JUNE 17, 2009

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OSU-OKC to Guarantee Education for Students Who Stay in School

Photo of OSU-OKC's Jay Kinzer and fifth-grade students at Westwood Elementary School.
OSU-Oklahoma City provided a chance of a lifetime to fifth-graders at Westwood Elementary School by awarding a supplemental scholarship to attend OSU-OKC, covering tuition, fees and books. Thirty students received the scholarship at the Fifth-Grade Promotion Ceremony held June 2. Students were joined by family and friends at Exchange Avenue Baptist Church for an ‘academic signing’ with Dr. Jay Kinzer, OSU-OKC vice president of Student Services. Each fifth-grader signed a letter of intent to stay in school through high school, which qualifies them for the scholarship to attend OSU-OKC.

OSU-Oklahoma City is providing a chance of a lifetime to fifth-graders at Westwood Elementary School by awarding a supplemental scholarship to attend OSU-OKC, covering tuition, fees and books. Thirty-one students received the scholarship at a ceremony recently at Exchange Avenue Baptist Church, Oklahoma City.

Educating predominantly Hispanic students, Westwood Elementary will see approximately 40 percent of their students drop out before completing high school and only 13 percent attend college. OSU-OKC would like to see an increase in high school graduation and continuing education, which is why the university plans to provide Westwood students this unique opportunity– free education.

“OSU-OKC has supported Westwood since I came here five years ago; they have provided volunteers, tutors, resources, work studies and students,” said Dr. G. Jan Borelli, Westwood Elementary principal. “Even [OSU-OKC President] Dr. Jerry Carroll and [OSU-OKC Vice President of Academic Affairs] Dr. Larry Edwards came out and worked with students – it’s a full university thing.”

OSU-OKC will continue communication with the students throughout their educational journey to college by sending them birthday and holiday cards. Once students enter eighth grade, OSU-OKC will host seminars and classes for students and their parents. Events will range from OHLAP and FASFA workshops to general college information.

To receive the scholarship, students are required to graduate from an Oklahoma City public high school and apply for OHLAP and FASFA. Whether or not they qualify for financial aid, they will be able to obtain the scholarship.

“OSU-OKC is going to give them an opportunity for a great future,” Dr. Borelli said. “The scholarships are a continuation of generosity.”

Last year, the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation honored OSU-OKC with the Perfect Partner Award for their efforts with Westwood, which is a huge recognition for such a partnership, Dr. Borelli says. OSU-OKC plans to collaborate with Westwood on the scholarship project for at least three years. The university’s goal is to send 100 students to OSU-OKC for free.

For more Westwood scholarship information, contact Janet Stricklin at (405) 945-3240.