WOODSIDE — The Delaware State Housing Authority honored more than 60 students from the DSHA housing community for academic excellence on Wednesday, recognizing elementary students through high school for making the honor roll at their schools.
DSHA’s annual awards ceremony, held this year at Polytech High School, has been a tradition for more than 20 years, serving as a way to recognize the success of students whose families live in DSHA public housing and to highlight the importance of a support system.
All students received brand-new backpacks filled with school supplies to help get a head start on back-to-school preparation.
“We want to honor hard work, responsibility, education and family support by providing a gift for everyone in the family,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “This is an excellent way to help support parents and recognize these high-achieving students for all that they do together.”
Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education, joined DSHA in recognizing the students at the ceremony.
“I’m pleased to help recognize these students for their hard work and dedication,” Bunting said. “We want to give our young people the tools they need to succeed, and family support is a critical tool. Students’ parents and guardians should be proud as well, for providing the support and love that enables these young people to grow and thrive.”
Nnena Ovasi of Dover said the recognition was very special for her daughter, Nneka Johnson, 6.
“It made me feel really proud watching my daughter walk across the stage. She’s my everything,” Ovasi said. “It was a lot of long nights helping her with homework, but in the end it’s always worth it. It was a lot of hard work and dedication.”
All 62 students recognized Wednesday were on the honor roll, with some also having perfect attendance. One student is headed to college this fall.
Donations to support the awards and backpacks came from Wal-Mart of Camden; the Dental Association Group of Rehoboth; members of the CAMP Rehoboth organization; Chick-Fil-A of North Dover; Arby’s of Dover; and McDonald’s restaurants of Sussex County.
DSHA operates 10 public housing sites in Kent and Sussex counties – in or near Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Harrington, Bridgeville, Selbyville, Rehoboth Beach and Lewes. DSHA is a Moving to Work agency, meaning its programs are designed to promote self-sufficiency, independence and employment within a given timespan.
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