ORANGE, NJ – Renown Jazz drummer Ruddy Walker, an Orange native, brought his ensemble to entertain approximately 100 weary golfers after a day on the links at the 9th Annual Youth Scholarship Golf Tournament, hosted by the Housing Authority of the City of Orange (HACO) and the Orange Housing Development Corporation (OHDC). The event took place on September 9 at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park.

“We had a record number of golfers participate and raised a significant sum for scholarships,” said Dr. Walter McNeil, HACO’s Executive Director. “This golf outing is a much anticipated event that draws more golfers every year. I find it so gratifying to see the generosity shown to our very outstanding scholarship recipients who would have difficulty reaching their potential without this help.”

This year’s scholarship recipients each have very clear, future goals. Already a student at Douglas College at Rutgers University, Funmilayt Ademoji is well on her way to becoming an oral maxillofacial surgeon. After she completes her undergraduate degree in public health with a minor in Africana Studies, she plans to attend dental school, then medical school. That’s a lot of schooling and a lot of tuition. The HACO and OHDC scholarship will go a long way to alleviating this financial stress. Said Ademoji, “This scholarship is a great addition to my financial support.”

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The HACO Scholarship not only helps Jah-simer Hill fulfill his dream, but that of his parents as well. “My parents have always worked hard to put my siblings and me in private school, to afford us the best education possible even when they didn't have the money. I remember sometimes we barely had any food to eat, and my parents would often remind us that education is the way out of poverty,” he explained. The lesson wasn’t lost on Jah-simer who will enter Dominican College in New York to begin his journey to become, first a nurse, then a cardiologist. Despite receiving a Pell Grant and a Merit Based scholarship, Jah-simer and his parents are still left with a sizable funding gap that the HACO and OHDC Scholarship will help close.

About the Orange Housing Authority

The City of Orange Housing Authority works to transform the City of Orange by providing safe, livable and affordable housing that promotes the development of communities. At the Orange Housing Authority, participants are not statistics, they are neighbors. The agency knows the community and tailors its programs to better serve the participant’s needs. Whether it is a search for housing, assistance with foreclosure or neighborhood development, the Housing Authority stands ready to offer its services to all residents.