Pharr Housing Authority, PSJA ISD Award over $95,000 in Scholarships

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PSJA ISD graduates and Pharr Housing residents pictured after receiving a scholarship from Project READ.
PSJA ISD graduates and Pharr Housing residents pictured after receiving a scholarship from Project READ.

Texas Border Business

PHARR – The Pharr Housing Authority in cooperation with Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA) awarded over $95,000 in scholarships to students in public housing. The awards ceremony, which took place June 6 at PSJA Southwest Early College High School, presented 30 scholarships as part of an initiative by the new non-profit organization, Project READ.

The Pharr Housing Authority and PSJA ISD recently signed a 10-year cooperative agreement that helps fund these scholarships for housing residents. As part of this agreement, the Housing Authority makes an annual payment in Lieu of Taxes to PSJA ISD, who then contributes the payment to Project READ, a new non-profit created by the Housing Authority to provide the scholarships to PSJA graduates residing at the Pharr Housing Authority.

Students like Daniela Medina, PSJA Southwest Early College High School graduate, were eligible to receive scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.


City and District officials (from left) Pharr Housing Authority Executive Director Noel De Leon; Pharr EDC Executive Director and PSJA Board Member Victor Perez; PSJA Board Vice President Jorge Palacios; PSJA Superintendent Dr. Daniel King; Laisha Centeno, scholarship recipient; PSJA Board President Jesse Zambrano; PSJA Board Member Jesse Vela, Jr; and PSJA Board Secretary-Treasurer Jorge Zambrano.
City and District officials (from left) Pharr Housing Authority Executive Director Noel De Leon; Pharr EDC Executive Director and PSJA Board Member Victor Perez; PSJA Board Vice President Jorge Palacios; PSJA Superintendent Dr. Daniel King; Laisha Centeno, scholarship recipient; PSJA Board President Jesse Zambrano; PSJA Board Member Jesse Vela, Jr; and PSJA Board Secretary-Treasurer Jorge Zambrano.

“A week ago they called my mom and I found out that I won the scholarship. I’m really happy about it,” Medina said.

At the awards ceremony, PSJA ISD school board members encouraged students to serve and give back to their community after pursuing a higher education. Like others, Medina, who will attend Texas A&M University, plans to come back to the RGV and PSJA ISD to teach.

“We’re always thinking about how to leverage resources for the benefit of our communities,” said Jesse Zambrano, PSJA ISD school board president. “The students will see the benefits that a scholarship or education will do for their communities, particularly our South Pharr area.”

This is the first time Project READ has awarded scholarships, but will continue to do so for the next eight years as part of their agreement with PSJA.

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