NEW YORK (PIX11) — A yearly scholarship fund is helping NYC college students cover the ever-increasing cost of college. It’s exclusively for NYCHA residents who are enrolled in CUNY colleges.

Kazi Akter, 22, is a City College of New York college junior. She said her passion is helping others. Now, she is getting some help thanks to a scholarship designed for rising stars in public housing.

Kazi Akter was born in Bangladesh and grew up in East New York. She said her drive and ambition come from her big family. She is number eight of 10 children. She is a first-generation college student but also the first family to graduate. She inspired me to be a role model to her younger siblings and give back to her community.

She was ten when her family 12 moved into NYCHA’s  Pink Houses. Her family was the only Bengali family in her neighborhood. She was grateful to be able to share her vibrant culture with her community. 

Last month, Akter was one of 79 CUNY college students receiving a thousand-dollar scholarship to help with tuition and books, thanks to NYCHA and the Public Housing Community Fund.

NYCHA’s Senior director of resident initiatives, Shanna Castillo, said the scholarship has been helping NYCHA residents fulfill their college dreams since 2005, growing yearly.

Castillo said this scholarship goes to top students across NYCHA, from engineering to business to technology. The requirements are you have a full-time student GPA of 3.0, and it’s based on talent. 

The application process for the next batch of scholarships will be April 2024.