TROY — The Future Begins Today (TFBT) welcomed a crowd of more than 150 guests on Wednesday evening to reveal their new office location at 305 W. Staunton Road in Troy and to honor 25 students with Last Dollar Grants.
In January 2016, the Troy Board of Education shared the property next to Troy High School with The Future Begins Today, which will provide TFBT convenient access to students and staff and will offset operational costs so student programming can remain the funding focus.
Mayor Michael Beamish and the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce performed the ribbon cutting ceremony with TFBT current and former board of trustees and their executive director, Natalie Rohlfs present. Chairman of the ambassadors, Brock Heath, said, “We do about 50 of these ribbon cuttings a year and this is one of the most exciting ones that we’ve been to because the activities done through this organization are pretty powerful.”
TFBT directly serves Troy students who may benefit from temporary or ongoing intervention in order to succeed academically. Each elementary building in the Troy City Schools holds a weekly TFBT Club meeting for the enrolled students in grades fourth through sixth, which teaches them valuable life skills, exposes them to career exploration and tours of Edison and Upper Valley Career Center, and provides them an opportunity to take part in well-attended evening Family Events. TFBT Club students are provided access to the Homework Helper program and are typically matched to an adult Lunch Buddy mentor. TFBT is recruiting until Aug. 30 for community members who would like to meet once a month with a Troy student for lunch and conversation. Contact Natalie Rohlfs at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Lunch Buddy program.
TFBT also offers outreach programming to approximately 800 additional students including Homework Helper and Lunch Buddy in grades 4 through 10. Educational field trips are also offered such as the WACO Museum visit for Van Cleve 6th Grade, sponsored by Troy Rotary, and the “8th Grade Goes to College” experience at Wright State University made possible with gifts from Miami County Foundation and Troy Noon Optimists. Perhaps most well-known of their outreach programs offered are the Last Dollar Grants that TFBT awards to students who are Troy High School or Troy Christian High School graduates for their tuition, room and board.
The annual award celebration for the Last Dollar Grant recipients was held following the ribbon cutting. TFBT board of trustees hosted more than 70 guests including Mayor Beamish, Eric Herman, superintendent of Troy Schools, his staff, and grant recipients and their guests. Twenty-five students will be award more than $42,000 in grants this academic year. Awards ranged from $800 to $2,500 per student. The honored guest speaker was former TFBT Club student and four-year Last Dollar Grant recipient, Carolann Stanley, who is completing her degree at Ohio University.
She said, “This organization helps students become great leaders and greater community members… being a part of it has helped me achieve more during school and gave me confidence to put myself into professional situations like this one.”
Chair of the TFBT scholarship committee, Loren Evilsizor, said “We are proud of our 2016-2017 Last Dollar Grant recipients for taking the initiative to lessen their financial burden so that they may achieve their academic goals.”
2016-2017 Last Dollar Grant recipients:
Audrey Banning — Wright State University
Andrew Bricker — University of Findlay
Nick Burk — Bowling Green State University
Patrick Canavan — Franciscan University of Steubenville
Jacob Farr — Indiana Wesleyan University
Kane Feltner — Bowling Green State University
Valeri Gibson — Wright State University
Kailyn Hatfield — University of Cincinnati
Kurtis Johnson University of Kentucky
Zak Kiss — Ohio Northern University
Ashley Littrell — Ohio University — also received the Alan Zunke Award
Melissa Mengos — Miami University
Stephanie Metzger — Morehead State University
Victoria Miller — Bowling Green State University
Tianna Newton — Ohio University — also received the Bill and Carla Lohrer Leadership Award
Alex Prouty — The Ohio State University
Isaiah Purves — Ball State University
Raiann Rohlfs — Bowling Green State University
Matthew Schmitt — University of Cincinnati
Jeremy Sierra — Ohio University
Jordan Slone — University of Dayton
Celia Stanley — University of Cincinnati
Bradley Stapleton — University of Cincinnati
Megan Sweeney — Ohio University
Cody Zeller Bowling — Green State University
Rohlfs shared, “Our recipients receive their awards at the generosity of donors and grant makers and from TFBT Strawberry Salsa sales profit. Because of what the Troy community has done for our students, they are asked to complete 15 hours of community service in their hometown during their award year. Last year’s recipients served more than 400 hours combined in Troy!”
You can purchase Strawberry Salsa at Winans Chocolates & Coffee at the downtown Troy location, Bakehouse Bread Co., Fulton Farms Market, the Troy Strawberry Festival and now, Haren’s Market.
The Future Begins Today provides nurturing, mentoring and scholarship programs for Troy students. Programming is targeted toward students who are elementary-aged through high school graduates and was established in 1993. For more information, call (937) 332.0467 or visit www.thefuturebeginstoday.org.