes were on hand to express their appreciation for AAHA and the scholarship program at the group’s annual meeting and awards luncheon in May 2016.
“I am very proud of the drive my daughters have, and the scholarship was a way to help them meet the cost of college. I knew they would apply it and do well,” said Robert. “The scholarship and all the individuals that work and give -- to not only help the students graduate, but to make them feel so special and that their dreams matter -- is beyond appreciated. I am very blessed for my girls and they are going to have a better start in life, but my family is so blessed to have the AAHA scholarship family to be there with us all the way.”
For more information about the resident scholarship program, please contact Arrice Faught, AAHA’s executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.331.8668.