When it comes to awarding JB Brown college scholarships, one USA Properties Fund community shines like a beacon on a hill, brighter than any other.
In the heart of San Jose, the Mayfair Apartments are home to an extremely diverse population; many are recent immigrants and are still struggling to learn English. However, this doesn’t stop Jasmine Carter, Mayfair’s Property Manager, from promoting the JB Brown College Scholarship Program and encouraging her residents to apply.
Jasmine posts flyers on community boards, puts one on every door, and even hosts a JB Brown Scholarship Program informational meeting to explain the program, the requirements, and how to fill out the application. She makes herself available to answer any questions they have and helps each applicant when they need documents copied or faxed.
At first it was a slow start to spread the word among the resident youth and for the youth to believe that going to college is attainable. Most have watched their parents work long hours in low wage jobs… most had no one in their family or circle of friends who would dream about something as big as earning a college degree, but eventually Jasmine’s efforts paid off. After the oldest in a family of five children applied and was awarded their first scholarship, the next sibling was excited to do the same. Today there are four siblings from this one family all going to San Jose State University and one will be graduating soon!
Incredibly, for the Spring 2017 semester there are eight Mayfair residents attending college on a JB Brown Scholarship!
Currently Hien, Anh, Luong, and Van Pham are all at San Jose State; four other individuals from different Mayfair families are now attending college throughout Northern California. Karla Mondragon is at UC Santa Cruz in her second year; Nguyen Tran is attending at Sacramento State University; and Alvaro Gutierrez and Victoria Rico have joined the Pham family at San Jose State.
Jasmine has witnessed a change come over Mayfair since so many families have a son or daughter in college. In her engagement with residents she sees more of a comfortable confidence; more residents are speaking English, more are being responsible and paying their rent on time.
Jasmine feels personal satisfaction from knowing she has played a role in the future success of her residents, “It makes me feel like we do WAY more than provide an apartment to families. We are helping these individuals create a better life for themselves – giving them an opportunity they might not have had otherwise, or that they would have struggled more to achieve. No one said we HAD to offer college scholarships to residents. We could simply be a property management company that moves people in, takes their rent, and fixes their work orders. But we’re NOT! We stand out from others, we CARE! In a money hungry world – where everything revolves around “what am I getting out of this” – we only want to see how others are benefiting and what they’re going to do to better themselves. We’re not asking for anything in return. WHO DOES THAT?! That’s why it’s so important to me, because it proves that we can stand out for the greater good.”