TROY — The Future Begins Today (TFBT) board of trustees awarded 27 Troy students with Last Dollar Grants on Wednesday evening at Troy Hayner Cultural Center. These students will receive more than $41,250 in Last Dollar Grants this coming academic year.
Nearly 100 guests attended the ceremony and celebration including student grant recipients, their parents and families, educators, school administrators, current and former trustees, donors and TFBT partners. Guest speaker, Bradley Stapleton, was a four-year Last Dollar Grant recipient. He completed his bachelor’s degree in information technology in spring 2017 and is now working in his field while pursuing his master’s degree.
In his speech Stapleton shared, “Truthfully, we all will have struggles in our lives, some more than others, but it’s how we tackle them that sets us apart. Everyone in this room applied for this grant for one reason or another. The Future Begins Today is a group that unites students like us to show that there is a way to tackle the struggles of life.”
Last Dollar Grants are designed to fill some of the financial gap that remains after students have sought all other funding resources while on their post-secondary training and educational pursuits. Their annual individual awards will range from $400 to $2,500 per student. Students are asked to complete community service in Troy, Ohio during their award year. Since 2000, The Future Begins Today has awarded more than $680K in grants to Troy students, and in turn they have given back more than 9,900 hours of service to the community.
“We are fortunate to be able to provide this financial backing to so many of Troy’s young adults. The scholarship committee continues to celebrate our Troy students in this way to make them aware that so many people from their hometown care about their academic and personal accomplishments. The program exposes students to higher education, philanthropy and community service all at once, which is pretty unique,” said Rohlfs.
2017-2018 Last Dollar Grant recipients:
Holly Baker — Ferris State
Andrew Bricker — University of Findlay
Claire Buerger — Belmont University
Nicholas Burk* — Bowling Green State University
Patrick Canavan — Franciscan University
Ally Decker — University of Findlay
Valeri Gibson* — Wright State University
Kailyn Hatfield* — University of Cincinnati
Zachary Kiss — Ohio Northern
Karlie Lehman — Kent State
Ashley Littrell* — Ohio University, also a Bill & Carla Leadership Award recipient
Carlene McGuirk — Ohio University
Melissa Mengos — Miami University
Victoria Miller — Bowling Green State University
Tianna Newton* — Ohio University
Noah Phillips* — Capital University
Hannah Priebe* — Miami University
Isaiah Purves* — Ball State
Raiann Rohlfs — Bowling Green State University
Matthew Schmitt — University of Cincinnati
Amanda Setser* — Bluffton University, also a Alan Zunke Award recipient
Jonathan Slone — Trine University
Jordan Slone — University of Dayton
Celia Stanley* — University of Cincinnati, also a Jill Wilson Award recipient
Megan Studebaker — Waynesburg University
Megan Sweeney — Ohio University
Zion Taylor* — University of Cincinnati
*Denotes former TFBT Club student.
TFBT directly serves Troy students who may benefit from temporary or ongoing intervention in order to succeed academically. Students can apply and be selected for TFBT Club in each of the Troy City Schools’ elementary buildings beginning in grade four. Through weekly meetings they are taught valuable life skills, positive academic behaviors, education planning, career exploration, family engagement, wellness and community service. TFBT Club students are provided first access to all of TFBT’s outreach programs such as Homework Helper, Lunch Buddy and Last Dollar Grants.
TFBT offers outreach programs to a larger student audience including field trips, Homework Helper and Lunch Buddy in grades fourth through eleventh. Educational field trips are offered by the organization such as the WACO Museum visit for Van Cleve Sixth Grade, sponsored by Troy Rotary, and the “8th Grade Goes to College” experience made possible by gifts from Miami County Foundation and Troy Noon Optimists. Perhaps the most well-known of the outreach efforts though is the Last Dollar Grant program that awards Troy High School or Troy Christian High School graduates funding for toward tuition, room, board or mandatory fees.
To directly support the Last Dollar Grant program you can purchase Strawberry Salsa year-round at Winans Chocolates & Coffee in downtown Troy, Bakehouse Bread Co., Fulton Farms and Haren’s Market or at the Troy Strawberry Festival in June. TFBT is currently recruiting community mentors for the Lunch Buddy program through August 31. Contact executive director Natalie Rohlfs at email@example.com for more information.
The Future Begins Today provides nurturing, mentoring and scholarship programs for Troy students. Programming was established in 1993 and benefits students who are elementary-aged through high school graduates. Visit www.thefuturebeginstoday.org to learn more.