See the impact a scholarship can have

Scholarships are a lifeline. Financial assistance is crucial to students’ success, empowering them to focus on their studies, pursue internships and volunteer in our communities to become tomorrow’s leaders. These Buckeyes share their stories.

You never really know what else that student you are supporting is going through, and you can be the reason they are able to graduate and make a huge contribution to society. - Emmanuel Adu ’21, College of Engineering

Photo of Emmanuel AduWhen I was a child, my family and I moved to Westerville, Ohio, from Nigeria. Even before I arrived in the United States, I was obsessed with astronauts and had always dreamed of studying engineering. That passion continued during high school and throughout college.

Scholarship support enabled me to continue my studies, even though I had run out of other financial aid and thought I would have to drop out. Not only that, but because I no longer had to work two to three jobs while attending school, I was able to significantly boost my GPA.

Graduation feels like an amazing accomplishment following my difficult, six-year journey through college. After high school, I suffered a concussion, which led to severe amnesia. Although I had already been accepted into Ohio State, I had to take remedial courses at a community college to relearn basic concepts.

The past year has been extra tough for me. I lost two close family members to COVID-19.

My financial situation worsened, and for a while I wasn’t sure how I would be able to graduate. But with understanding and encouragement from faculty and staff at the College of Engineering — and the support I received from donors like you — I am ready to begin the next chapter of my life.

Because of giving individuals like you, who contribute to scholarship support and student emergency assistance, I’m going to make an impact as a teacher in the Mansfield area. - Joshua Davis ’21, Ohio State Mansfield

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My Ohio State journey started years ago, right out of high school when I was not quite ready for college. I dropped out of Ohio State Mansfield and entered the hotel industry, climbing the ladder over the next decade. But I felt like I wasn’t making a difference.

When I was approached by Mansfield’s Little Buckeye Children’s Museum to co-create and sponsor an exhibit about what it’s like to run a hotel, I began to realize that I love helping young people learn. I put in my two weeks’ notice and started full time at Ohio State Mansfield again, as an early childhood education major. Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.

Going back to school was a big leap of faith for my wife and me. We have six children, and I would have to go at it full force to do something more for my family and community. I became a Buckeye Ambassador, giving tours of campus and helping with new student orientation, and I was even chosen as one of the five campus Sesquicentennial Scholars. I wanted to give my all to my education.

Our finances became much more challenging when we experienced some unexpected setbacks. I injured my back and needed crutches. I was also in an accident, and my car was damaged in the process. Then our basement flooded — as they say, bad luck comes in threes!

Just when I was afraid I was going to have to quit school, our Ohio State family took care of us. After getting a call about emergency funding for students, I applied, and we received the support to get us through. We were able to repair our car and get the basement cleaned out.

Please know that I am going to pay forward your generosity and hopefully inspire my students to go to college like I did. I can invest in their futures because you invested in mine.

Thanks to donors like you, Fisher has the resources to build a repertoire of programs for students to explore and identify their most meaningful path toward a future in business. - Grace Figliomeni, BSBA ’21

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I have a strong history of volunteerism and I believe firmly in the value of a vibrant, locally owned business community. That is why when I arrived at Fisher College of Business I planned to major in finance, be active in my community and eventually own a small business.

Fisher not only provided access to experiences I never dreamed possible and set the stage for a career I didn’t even know existed — social enterprise. I had no idea I could combine a for-profit business model to support the mission of a nonprofit. I quickly changed my major to operations management and added a minor in nonprofit management.

I’m one of the lucky ones. Despite the pandemic, financial support from donors like you afforded me the opportunity to accept an unpaid internship with a social enterprise in Columbus called Freedom a la Cart. This organization works with survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation to build new lives and self-sufficiency as they reintegrate into the community. I have proudly received my diploma and I will join the team full time as their community outreach coordinator.

That’s the beautiful thing about your generosity — it opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities — not just for me, but for the lives of the survivors I will help in my new career. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for donors like you — thanks to you, I’m a Buckeye for life!

Because of you and the opportunities I’ve had at Ohio State, my life has changed in ways I could never have imagined. - Jesse McAndrew ’21, Ohio State Newark

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I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and lived there until my dad took a job at Ohio State’s power plant. I always had a feeling this is where I wanted to go to college. Originally, I applied for the Columbus campus but was drawn to the Newark campus. Not only is the campus gorgeous, but I really hit it off with the faculty, all of whom were knowledgeable and helpful. They really encouraged me to grow as a person.

I have always been drawn to helping people, and Newark gave me opportunities to be there for students like me, a first-generation college student. I really wanted to be in a supportive role, which is why I’ve had so many positions working with my peers: office assistant, resident advisor, and tutor. I really enjoy knowing that I can go to work every day and assist others.

The scholarship support I received was tremendous. While the financial support was critical for me, I really loved the leadership development that was part of being a Sesquicentennial Scholar. The number one thing I have learned is that being a good leader requires patience, which will be invaluable to me in my career.

It was so exciting to celebrate commencement in Ohio Stadium. Because of physical distancing guidelines, only two of my family members could join me, but all the people who have supported me were there in spirit. My dream is to be able to give back one day by setting up scholarship funds like the ones that helped me graduate. Because of you and the opportunities I’ve had at Ohio State, my life has changed in ways I could never have imagined. Thanks to you, I’m a Buckeye for life.

Receiving the scholarship gave me the chance to reappraise my dreams for the future. The additional years of study allowed me to do work that was purposeful. - Demondre Peak, MSW ’21, College of Social Work

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I love being a Buckeye. From the first time I toured campus as an undergraduate, I felt a special spirit and sense of community at Ohio State.

I chose to study political science as an undergraduate because I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I interned with the Ohio Attorney General’s office and worked full time at the Moritz College of Law for a year after graduation.

That year gave me the chance to really think about my future and I realized practicing law wasn’t my purpose. I’ve always had a passion for helping people who are underrepresented because of religion, sexuality or race. That’s just who I am. The assistant dean at the law school, who became a friend and mentor, suggested the master’s in social work program. I looked into it and decided to apply for a scholarship.

The scholarship also motivated me to stay focused and finish. It’s a lot easier to pursue your dream when you have someone cheering you on.

The really special thing about Ohio State’s social work master’s program is its flexibility. I chose to follow the “macro” track that focuses on societal systems and policies. During graduate school, I interned with State Representative Brigid Kelly. She helped me understand how public office gives you the ability to make systemic changes through the legislative process.

My mentor at Moritz helped me find my current role with the consulting firm Korn Ferry where I am learning about social impact in the private sector. Eventually, I hope to return to Ohio and address social justice issues by holding public office.

The scholarship I received to attend graduate school, and the wonderful mentors who helped me throughout my education, reinforced the most valuable lesson I learned at Ohio State: the value of community and the importance of creating and sustaining sincere, authentic relationships.

I want to share my great appreciation for your support! It’s wonderful knowing that we have donors like you who are invested in what students are passionate about — in my case, increasing access to life-saving medications — and want to help us get through school. - Kendra Thomas ’17, ’21 PharmD

Photo of Kendra Thomas

Long before I entered college, I was interested in the sciences and math. For me, Ohio State was a great choice because, in addition to its highly ranked academic programs, it wasn’t too far from my hometown of Cincinnati. I also knew I would find numerous options to pursue a major that would suit my interests.

I chose the College of Pharmacy because of the wide range of career options available to graduates. And, because there’s so much variety within the field, I knew I would never get bored! After completing my Bachelor of Science, I continued my studies and have earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Scholarship support made a significant difference because it enabled me to embrace opportunities for involvement at Ohio State and pursue internships, all while reducing the amount of debt I incurred.

Throughout my studies, I was involved in several different student organizations, including serving as president of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. I also participated in international experiences. In Buckeyes Without Borders, I was part of an interdisciplinary team of pharmacy and medical students who provided patient care to people in Honduras.

One day, I hope to create solutions that ensure better access to the drugs that improve people’s lives. As I think about my future, I’m so excited to be able to help identify the barriers that patients have with obtaining medications.

My northward trajectory through Ohio has brought me to Cleveland, where I recently completed my seventh rotation at University Hospital. I’ve enjoyed getting to experience a new city, but I’m not going anywhere just yet. Next month, I will begin a two-year fellowship working in the marketing department of The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

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Thank you for your support during #OneBigWeek!

Thank you for your generosity during One Big Week. Together, our universities raised over $600,000 from more than 5,800 gifts to support our students. Your generosity will provide our students across our campuses with academic scholarships, health and wellness services, and food and housing, providing pathways to a college education for the next generation of leaders.