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  • Nathan Field

Congrats 8th District Scholarship Essay Contest Winner

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Special congratulations to Padua Academy senior and soon to be UD freshman Meredith Kuchma, who won this year's 8th District scholarship contest.

Each year, council members have a very small amount of money to distribute as scholarships. To be considered, a student had to write a short essay answering this question: If you were Mayor of Wilmington, what is your best idea for improving the City? How would you make your idea works? Here is Meredith's winning entry:

If I were the Mayor of Wilmington, I would focus on revitalization of houses in many

sections of the city. I live the in Highlands section of Wilmington, but frequently traveled to the Boys and Girls Club in the East Side section of Wilmington for swim meets. I have noticed that the houses in the area around the Boys and Girls Club and the basic framework of the houses is not much different from those in the Trolley Square section of Wilmington. However, there is a difference in that the owners of the Trolley Square houses have had the finances to be able to maintain and improve the houses. The houses near the Boys and Girls Club are not maintained and have fallen into disrepair, and several of them are not occupied due to being in such bad shape. The area also has many vacant lots where the houses were torn down, due to being uninhabitable.

The revitalization plan consists of several steps. First, the city should repossess the vacant lots that are significantly behind in the taxes and work to acquire houses that are in bad shape. Second, the city should partner with Habitat for Humanity to build new houses on the vacant lots and to rehabilitate the existing houses. This partnership should include churches and associations in order to bring the community together in improving the neighborhood. Third, the city should investigate getting any federal grants that could be applied to improving housing. These grants could be used to improve houses of existing homeowners who do not have the funds to improve their houses.

In order to ensure the revitalization plan is successful, one could measure the number of

vacant lots still left in the neighborhood each year, the number of new houses built each year, and the number of houses rehabilitated each year. Habitat for Humanity requires the new homeowners to work on the building of their home and others homes. This process leads to new homeowners who care about their homes and the ability to make minor repairs to the home. Hopefully, the owners of the houses surrounding the brand new houses will be more motivated to find ways to maintain their own homes and create a better city. The destruction of decaying homes and replacing them with new homes will lead to revitalization. The revitalization of the neighborhood will lead to more improvements such are neighborhood cleanups and new businesses.

Overall, this process will lead to Wilmington being a better place to live and a more

community oriented city

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