• 52°

IHS class of 2002 first to receive new scholarship

The kids had proud smiles. Their parents had the look of relief. The Ironton High School Class of 2002 graduates were the first to be selected as scholarship recipients in a new program aimed at encouraging higher education and obtaining scholarships to help pay for it. They met Tuesday evening for a reception in their honor at Ohio University Southern’s Bowman Auditorium.

Jeff Handley, Director for Ironton’s Gear Up program said &uot;It Might As Well Be You&uot; is part of the Ohio College Access Network.

The immediate goal of the program is to provide help to seniors who qualify for financial assistance but still have unmet needs, even after they’ve collected other grants and scholarships.

Long term, the program will include establishing services to motivate students to apply themselves to academics in high school, and pursue post secondary education.

&uot;This program developed out of a meeting I had with the Ohio Board of Regents,&uot; Handley said. &uot;I heard about this program from a man named Chad Wick, of Cincinnati, who runs a multi-million foundation that operates the ‘It Might As Well Be You’ program there.&uot;

Knowledge Works donated $50,000 to the local program. The Ironton City School Foundation, a local sponsor, chipped in another $25,000.

Ironton City Schools Foundation member Lou Pyles said she has high hopes for the fledgling program.

&uot;It’s new and it will continue to grow&uot; Pyles said. &uot;It’s all worth it when these kids get scholarships. It betters them and it betters the community.&uot;

Other local sponsors include Ohio University Southern, which provides office space and meetings rooms; Gear Up, which provides staffing; and the Ironton City Schools, which provides staffing and offices for college advisors.

Ashley Fugett is one of the 16 graduates who got a scholarship.

&uot;I was pretty excited,&uot; she said of the &uot;It Might As Well Be You&uot; award. &uot;This will help buy books and everything.&uot;

Her parents were smiling, too. &uot;We were much more excited than she was,&uot; her father, Charles Fugett said.

&uot;I was thrilled. I think it will go well with her other scholarships,&uot; her mom, Donna Fugett agreed.

Fugett will attend OUS; she has not decided on a major.

James Gordon, another recipient, will also attend OUS, and is leaning toward the Electronic Media program.

&uot;I need every dollar I can get,&uot; Gordon said. &uot;I appreciate people helping me out, especially Mr. Handley.&uot;

Two recipients are getting a jump start on their college class work: High Donald Scott II is participating in a Summer Scholars program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. Scott intends to become a pediatrician.

Chuck Murnahan is already taking classes in the Hocking Valley. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune