Two SPHA residents selected for college scholarships

ST. PETERSBURG – The St. Petersburg Housing Authority (SPHA) is helping pave the path to higher education for its residents. Latoyia Benjamin and Jacqueline McKnight were selected by the Housing Authority Insurance (HAI) Group from a national pool of applicants to receive a $2,500 college scholarship each for the fall semester of the 2015-16 academic year.

The HAI Group’s Resident Scholarship Program was developed to create educational opportunities for students living in government-subsidized housing.  Benjamin and McKnight are two of only 50 students nationwide to be selected this year for scholarships.

“We share the HAI Group’s belief in the importance of providing Section 8 and Public Housing residents with opportunities to reach their educational goals and to create a better future. We are very proud of Ms. Benjamin and Ms. McKnight’s achievements and wish them all the best as they strive to advance their education,” said SPHA Chief Executive Officer Darrell Irions.

Benjamin and McKnight were informed of the 2015 HAI Group scholarship through SPHA’s outreach effort to connect eligible residents with national college scholarship resources. Each year, SPHA staff identifies all residents between the ages of 16 and 23 who might be interested in scholarship opportunities and provides them with application information and assistance.

Since 2011, SPHA has helped six residents obtain college scholarships.

More information about SPHA’s Scholarship program can be found online at

More information about the HAI Group scholarship can be found at

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