Education Is The Way helps fund students’ futures

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Photo courtesy of Kathy Weiser
Parker Westcamp is a Groveport Elementary student who will enter first grade as a member of the class of 2031. He is a fourth generation Westcamp to attend Groveport Madison Schools. “We hope Education Is The Way is still providing scholarship funds when Parker’s class graduates in 2031!” said Education Is The Way Executive Director Kathy Weiser.

Education is expensive and a helping hand financially can make all the difference for one’s future.

There is available scholarship money providing such help for Groveport Madison students. Groveport Madison Education Is The Way is one organization supplying these funds and it wants to increase its endowment so it can continue to assist those pursuing their higher education.

Education Is The Way provides post-secondary education financial assistance with grants to eligible Groveport Madison students who are graduates of Groveport Madison High School, Cruiser Academy, Eastland Career Center, and Fairfield Career Center. It aids in the students’ efforts to pay for their education at universities, colleges, trade schools, technical schools, and other training programs.

“There is money available simply for the asking for eligible students,” said Education Is The Way Executive Director Kathy Weiser. “We want to support our students and we want them to know there is money there to further their education.”

Reina Rhone, a 2019 Groveport Madison graduate, is a scholar and an athlete. She will be an education major at Heidelberg. Education Is The Way is just one of several scholarships she received.

Established in 1990, Education Is The Way is a local independent, non-profit organization lead by a board of trustees and managed by The Columbus Foundation. Its endowment fund, currently totaling $587,000, according to Weiser, provides grants to students ranging from $500 to $1,000 per year that are available for up to four years. Students must apply each year for the grant.

Since awarding its first grants in 1993 to eight students, scholarships totaling more than $309,000 have been awarded. In 2019, 31 students received scholarships totaling $22,000, according to Weiser.

Students must have a 2.0 grade point average and show financial need to be eligible for funds.

Weiser wants to raise awareness in the community about the program through the organization’s Facebook page, by visiting schools, talking with parents, and meeting with civic groups, businesses, and school district employees.

The organization is also working to increase donations to its financial endowment, which is funded by donations from businesses, alumni, and community members.

“Paul and Chris Bowser have pledged matching funds up to $10,000 for donations to Education Is The Way received by December,” said Weiser. “Chris is one of our board members and worked for Groveport Madison Schools for 33 years.”

Weiser said that when you give, it comes back to the community.

“Kids are our strength. One day they will return from their studies to contribute to the community in many ways,” said Weiser.

For information about Education Is The Way, to find out about student eligibility, or to learn how to donate to the fund, visit www.educationistheway.com or contact Executive Director Kathy Weiser at (614) 315-9425 or by email at kbweiser@att.net.

Donations to Education Is The Way may also be made by text by texting 5086 to 614-230-0347 and following the link to enter the gift information.

Student feedback on the program
Here is a sampling from letters sent to Education Is The Way from students who received scholarships:
Audrey Brown, class of 2019: “This will help me as I pursue a teaching degree from Ohio University. Thank you again for contributing to my future.”
Alexis Poliseno: “This fall I will wrap up my remaining classes (at Wittenberg University) to be eligible to student teach in the spring. Then in the spring I will graduate with a degree in education and hopefully licensure in both early childhood education and as an intervention specialist. The goal is to come back to central Ohio, possibly coming back to Groveport, and completing the circle of my education. Groveport is my home and has supported me in every adventure I have ever taken.”
Kevin Jones, Jr.: “I’ll never forget those who helped me every step of the way…As I wrap up my last full year of undergrad (at Wright State University), I’ve been offered two post-college positions politically.”

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