Qatar-funded programme to aid Houston students still recovering from Harvey
April 22 2019 09:38 PM
An August 31, 2017, file photo of families being evacuated in Houston.
An August 31, 2017, file photo of families being evacuated in Houston.

About 280 students within the University of Houston System were forced to fully withdraw from classes and about 880 had to partially withdraw after Hurricane Harvey swept through areas of Southeast Texas in August 2017.

Now, a $500,000 scholarship programme funded by Qatar is aiming to help them, according to a release.

The Qatar-sponsored Rebuild Texas Fund, which aims to help Texas communities recover in the wake of Harvey, will provide up to $5,000 in scholarships to a minimum of 300 students attending University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston-Victoria.

The average scholarship is expected to be around $1,667 per student, and each will assist students with unmet costs, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and educational supplies, and transportation during the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

Students who withdrew and have not re-enrolled, who have reduced their credit hours, or those who are having difficulty maintaining their enrollment due to ongoing financial hardship in the wake of Harvey are eligible for a scholarship and have likely been contacted by their university, according to a release.

Students nearing graduation and/or have exhausted all other forms of aid will be given priority, and applicants will be notified between now and June 15.

“Hurricane Harvey tested our resilience as a university system and as a city, but together we stood strong. However, like so many others in our region, some students continue to struggle,” Renu Khator, University of Houston System chancellor, said in a statement.

Khator praised both the Rebuild Texas Fund and Qatar Harvey Fund for supporting students “and giving them an opportunity to pursue their educational goals.”

Qatar created the Qatar Harvey Fund in 2017, pledging $30mn to support Texas’ recovery post hurricane.

That money will flow through the Rebuild Texas Fund, which will provide the money to the University of Houston System and other institutions, including a total of $300,000 to students within the Houston Community College system.

“Qatar has deep ties in Houston and southeast Texas through many years of economic and educational exchange,” Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States said in a statement.

“When we understood the scale of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, there was no question that Qatar would help this region’s long recovery process.”

Other projects funded by the Qatar Harvey Fund include $2.5mn for the City of Houston’s Fund to Reduce Homelessness, $2.5mn for the renovation of the Riverside Hospital Center and $241,000 for Wesley A.M.E Church. *Courtesy: Houston Chronicle



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