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Scholar House Ribbon Cutting

The Scholar House is a Godsend. Thats how Scholar House of Paducah resident and West Kentucky Community and Technical College student Tammy Nelson described the housing and education complex during its ribbon cutting ceremony this week.

More than 70 people attended the ceremony on October 9, which marked the grand opening of the 48-apartment facility administered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation.

A joint effort between Paducah Housing Services and the Wabuck Development Company, Inc., the program provides students like Nelson with the opportunity to pursue her education and become self-sufficient. Program participants receive on-site daycare services, counseling and life skills courses, and support from staff and neighbors, which helps them be able to concentrate on earning their college degree.

Nelson, 45, lived in Marshall County before being accepted into the Scholar House. With the economy the way it is, it became so hard to travel back and forth, find affordable child care, and still feel confident about going to college, Nelson said. Every time I took a step forward at school, I got pushed back. I just felt like I was drowning. Nelson, who is majoring in nursing, said she is thankful for the Scholar House because she knows her girls are being well taken care of and she is within walking distance of school, making it possible for her to attend full-time for the first time.

Sarah Vazquez, also a nursing major, joins Nelson as one of the 45 WKCTC students who live in the Scholar House. Barbara Veazey, WKCTC president, met Vasquez who works in the colleges Cyber Cafe. As Sarah began to tell me about herself and that she was a resident of the Scholar House, I got chills, said Veazey. Helping students like Sarah is what this project is all about.

Wabuck President Garry Watkins thanked all the Scholar House partners for creating an opportunity for residents to empower themselves and become all they can be. Peoples lives will be changed forever because of this project, said Watkins. Referencing the Declaration of Independence, Watkins said the pursuit of happiness became a reality for 48 residents of the Scholar House and the many others in the future who will follow in their footsteps.

Educational partners in the project include West Kentucky Community and Technical College; Paducah Junior College, the foundation of WKCTC; Murray State University; Mid-Continent University; and Daymar College

To be eligible for housing, a student must be over 18 and taking 12 or more credits per semester. Students must apply and after acceptance go through the process of being referred to Section 8 housing in Paducah. Housing and childcare are based on the participants income.

For more information about the Scholar House, contact program director Debbie Toon at (270) 450-4219