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Student Spotlights

Mark Rose

Fifty-four year old Mark Rose’s journey through life hasn’t always been the easiest.  After only attending one day of tenth grade, Mark walked away from the opportunity to further his education.  He became a father at 18 and later earned his GED in order to join the military at age 25.  Although he had long considered becoming a nurse, Mark found himself making a living in retail management. 

In time, Mark looked at life differently.  It was an awakening.  After the sadness of losing a child to a heart defect and his mother whom he cared for, he felt compelled to pursue his dream of saving lives.  With the support of his wife Denise, he began a new path and enrolled in the Surgical Technology program at COTC.    

An immense burden was lifted when Mark was awarded the J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese Next Generation Challenge Scholarship.  His life was forever changed: “I have so many reasons to be here and make sure I don’t fail.  I get up every day with a determination and do what I need to do because I have people who I am indebted to because of what they’ve done for me.” 

Mark’s working to fulfill his long term goal of helping to save lives at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Becoming a scholarship recipient was a profoundly humbling experience that has motivated him to pay it forward.  Mark is determined to make a difference: “I don’t want to leave this world not giving back for what’s been given to me.”  Mark is a true inspiration who demonstrates great courage, drive, and appreciation for where his journey through life has taken him.  Making a difference and paying it forward are at the heart of giving through The Newark Campus Development Fund.    

Brittany Butler

Brittany Butler knew she wanted to attend college for a degree in Early Childhood Education to one day teach children and make a difference.  She knew what she wanted, but simply needed the guidance to help her realize the steps to get there.  A Call to College helped guide Brittany toward higher education, and she chose The Ohio State University at Newark.   A 2016 graduate of Newark High School and recipient of the J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese Next Generation Challenge Scholarship, Brittany felt a sense of “home” at The Ohio State University at Newark.  As a result of the generosity of donors to The Newark Campus Development Fund, a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.  To Brittany, “money saving is important and whether donors know it or not, the smallest donation helps whether for tuition or books.  A little financial stress off someone really does help.” 

Brittany is inspired by not only the donors, but also by Dr. Warner, Professor of Education, who sets an example of positivity and critical thinking every day.    In turn, Brittany is able to broaden her view of the world, specifically through literature read in class.  Uniquely, donors to The Newark Campus Development Fund in conjunction with professors at the Newark Campus, inspire students to pay it forward. 

It is the ripple effect.  Generosity leads to inspiration which leads to more kindliness.  The effect of one donation, no matter how large or small, continues to inspire and create the spirit of giving.  Brittany is already giving back through her program placement at Carson Elementary, her internship with A Call to College, and her path to teach and shape young minds.  Brittany also has plans to pass on the philanthropy shown to her by one day helping others financially.  “I believe if you are given something you should pass it on if able.  It feels good to help people.  I can give back knowing that person is going to feel the same way I did.” 

Torah Silvera

Torah Silvera found herself at a crossroads.  Faced with the difficult decision to stay in Ohio for school or move to Missouri with her family, Torah was able to continue her education at Ohio State thanks to a scholarship from the LeFevre Foundation.  As a History major and African-American Studies minor, Torah splits her time between the Columbus and Newark campuses.

She recently traveled to New Orleans for the debut of a documentary on the Mardi Gras Indians.  Initially planned as a seven-week project, the impact of the documentary became larger than expected and took multiple years to complete.  Being part French-Creole, Torah enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the project and learn about the traditions of the Mardi Gras tribe.  The documentary aired on PBS in New Orleans and the participating students presented their work at a research conference hosted by the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History.

After taking a class on immigration, Torah discovered her passion for minority issues.  She plans on becoming a college history professor so she can help raise student and community awareness.  Torah can’t express enough how grateful she is to be a scholarship recipient, as it has enabled her to participate in projects that directly relate to her future aspirations.  She hopes to one day return the favor to future students and set them up for success as others have done for her.

Kelsy Wickline

Kelsey Wickline is a Newark High School graduate in her freshmen year at The Ohio State University at Newark.  Initially, Kelsey planned to pursue higher education away from home.  That was until she met A Call to College representative Brett Underhill.  

A Call to College leads the way in advising students through the college process.  Because of the exemplary partnership between A Call to College and the Newark Campus, Mr. Underhill was able to introduce Kelsey to a financially accessible institution that would greatly reduce the college debt for her and her family.  In 2015, the average student loan debt was $30,100 according to the Project on Student Debt. 

In addition, Kelsey was awarded the J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese Next Generation Challenge Scholarship which would further ease the financial burden.  She is the first in her family to attend college and is happy to be able to stay connected to family life while pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. 

Amanda Hite

Don’t ever tell Amanda Hite that you were too busy to get something done.  As a mother of four boys ranging from several months to nine years old, she works full-time as a flight paramedic and helps run her family’s forty-acre farm while progressing towards her nursing degree at Central Ohio Technical College.  After graduating, Amanda will take part in a preceptorship program.  This opportunity is awarded to the top ten percent of nursing students and provides hands-on hospital training and experience.

Amanda’s career of helping others started in 2001, when she earned her Paramedic certification and began working for her local fire department.  In 2006, she received her Associate’s degree in EMS/Fire Science from Columbus State Community College and was also certified as a Paramedic instructor. 

For the last three years she has been working as a flight paramedic for MedFlight.  Stationed in Zanesville, Amanda works thirty-six hours each week, including a twenty-four hour shift.  She must be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice during these long shifts, as the helicopter crew has just ten minutes to prepare for takeoff.  Amanda and her crew are capable of providing assistance throughout the entire state, but are tasked with flying into the unknown as they don’t receive information on their assignment until they are airborne.  While some may find a twenty-four hour shift to be difficult, Amanda says the break between calls gives her more time to study than the demands of keeping track of her four boys.

Amanda’s service to the community is an inspiration to all, and her educational achievements prove that being busy is no excuse.  While her official title will change from flight paramedic to nurse, the only difference is Amanda will be saving lives on the ground instead of hundreds of feet in the air.