MARIETTA, OHIO (March 15, 2018)--In a quiet unassuming office suite, the Washington State Community College (WSCC) Foundation, with help from its loyal donors, has established itself as an important member of the College’s student success-focused team.
Students typically find their way to the Foundation when times get really tough. For many, it may be their last hope as the Foundation often provides an important bridge between today’s crisis and the successful completion of a degree.
The bridge to success is sometimes paved with gas cards to help with commuting costs, the first payment on a tuition payment plan, a grant to help purchase textbooks or even assistance with child care expenses. Whatever the crisis, the Foundation, together with its loyal donors and dedicated WSCC staff, do all they can to make success possible.
Case in point, Jacob Krantz.
Last fall, Jacob was an out-of-state student trying to figure out how he was going to afford to make his dream of working in sports broadcasting a reality. Now 23, Jacob has been living on his own since he was 18 in Tullahoma, TN. For months, he couch-surfed with friends or slept in his car, until he was finally approved for government-funded housing. That small hand-up gave him some stability and soon he landed a job at one of the local automotive parts factories.
For 3 ½ years, Jacob struggled to find steady employment. He worked the factory circuit– until one day he decided he was tired of his situation and began to question “What’s my purpose? What am I doing?” He realized if he wanted to break the cycle of entry-level factory jobs, he needed a degree.
His first decision was where he would go to school. He immediately ruled out enrolling in college in his home state because he knew “if school got too hard, it would be too easy to fall back into the factory routine,” he admitted. His new life would need to happen in a new location. So he packed his belongings and headed toward his aunt’s home in Coolville, Ohio.
After enrolling at Washington State, Jacob thought his academic ambitions had come to an impasse when he was told he didn’t qualify for financial aid. He wasn’t sure where to turn, but he was certain he wasn’t going to give up.
His next stop was the WSCC Business Office to set up a payment plan for his tuition. During that visit, he mentioned his plight to the cashier who pointed him down the hall to the Foundation.
“Jacob arrived at the Foundation like many students, the last stop, looking for a solution to keep his academic dreams alive,” said Foundation Director Anna Rittenhouse. And that’s exactly what the Foundation did. After filling out an application, Jacob was awarded a grant from the Student Emergency Fund which paid his first tuition payment and bought his textbooks.
However, as the Foundation helped him resolve his immediate crisis, it was quickly realized that Jacob would most benefit from a re-evaluation of his financial aid application. Ultimately, that audit resulted in the determination that he needed to re-apply under a different status. This change resulted in Jacob being eligible for additional financial aid, and together with a part-time job, made it possible for him stay enrolled and pursue his education.
“Every circumstance is different, but Jacob’s case is a great example of the staff here at WSCC working together for the common good of a student’s success,” explained Rittenhouse. “None of which would have been possible without the generous financial support of our community.”
“Every day, there is an opportunity for donors to have a profound impact on the lives of our students,” Rittenhouse continued. “Each student has a unique journey, and crisis, be it big or small, can de-rail their education and change their futures. When you make a gift to the WSCC Foundation, you remove barriers and make brighter futures possible for our students, their families and our community.”
The Foundation recently launched its 2018 Annual Campaign, “Making it Possible.” You can make it possible for WSCC students to meet their academic and career goals by supporting the Foundation in any number of ways. Visit online at www.wscc.edu/community/foundation/ or contact the Director of the Foundation, Anna Rittenhouse, at 740-568-1940.
For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.