NEWARK, Ohio, August 1, 2017 – A business management technology student at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) has been selected to receive a national Program for Continuing Education grant from the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.). Alissa Kirk, a 30-year-old from Newark, recently learned she was selected for the $3,000 grant. P.E.O. is an organization founded in 1869 that promotes education for women.
"I was thrilled to learn I received this grant," said Kirk. "It will give me a chance to not stress about money so much. I'm going to be worried about school and my kids and their schedules. This grant makes it where I have one less thing I'll have to stress about."
The P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, established in 1973, is a need-based grant program providing one-time financial assistance to women whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to complete a degree or certification that improves their marketable skills for employment to support themselves and/or their families. The maximum amount for the grant is $3,000.
Kirk started taking classes at COTC spring semester 2017. The mother of three quit her job so she could focus on her education. Kirk's oldest daughter, who is 14, is a type one diabetic and can't be left alone. Before this grant came along, Kirk was worried about how she was going to pay for child care this summer, while all of her children were out of school, and she was attending COTC full time.
"I applied for the grant because I knew we needed as much help as we could get, so we didn't fall behind with bills," said Kirk. "My oldest daughter can't be alone. Her sugar goes up and down sporadically. If it goes low, she can pass out and go into a seizure. I needed to know we had the funds to pay our bills, pay tuition and have child care this summer."
Kirk plans to graduate in the summer of 2019. She hopes to work in the human resources department of a business. "I'd like to do work where I help boost company morale," said Kirk. "I'd like to get into a position where I can make people love their job."
COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.