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The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth (HACE) has unveiled the recipients of its newly revitalized scholarship program.

Three scholarships have been made possible through the success of HACE’s First Annual Scholarship Gala, which is aimed at empowering individuals within the community. The scholarship recipients have been selected from among residents and Section 8 participants of the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth, as well as Elizabeth residents.

The HACE Scholarship Fund, established in 2015, provides financial assistance for educational expenses such as tuition, books, and other fees. Scholarships have been awarded to individuals with aspirations to enroll in traditional two- to four-year colleges, universities, trade schools, or graduate programs.

“These scholarships exemplify HACE’s commitment to nurturing the ambitions and goals of our community members,” said William D. Jones, executive director of HACE. “These awards are not just financial aids; they are testimonials to HACE’s resolute mission to nurture personal growth, academic brilliance, and the realization of career ambitions among the vibrant community of Elizabeth.”

The following individuals are the recipients of HACE’s scholarships:

Shawn’Yae Myers

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Shawn’Yae Myers attended the Elizabeth Public School System. She graduated from high school in June 2023, having attended the J. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy. She is a proud alumnus of the Elizabeth branch of the Boys and Girls Club.

Myers has the honor of attending Morgan State University, a Baltimore-based historically black college and university (HBCU) that was founded in 1867. Her primary field of study at Morgan State will be nursing, as her goal is to become a traveling nurse practitioner.

“The HACE Scholarship provided me with the opportunity to attend my first choice of an HBCU, the illustrious Morgan State University, with a major in nursing, at a lower cost,” Myers said. “It allowed me to put more focus on my school and career development of becoming a nurse practitioner, providing me with the financial means. It has contributed to my long-term goals, and I am truly grateful!”

Jahziyah Carter

Jahziyah Carter attended the Elizabeth Public School System and is a native of Elizabeth. She attended the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technology Academy for her high school education and graduated in June 2023.

Carter was named valedictorian of her graduating class and was also recognized by the Elizabeth branch of the Boys and Girls Club as the 2022 Union County Youth of the Year.

Carter will be attending Clark Atlanta University, an HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia. Her long-term objectives are to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a finance concentration and become an entrepreneur.

Sha’Don Taylor

Sha’Don Taylor is a native of Elizabeth and an alumnus of the Elizabeth Public School System. He graduated summa cum laude in May 2023 from American International College (AIC) in Springfield, Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Advocacy for Social Change.

Additionally, he was featured as “Mr. AIC” in one of the college’s videos this year.

“As a first-generation student, I look forward to being the first in my family to graduate from college. One thing I learned at AIC is not only how to be a part of the community, but how to play a part in the community,” he said.

In addition to serving in student government as president of the freshmen and sophomore classes, student body president, and Persons Ready In Defense of Ebony president from 2021-2023, Taylor also won multiple awards along the course of his undergraduate studies. Among them are the Community Benefactor Award, the John Homer Miller Emerging Leadership Award, and the Most Active Freshman Award.

Taylor returned to AIC to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice and is a resident adviser for the 2023-2024 academic year.

A gala celebrating the awardees will take place on April 26. For more information, contact Curtis Myers, Director of Finance and Administration, LaChelle Thompson, Director of the Jobs Plus Program, at 908-965-2400 ext. 141 or ext. 153, or Barbara Johnson at 908-591-4496.

About the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth

Since its formation in 1938, the Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth has worked diligently to meet the housing needs and improve the quality of life for all the residents it serves. The Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth began with public housing units and now has expanded their portfolio to include Section 8 vouchers, mixed financed developments, and several grant programs that deliver a broad range of services ranging from social, economic, educational and redevelopment. For more information about HACE, visit