Organization Name: Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP
Project Title: CHW Scholarship Fund
Project Location: New York State
CHW created its Scholarship Fund in 2013 as a means of helping students living in affordable rental housing developments to help them realize the dream of furthering their education. Providing financial aid to qualified students is an extension of the CHW mission and reflective of our commitment to the affordable housing industry and community development.
The Scholarship Fund is entirely underwritten by CHW. Annually, the firm awards scholarships to students seeking full- and part-time undergraduate study at approved colleges, junior colleges, technical schools and other post-secondary institutions leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate. Students are required to submit an application, along with an essay touching on their personal experience living in an affordable housing development, their thoughtful suggestions and ideas for enhancing the overall community environment of their housing development, and their goals for the future. In support of their application, students must also submit two letters of recommendation and academic transcripts. Winners and awards are determined after a rigorous review of each applicant’s submission by CHW partners. Scholarship awards range from $250 for honorable mention to a top prize of $10,000. Since the fund’s inception in 2013, the firm has awarded $73,250 to deserving, qualified students.
CHW Scholarship Funds are making a difference. Submitted essays have revealed that students live with parents affected by job loss and social or healthcare issues, and others support themselves. And a quote from this year’s winner, Francisco Rodriguez, is a testament to just that. “College has always been a goal of mine,” he said. “But financially, it was a problem. This scholarship is helping my family, and it’s making my education goals possible.” Having an education can help students break the cycle of poverty they are caught in and help them become self-sufficient—and communities benefit when people assume individual responsibility. The benefits of having an education have been tied to everything from keeping disease out of communities to helping build social responsibility and fostering relationship-building skills. CHW Scholarship Fund awards have enabled some students to attend community college and provided others with the ‘gap’ funding needed to attend private college.
CHW is a boutique housing law firm located in Albany, N.Y. and Buffalo, N.Y. with substantial experience in public and private financing, including municipal finance and low-income housing tax credit matters. For more than 15 years, the firm has provided counsel to clients in the areas of tax credit syndications, commercial lending and bond financings, and a variety of other tax incentive transactions within the affordable housing and community development space.