ICAP having fund-raiser

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A diverse partnership of educators and volunteers is seeking community support to turn Ironton students’ college dreams into realities.

The Ironton College Access Program, established in 2001 in collaboration with the Ironton City Schools, Ohio College Access Network and Ohio University Southern, is a volunteer organization that focuses on making college attainable for students.

But now the organization is hoping to keep that program going with strong community support.

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The organization will host “ A Night at the Rotunda” dinner celebration and fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Riffe Rotunda at Ohio University Southern with entertainment by the Ironton Jazz Ensemble, the Ironton Chorus Group and the Ironton Steppers. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by contacting the Ironton College Access Program office at Ohio University Southern (740) 533-4556.

“This valuable program allows students to attend college. Many times this may be the kids final chance to afford college. Of the committees and organizations that I am a part of, this may be the most important,” said fundraising chairman Jay Zornes.

“I know what my college experience has meant to my life. I know what that college experience has afforded me to do. I just want that opportunity for as many kids as possible. It is my dream that one day every Ironton student will get the opportunity to share in that valuable college experience. One day no kid will be left out.”

In addition to awarding $72,000 in scholarships to date, the Ironton College Access Program provides a high school college advisor and an early awareness advisor to the Ironton schools. In 2007, the program expanded services to include St. Joseph High School. The program awards seven $1,000 scholarships every year to Ironton High seniors and St Joe seniors who qualify.

Both advisors assist students with scholarship searches, educational websites, college visits and life skills training. The high school advisor assists students with completing college applications and financial aid forms. The early awareness advisor focuses on students in grades six, seven and eight and prepares these students by assisting them with personal academic goals, implementing better study and organizational skills and college and career planning.

“Many people underestimate the value of an education. Yes, an education can mean the difference of literally millions of dollars over the course of a career. However, another key component of college education and a college experience, are the key people you meet and the “life experiences” you share,” Zornes said. “I met some of my best friends at college. Many of us are still close today, as we have annual reunions together. The ICAP program makes a life difference in a lot of kids lives.”

The Ironton College Access Program scholarship recipients for the 2007/2008 school year are: Stephen Howard, Herald Johnson, Samantha Morgan, Michelle Pancake, Aubrieanna Parker, Jessica Seevers and Grace Seward.