The Scioto Foundation held its annual academic luncheon, Thursday and honored students, donors, and parents, as they presented scholarships to the students in attendance. For the academic year, the Scioto Foundation awarded nearly $400,000 to students all over the region.
“If you are here, you qualify as the definition of an outstanding student,” said Board Chair Joshua Howard as he addressed the attendees. “If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be receiving a scholarship, I can assure you, it’s a competitive process. All of you are seated with someone who made one of these scholarships possible. None of those individuals started a scholarship because they won the lottery, this is not government money, this is their money.
“These individuals, through their hard-work, intensive labor, many of them self-employed or small business owners have made contributions out of their pocket, literally out of their wallet or out of their purse to a scholarship. Consider the fact that the average scholarship today is $1,600 per student. When’s the last time someone handed you $1,600? No one lays that on the table very often.”
Executive Director Kim Cutlip said that the luncheon was a major success.
“It just keeps growing every year and all the scholarships are created with local dollars by local community members,” explained Cutlip. “And the money goes right back to students in the area who are pursuing higher education.”
Cutlip went on to say that the luncheon also provides a sense of identity to the scholarships, since donors get the opportunity to physically meet and discuss with the students, and get the opportunity to put a face to their cause.
The Scioto Foundation has been assisting students to achieve their educational goals through scholarship opportunities since 1981. The luncheon has been ongoing for 15 of those years. The luncheon first happened by chance, when the organization was hosting a celebration of an anniversary with donors. The group invited some of their scholarship recipients and Cutlip said that everything just clicked with its success and the connections forged between the donors and students.
Local South Webster High School Graduate Kyle Fuller, is now a senior at Miami University, where he has dedicated the past four years to studying Geography and Urban Planning. He has received many scholarships from the organization over the years and says that he wouldn’t be where he is today without the Foundation’s support.
“I cannot say enough good things about the Scioto Foundation, they do so much for the community,” explained Fuller.
“I’ve talked with my friends in other communities and they said they don’t have anything like this. The people that work here, and the donors, they’re amazing.”
For more information about the Scioto Foundation, please visit www.sciotofoundation.org or by calling 740-354-1912. You can also stop in during office hours Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 303 Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext 1932, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara