Portland Housing Authority names scholarship winners

The Portland Housing Authority has announced the recipients of the annual Portland Housing Authority Scholarship. This year, the Portland Housing Authority Scholarship Fund awarded nine scholarships totaling $18,000, made possible in part by a $10,000 grant from KeyBank.

Each year, program applicants display incredible character and perseverance in written essays recounting what they have overcome in their lives, how it has shaped them and their goals for the future. The following individuals received a scholarship for 2021:

• Umulkair Mohamed is a recent Deering High graduate headed to Bowdoin College. She has been an active member of her high school community and the community at large, all while working to support her family and provide care and transportation for her six younger siblings.
• Sulwan Ahmed is a rising senior at Bowdoin College. In addition to excelling at her studies and volunteering with her mosque, she has been tutoring and mentoring ELL students at Deering High School.
• Muntasir Ahmed is a recent Deering High School graduate who plans to attend Bridgton Academy this year. He mentors freshmen through the Make It Happen Program and became an assistant teacher for an ELL Global Issues class.
• Mlaz Khamis is a recent Portland High School graduate headed to the University of Southern Maine. She has been exceptionally active in the Kennedy Park Study Center. She also volunteers with the Root Cellar and cares for her younger siblings.
• Jonathan Rugema is a Casco Bay High graduate headed to Husson University. He has been involved in numerous programs around the city and has performed his music to raise money and awareness for social issues.
• Maryam Alhashimi is a rising sophomore at the University of New England. She spends her time helping at home with her siblings, studying and volunteering with her church.
• Iman Alhashimi is Maryam’s twin and also a rising sophomore at UNE. During the pandemic, she has been studying at home and helping to care for her siblings. Previously, she volunteered with her church, culture and outdoor clubs.
• Mussie Okbe has been attending Southern Maine Community College part time and works as a peer tutor at SMCC, volunteers as a math tutor at Portland Adult Education and Portland High School and volunteers with his church.
• Atia Werah is a rising senior at Bowdoin College. She is very active in her community through internships, student groups and virtual volunteerism, while also caring for her aunt.

Ecomaine names winners of Recycling is a Work of Art contest

Winners of ecomaine’s Recycling is a Work of Art contest include students from Yarmouth, Portland and Cape Elizabeth.

The winners chosen from entrants statewide will design and paint one of the company’s “silver bullet” single-sort recycling containers. Winners will receive a $500 stipend, plus to up to $500 in reimbursement for painting supplies.

The winners selected by the ecomaine Board’s Outreach & Recycling Committee are:


• Maddy Corson, of Yarmouth, for her design of wildlife and recycling.
• Spenser MacLeod, of Portland, for a reduce/reuse/recycle and zero-waste theme.
• Kavya Seshachar, from Cape Elizabeth, for a detailed patterns of wildlife and the 3 R’s
• Tricia Boyle, of South Portland, who submitted a beach theme to remind Mainers to reduce, reuse and recycle.
• Opportunity Alliance’s Maine Stay Program and its design of the 3 R’s in space.

“Every year, we are blown away by these artistic entries,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s communications manager. “This year is no exception – the creativity in promoting the benefits of recycling will help ecomaine beautify recycling in our communities even more.”

Dollars for scholars

Amirah Ogweta of Portland is the recipient of the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship for the class of 2026. Administered by the Institute for Educational Advancement, the award is a four-year high school scholarship for gifted learners to attend an optimally matched high school program to help them work toward meeting their unique intellectual and personal potential.

Students apply for the scholarship in the seventh grade and are required to complete a rigorous portfolio application process. Eligible applicants must also achieve scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed standardized tests.

Portland High School senior Rahmat Ali has been selected for the College Board National African American Recognition Program, which recognized her remarkable academic achievements and outstanding performance on the PSAT and/or AP.

“We are immensely proud of Rahmat,” Superintendent Xavier Botana said. “Despite nearly two years of unprecedented learning challenges caused by the pandemic, she has demonstrated unwavering commitment to achieving academically. I also salute those who supported her in her efforts, including her Portland High School teachers and other staff and her family.”

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