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Qatar establishes Harvey scholarship fund at HCC

January 10, 2019

Houston Community College students who were forced to stop taking classes or were otherwise impacted by Hurricane Harvey may be eligible for additional scholarships after the State of Qatar presented the HCC Foundation with a $300,000 check on Wednesday.

The check is part of Qatar’s $30 million Harvey Fund, established in 2018 to help with longer-term recovery efforts in Southeast Texas. That money will flow through the Rebuild Texas fund, which will provide the money to Houston Community College students.

“Those of us from Qatar and the Arabic Gulf saw how Houston came together after the storm, and Qatar wants to support this strong community,” said Khaled Al Sulaiti, vice consul of the Consulate General of the State of Qatar. “While my country is relatively small compared to a state as big as Texas, our people have very big hearts, and we know Texans do too.”

Other projects funded by the Qatar Harvey fund include $2.5 million for the City of Houston’s Fund to Reduce Homelessness, $2.5 million for the renovation of the Riverside Hospital Center and $241,000 for the Wesley A.M.E Church. While $16.24 million of the fund has been dispersed, the projects to be funded by the remaining $13.76 million likely will be announced in the coming weeks and months. An advisory board — including University of Houston system President Renu Khator, former Houston Mayor Bill White and Eileen Lawal with the Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservatory — will decide how the rest of the funds are spent.

In other action Wednesday, HCC’s board of trustees reelected Carolyn Evans-Shabazz to serve as president for 2019. Evans-Shabazz first was elected to the board in 2015, and served as president during 2018. Trustee John P. Hansen was selected as the board’s vice president, and Trustee Zeph Capo was tapped to be secretary.

The board also approved selling a plot of land behind its Main Street campus, although Trustee Dave Wilson proposed the board lease that property and sell it at a later date as land values in Houston’s core continue to appreciate. The motion passed on a 6-2 vote, with trustees Wilson and Neeta Sane opposing the measure.

shelby.webb@chron.com

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