NEWARK, Ohio, November 6, 2015 — Thanksgiving came a little early on the shared campus of Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark. The annual scholarship breakfast was held on Thursday (November 5) in the Melissa Warner Bow Grand Ballroom in the John Gilbert Reese Center. The breakfast gives scholarship recipients the opportunity to meet their donors and thank the people whose generosity has changed their lives.
“I’m just glad to see these kids going to school and getting an education,” said Nancy Bradley, a scholarship donor. “It’s rewarding to sit next to our scholarship recipient.”
The James and Nancy Bradley Scholarship benefits non-traditional students who are returning to school after an extended break, just like Nancy. Nancy Bradley returned to school at Ohio State Newark when she was 33-years old. At the time, she was divorced with five children and wanted to get a degree in elementary education.
“It was a very hard time in my life,” said Bradley, holding back tears. “I would go to the library every night and read self-help books. In one of the books I read a quote that said ‘What you are looking for is in your own back yard.’ I thought of this campus and I thought I should go back to school.”
Nancy Bradley found out at the scholarship breakfast that this year’s Bradley scholarship recipient has a similar story. 30-year old Lenise Sunnenberg of Newark is a divorced mother as well. She is pursuing an anthropology degree at Ohio State Newark. “I had to go through a series of mistakes to get to be the person I am today,” said Sunnenberg. “The Bradleys have helped me so much. The scholarship has taken a burden off my shoulders. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the scholarship. It’s so nice to put a face with such generosity.”
COTC Board of Trustees Chair John Hinderer sat with Thompson at breakfast and said it was great to hear her story. “The students are always making us understand why we do what we do,” said Hinderer. “They’re building a positive future for themselves, and it is great.”Denise Thompson also loved the opportunity to thank the people who changed her life. The 51-year old is a mother to 10 children and would not have been able to pursue her nursing degree at COTC without the COTC Board of Trustees Scholarship. “I really appreciate the scholarship,” said Thompson. “We have family expenses and bills at home, and it is challenging to afford school.”
At the breakfast, the Newark campus leadership also celebrated passing an important milestone in 2015 by offering more than $1 million in available scholarships for students at both Ohio State Newark and COTC for the first time in the history of the campus. Nearly 600 students were awarded scholarships at Ohio State Newark and COTC this academic year. The average award is about $2,000.
The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers the best of the Big Ten educational experience, access to Ohio State’s 200 major programs, a rich research heritage and academic excellence.
Photo Caption: The Bradleys sit with Lenise Sunnenberg at breakfast.