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Released May 17, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Seventh- and eighth-grade students in Humphreys and Holmes counties competed in a poster contest sponsored in April by the Institute for Disability Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. Part of April's "Fair Housing Month," which promotes equal opportunities in housing practices, the contest centered around the theme "Fair Housing: Open Doors Make Dreams Come True."

The three seventh-grade winners and three eighth-grade winners in Humphreys County are students at the O.M. McNair Elementary School and were presented awards on Monday. Seventh-grade winners are: Bryan Bernard Lee, first place; Davie McKnight, second place; and Kevin Pickett, honorable mention. Eighth-grade winners are: Willie Hazelwood, first place; Georgia Ann Williams, second place; and Fernandous Henderson, honorable mention. Each first place winner received a $100 savings bond. Second place winners received $50 savings bonds. Honorable mention winners received $25 savings bonds. Vicki Ray, lead equal opportunity specialist from HUD's Jackson Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, presented the awards.

The seventh-grade winner and eighth-grade winner in Holmes County are students at S.V. Marshall High School and will be presented awards Wednesday. Seventh-grader Nickael Washington and eighth-grader Alonzo Reedy won the contest and will each receive a $100 savings bond.

The contest was sponsored by the "HousingSmart" project at the Institute for Disability Studies. Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HousingSmart works to ensure equal opportunities in housing to Mississippians with disabilities and to increase home ownership for individuals with disabilities. In accordance with HUD policy priorities, HousingSmart embraces the need for providing increased homeownership and rental opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons, persons with disabilities, the elderly, minorities, and families with limited English proficiency. Through the HousingSmart project, IDS provides wide-ranging education and outreach. For more information about HousingSmart, contact Evelyn Williams at 1-866-883-4474.

The Institute for Disability Studies is Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education, and Service (UCEDD) headquartered for 30 years at Southern Miss. The institute provides university training, community service activities, research, and information that promote the independence, productivity, and community inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their families.


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May 21, 2004 2:13 PM