October 31, 2011

For more information, media only, contact: Michele Talwani – 603-641-9441 ext. 239
For more information, general questions, contact: Kyle Beaulieu – 603-641-9441 ext. 259

2011 Home 4 Hope Scholarship

CONTOOCOOK STUDENT RECEIVES HOMELESS SCHOLARSHIP – Formerly homeless student is awarded $2,175 from the “Hope Starts Here Scholarship” by the New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness at the 2011 Homeless Providers and Homeless Education Liaison’s Partnership Conference. Pictured (l. to r.) Breanna Ostrander, Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Virginia Barry, and Governor John Lynch (right).


Recipient Was Formerly Homeless and Now Pursuing Higher Education

MANCHESTER, NH – New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness (NHCEH) has announced that Breanna Ostrander, a senior at Hopkinton High School, has been awarded the Third Annual “Hope Starts Here Scholarship” in the amount of $2,175. The scholarship fund is for homeless or formerly homeless New Hampshire students. The award was presented to Breanna by New Hampshire Governor John Lynch and New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Dr.Virginia Barry at the 2011 NH Homeless Providers and Homeless Education Liaisons Partnership Conference.

Breanna’s homelessness episode began late in 2010, when she was asked to leave her home. She began “couch-surfing” with her friends, not knowing where she would stay each night. Soon after, one of Breanna’s high school teachers, Ms. Trish Walton, learned of her housing predicament. Ms. Walton opened her home to Breanna and assisted her in looking for a more permanent living situation.

“Breanna’s story embodies the soul of the Hope Starts Here Scholarship,” said Lynda Thistle Elliott, Ed.D, of the NHCEH Board of Directors. “Her incredible perseverance to maintain high academic rigor, sustain a 30 hour work week, and her unwavering belief that college was her ticket out of her homelessness situation is remarkable!”

Breanna is on track to graduate early in December. She has applied to Montana State University and is looking to study farm and ranch management.
“I wanted to prove to every person I knew that I could still be a good student, even though I was never in a home for long,” said Breanna. “Today, I can look at the work I have accomplished, the grades I have received, and feel proud.”


The “Hope Starts Here Scholarship Fund” can be used to help defray the costs of college or post-secondary vocational training program tuition, fees, books, prep courses, or other educational expenses. Depending on the availability of funding, NHCEH awards up to three scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000.

Donations for the “Hope Starts Here Scholarship Fund” have been largely provided by Goffstown High School’s National Honor Society, with additional donations being provided by New Hampshire Department of Education employees, RochesterSchool District, South Congregational Church of Concord, and private donors.

New Hampshire Coalition to End Homelessness is a nonprofit organization that provides education on homelessness through a united community effort. For more information about NHCEH, visit or call 603-641-9441.