NCJW in Wonderland Features Fun and Scholarships
As 40 adults mingled, 35 young children played croquet on the lawn and enjoyed balloon animals, crafts, and an encore presentation of the animated film, Alice in Wonderland at National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section’s first intergenerational tea party. The event was held at Junior League of Houston on Saturday, April 30, hosted by Marlene Rubin and Shari Rubin Heinz, with Julia, Owen, and William Heinz.
The guest of honor was this year’s Lee K. Feine award winner, Queen Faith Ohuabunwa, a nursing student at Texas Women’s University. The family of five emigrated from Nigeria in 2003 when Ohuabunwa was just seven. They initially lived in a one-bedroom apartment in the Third Ward, where violence was all too common. While the parents established their own church, the children also took service to heart. Queen Faith’s oldest brother is in medical school, while the other earned a degree from the University of Houston, served in the Army National Guard, and now works in banking. By the time she finished high school, Ohuabunwa had completed 3500 hours of service at her parents’ church and at various community centers, doing jobs ranging from washing dishes to leading the choir.
In college, she is vice president of TWU’s community service organization. She has helped host toy and clothing drives and continues to volunteer her Saturdays at a community service center. “I know how much people in my community need, particularly the need for affordable and accessible health care,” she says. “I want to do all I can to help.”
The Feine scholarship is awarded to college juniors, seniors and graduate students pursuing fields that benefit the community. Ohuabunwa expressed her appreciation for this honor. “I am so grateful to NCJW for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful community of people. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to continue my educational endeavors.”
The 2015 Feine award winner, Joshua Camins, drove in from Sam Houston State University, where he continues to pursue his Ph.D. in psychology, hoping to work with the military on PTSD.
After the short awards program, Acting Section Director and incoming Co-President Kristina Boshernitzan challenged attendees to give at least as much as they paid for their shoes to NCJW scholarships. In addition to the Feine Scholarship, NCJW gives community scholarships of up to $500 to those it helps serve, including clients of AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), parents of the children served by SEARCH Homeless Services House of Tiny Treasure, teens aging out of foster care, and parents participating in HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-School Youngsters). These community scholarships have covered such items as GED fees, transportation to work, and equipment needed for a woman to attend welding school.
Attendees were also urged to help support NCJW’s June 25 Back 2 School Store, which will provide clothing as well as school supplies for over 160 children. A $100 donation will completely outfit a child.
If you would like to support NCJW’s Back 2 School Store, please visit https://ncjwhouston.org/event/back-2-school-store-2017/. Or give to the scholarships at http://ncjwhouston.org/event/wonderland-tea.