Endowing hopes and dreams
Spring for Scholarships 2018 has turned into a celebration worthy of its name. Not only were the sponsors and guests raising money for scholarships through their participation, but several generous families and groups also announced their commitment to five new scholarship endowments.
“Endowments funds such as these are invested with the Ohio State University Foundation and preserve gifts in perpetuity so that they can power the university’s core mission for generations to come,” said Interim Dean and Director Dr. Joe Brandesky. “These scholarships are very special to our campus because we know students will receive support for years to come and we know that our donors’ intentions will be honored with each new scholarship award for years to come.”
The establishment of the George and Altha Brooks Scholarship, the John D. and Norma L. Hubbell Family Scholarship Fund, the Lifelong Learning Institute Scholarship, the Ross McCain Scholarship, and the Vic and Judy Von Blon Scholarship collectively represent $250,000 worth of gifts for student aid. They have made the 2017-2018 academic year one of the most successful years in recent history for Ohio State Lima’s scholarship program, both in terms of the number of new endowments and also to dollars raised for student financial aid.
The impetus to endow a scholarship can be as varied as the donors. Some want to build something that will honor a family member for many years to come. Others want future generations to have the chance that they had.
“We had been supporting scholarships through Spring for Scholarships in Lima for many years and decided that an endowment to help Lima campus students from Van Wert or Allen counties was a great fit for us to Pay It Forward,” said Altha Brooks of Van Wert. “We hope that the recipients of the scholarship will be as positively impacted in their lives as George and I have been. George started his education at Ohio State Lima where he met professors and other students and formed friendships that still exist today. We met at main campus where I began my Buckeye experience as a commuter student. The friendships and connections we have obtained from our involvement is a positive force in our lives.”
The guests at Spring for Scholarships had the opportunity to learn the stories of a variety of scholarship recipients throughout the evening.
Melissa Martinez is a recipient of one of the Spring for Scholarships grants made possible by the annual event, which has now raised more than $400,000 for Ohio State Lima students.
“I am aware of the effort and money that donors have invested, and I’m not allowing that to go to waste. I want scholarship donors to know that the fact that they believe in me gives me a sense of purpose that pushes me to be the best that I can be even in difficult times,” said Martinez, a senior in early childhood education from Paulding. “Scholarships are the physical reminder that I need to work extra hard and be thankful for what I was given, as well as a wake-up call that someone cares about my future. Through the education I receive at Ohio State Lima I get one step closer to the future I want for myself, and that would not be possible without scholarships.”
Because of the scholarships she received, Andrea Morales was able to fully focus on her academic endeavors, including a research thesis that means she will graduate with research distinction. Her work earned her a second-place finish in her category at the all-university Denman Undergraduate Research Forum this spring. She was also able to do research in her field during a study abroad semester in Rome, a defining moment in her undergraduate experience.
“Scholarships quite literally transform students’ lives. Scholarships transform a student’s experience by alleviating stress and opening doors of opportunities,” said Morales, a senior in psychology of Lima. “Scholarship donors may never know the way their money transforms students’ lives, but they can rest assured it will.”
Levi Brake was the student voice at the 2018 Spring for Scholarships and delivered a personal story that illustrates the impact scholarships can have at an elemental level. During his time at Ohio State Lima, Brake lost his father in a tragic car accident, which left the younger Brake struggling in the midst of one of his already most challenging semesters.
“I hope that all of you are aware that the scholarships that you have awarded to both me and my peers go beyond mere financial aid. You’ve personally given us all some degree of peace of mind,” said Brake, a senior in middle childhood education of Ohio City. “Because of my scholarships, I was not working three jobs and going to school. I could afford to ask my boss for two weeks off. I was given, by donors like you, the luxury of spending time with my family and friends, helping each other to cope with our mutual grief.”
Brake’s experience left him with a deep well of affection for scholarships and the donors that make them possible. While he knows that in his first years as a middle school teacher he may not be able to endow a scholarship or build a building on campus, he intends to use the education provided by the foresight and generosity of others to build up the communities that have supported him.
“While I currently lack the funds to give back to our communities, I do have, thanks to your investments, the capability to teach. The moment I stepped into Liberty Arts Magnet in Lima, I realized that students need so much more than someone at the front of the room explaining the boundless mysteries of fractions – though fractions ARE important. These students need me to be more than a teacher,” Brake said. “They need me to be a mentor, a confidante, a shelter, and sometimes they need me to be a verbal kick to the backside, to remind them who they are, what they want, and what they need to do in order to get there. I may not have the fiscal means to invest in future generations right now, but, for now, I will invest my time and every ounce of energy I have into my students to pay back this community.”
It is the gratitude and perseverance exhibited by scholarship winners at Ohio State Lima that persuaded Vic Von Blon. When the Von Blon scholarship was announced at a recent retiree dinner, Vic Von Blon spoke to the group about why his family chose to endow a scholarship.
“We were motivated to endow a scholarship for Ohio State Lima students after spending time with winners of our current scholarship,” Vic Von Blon said. “I was impressed with how grateful and appreciative the students were of the scholarship.”
Ohio State Lima and the students who are able to earn a college degree because of the institution were very dear to Von Blon’s wife, Judy, who worked at the campus for 33 years, retiring as the executive assistant to the dean and director.
“Judy was dedicated to this campus,” Vic Von Blon said of his wife. “She is a very enthusiastic OSU supporter and a very giving person.”
Thank you to the 2018 Spring for Scholarships event sponsors:
Mr. and Mrs. George M. Brooks
HCF Management, Inc.
Husky Lima Refinery
Lifelong Learning Institute
Lima Memorial Health System
Spherion of Lima
Webb Insurance Agency, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Bud Winzenried
Dominion East Ohio
Hometown Lima Stations
Altha Brooks (right) talks to scholarship recipient and student speaker Levi Brake and Lesley Fry, Ohio State Lima's director of Advancement.
Jacque Daley-Perrin from Mercy Health at the 2018 Spring for Scholarships.
The Lifelong Learning Institute table watches Ohio State Lima's Carmony perform.