Avesta Housing awards 2023 educational scholarships

Avesta Housing, the largest nonprofit affordable housing provider in northern New England, has named the recipients of its 2023 educational scholarships. The $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually to Avesta Housing residents who are enrolling in a post-secondary education program — such as college, graduate school, trade school or certificate program — in the next 12 months.

“One of the guiding tenets of Avesta Housing’s work is to connect our residents to resources that will help them succeed,” said Avesta Housing Resident Service Manager Nicholas Kjeldgaard. “The annual educational scholarship is a prime example, as it helps lessen the financial barriers to pursuing their career goals.”

This year’s recipients are:

Grace Muheto, Portland: Grace arrived in Maine from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2014 with her family and was recently granted asylum status. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Southern Maine and is employed as a medical assistant. Grace intends to enroll in the master’s program at the University of New England to become a physician’s assistant with an emphasis on women’s health. “My dream is to be able to go back [to DRC] and train people to deliver basic medical care,” she said.

Daniel Leonard, Portland: Daniel wants to become a life coach so that he can build a business that will help others achieve their dreams. The Avesta scholarship will cover one-quarter of his tuition with a certified coach program. “This scholarship is lowering so many barriers for me,” he said. “I would not be able to do this otherwise.”

  • LEFT PHOTO: Daniel Leonard, center, receives a $1,000 educational scholarship check from Avesta Housing Resident Service Coordinator Samuel Schwartz (left) and Avesta Housing Office Manager Jen Shumaker.
  • RIGHT PHOTO: Grace Muheto, center, receives a $1,000 educational scholarship check from Avesta Housing Office Manager Jen Shumaker (left) and Avesta Housing Resident Service Coordinator Matthew Starr.