LEWISTON — Jonathan Fortin, Jamad Warsame and Hanan Ahmed of River Valley Village have been awarded $1,000 scholarships by The Caleb Group to attend higher education. Caleb’s scholarship program, established in 2003, awards educational grants up to $1,000 to be used in an educational program of the residents’ choice.

The Caleb Group, an affordable housing and social service nonprofit organization, provides service coordination to more than 4,000 low- to moderate-income residents throughout New England with the mission to enhance and empower the lives of residents. Caleb purchased River Valley Village, a 296-unit family affordable housing community, in 1995.

Fortin is pursuing sports and recreation management at Ashford University. He has been inspired by his volunteerism at River Valley Village’s basketball league to hone his skills of coaching to the larger community. Last summer Fortin volunteered to organize and run a basketball league at River Valley Village, which grew in popularity with the residents and community members, but also decreased youth-related violence by 40 percent in the area. His work was recognized by the Lewiston community police and Mayor Laurent Gilbert.

Warsame is attending Central Maine Community College in the field of pharmacy. She relocated to the United State from Kenya in 2005. Prior to that, she experienced a civil war in her home country of Somalia. While she was in Kenya, she was unable to complete high school. In June 2010, Warsame received her U.S. high school diploma and has dreams of working in a hospital setting to help others. “I’ve always dreamed of working in the medical field,” she said. She lives with her husband and seven children.

Ahmed, a graduate from Lewiston High School, received a scholarship for her pursuit in biomedical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is involved with several student groups such as field hockey club, organization of African Americans, Biomedical Engineering Club, Society for Women Engineers, Habitat for Humanity, Muslim Student Association and National Society for Black Engineers.

Ahmed said, “I’m really excited to be doing biomedical engineering, I want to dive right in.” Her decision to pursue biomedical engineering stemmed from her experiences attending an engineering summer program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

All scholarship donations assist in paying for the cost of education. Those interested in making a donation may send donations to the Caleb Group, 491 Humphrey St., Swampscott, MA 01907. For more information about other services Caleb offers, visit www.thecalebgroup.org.


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