News | 16 Students from USDA RD-Sponsored Housing Celebrated for Academic Excellence

16 Students from USDA RD-Sponsored Housing Celebrated for Academic Excellence

Davis, CA
Published on July 14, 2016

Non-Profit Affiliate of The Michaels Organization, USDA’s Private Sector Housing Partner, Awards $29,000 in College Scholarships to Residents of Affordable Housing in California

Executives of The Michaels Organization, along with representatives from the USDA’s Rural Development office in Davis celebrated the achievements of 16 residents of rural housing communities who have been awarded college scholarships from The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation. The students include several single mothers pursing nursing degrees, an aspiring teacher, and a 59-year-old widow with disabilities who is studying finance and accounting. 

The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization, a private sector developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing, whose communities throughout rural California have benefitted from USDA rural development funding. In total, the Foundation awarded more than $604,000 in educational grants to residents throughout the country for the 2016/2017 academic year, with $29,000 going to residents of the rural properties in California.

“The idea of ‘giving back’ has been deeply embedded in our corporate culture by our founder, Michael J. Levitt,” said The Michaels Organization’s Kimberlee Schreiber, who acted as master of ceremonies at the scholarship recognition ceremony. “Just as the power of quality, affordable housing can transform communities, the power of education can help transform individual lives, and we are proud to help residents with their educational pursuits” Schreiber said. 

Janice Waddell, Rural Development’s California State Director, headlined the event. 

"Michaels goes above and beyond housing, they really care about their communities," Waddell said. "We are really impressed with the number of scholarships given out and happy to partner with The Michaels Organization."

The first scholarship program of its kind in the affordable housing industry, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation has been helping many high achieving but often economically disadvantaged students achieve their dreams of higher education for more than two decades. The grants can be used by recipients to pay tuition costs at any accredited college, university, or vocational training program in the country, and students can reapply for grants each year of their education.

About The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation:

The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization that administers educational scholarship programs open to residents of all affordable and military housing communities owned or managed by companies of The Michaels Organization. Now in its 26th year, the foundation was the first of its kind in the affordable housing industry, and has helped many high achieving but often economically disadvantaged students achieve their dreams of higher education. In 2016, the program reached a milestone—awarding for the first time ever more than $600,000 in educational grants. Michaels' founder and CEO Michael Levitt and his wife Pat Levitt contribute two dollars for every dollar in private contributions made to the Foundation.

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