Nov. 17, 2003
George and Marcy Irvin of Camp Hill, both employees of Harrisburg Area Community College and active in the Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity, wanted to help Habitat members continue to support themselves. They decided, along with fellow church members at Christ Presbyterian Church in Camp Hill, to create a scholarship for Habitat members who live in a Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity house. Details became final with the HACC Foundation, and the Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity Community Scholarship is now among a large number of scholarships available to aid HACC students.

"We saw a need among some Habitat members. On one hand they qualified for housing and on the other hand, in some instances, they didn't have the necessary skills for a high-enough paying job to maintain it," said Marcy Irvin. "We wanted to fix that as well as fix the house. And the scholarship idea emerged."

The Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity Community Scholarship is designed for students who qualify for financial aid and currently live in a Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity house or is a child of a parent in a Greater Harrisburg Habitat house. Students at the Wildwood Campus receive financial assistance for tuition, fees, and related educational expenses such as transportation and books. The amount given to the student varies based on their need. Eligible students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average or better in their coursework.

"This scholarship program is the first of its kind for our Habitat chapter and what a wonderful benefit it will be to our Habitat families," said Susan Mulford, director of the Greater Harrisburg Area of Habitat for Humanity. "Education is vital in raising the standard of living for families who have lived most, if not all, their lives in poverty. Children of all ages and economic levels need to be able to realize their potential and achieve their goals. This scholarship will not only help some children realize their dreams but help create dreams."

Applications for the scholarship are reviewed by a selection committee made up of HACC representatives from the Business, Engineering and Technology Division and the HACC Foundation, Habitat for Humanity's Harrisburg Chapter and members of the Christ Presbyterian Church. Applications are accepted throughout the spring term and the first awards for the fall 2004 semester will be presented in May at the HACC Foundation awards program.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry that helps eliminate poverty housing and homelessness and create decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. The organization has built more than 150,000 houses around the world since 1976, providing more than 750,000 people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.

A Habitat home built or renovated by the Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity is sold to a low-income family in need of simple, decent housing of their own. Prospective owners, along with friends and relatives contribute at least 350 hours of work toward the completion of the home.

Greater Harrisburg Area Habitat for Humanity members interested in applying for HACC's scholarship can begin the process by contacting HACC's Financial Aid office at (717) 780-2639. A FAFSA - the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - must be submitted along with the scholarship application.

Contributors who would like to help develop the scholarship and bring the opportunity of higher education to more students can arrange donations by contacting the HACC Foundation at (717) 780-2583, or click on the email address below to contact Maida Connor, executive director of the HACC Foundation.

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