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If you’re the parent of a college-bound student or a college-bound student yourself, you are more than likely feeling overwhelmed by the college application process and even more so by the costs that are adding up. To help offset some of these expenses the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) offers several scholarship opportunities for area students.
“Not only are students and parents worried about tuition and fees, but they are also concerned about costs for books, housing, transportation, and much more,” said Rachel Brezler, PACF’s Regional Scholarships Officer. “We’re here to help parents and students easily navigate through the scholarship process and provide meaningful financial assistance to help pay for college.”
Brezler believes that the scholarship funds managed by the PACF are extremely helpful for students working to achieve their academic goals. “Scholarship awards are directed straight to the college/university and are directly applied to the student’s account,” said Brezler. “This approach minimizes administrative details for students and eases financial worries. We’ve had several recipients comment that the scholarships they received truly helped them focus more on their studies.”
The PACF manages more than 160 endowed scholarship funds, established by forward-thinking citizens, to support students in its 11-county service area. An endowed scholarship fund with the PACF is a permanent fund in which the principal always remains intact and invested, forever. Annually, scholarships are awarded from a portion of the income earned on the fund’s earnings. Each scholarship fund at the Foundation has different eligibility requirements. Many awards are restricted to students graduating from certain high schools, pursuing select fields of study, or attending specific institutions. While most existing scholarships are limited to students who are graduating high school seniors, there are a few available for students whose undergraduate degree program is already underway, who are pursuing graduate level education, or who are “non-traditional” students.
The average cost of college, both public and private, keeps increasing at a slow and steady pace each year. According to a recent U.S. News and Report article, the average 2018-2019 cost for public, in-state schooling is more than $9,000; public, out-of-state is more than $21,000; and private colleges and universities is more than $35,000.
Last year, the PACF awarded 266 scholarships, totaling more than $331,000, to support area students pursuing post-secondary education. Currently, the PACF is reviewing applications for its spring 2019 awards.
As the cost for post-secondary education continues to rise, the PACF encourages individuals concerned about the academic future of our region’s young people to consider partnering with Foundation. Individuals can volunteer on the PACF’s Scholarship Fund Committee, donate to build a current scholarships fund, or partner with the Foundation to create a new scholarship fund. Together we can make a meaningful difference for our community’s next generation.
Contact the PACF today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-428-4438 for more information.
Born in 1886 in Doddridge County, Walter Blaine Swentzel was a teacher by profession, and after a long career in the classroom, retired as the last Doddridge County, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools to be elected by the voters of the county. Mr. Swentzel passed away in 1968 at the age of 81.
In 1983, two of Walter B. Swentzel’s children, June Swentzel Stout and Kipling Clark Swentzel, met with representatives of two banks, Cornerstone Bank (formerly First National Bank of West Union) and West Union Bank, and the administration of the Doddridge County High School with the goal of honoring their father’s memory by creating a scholarship in his name to support students excelling academically who wished to pursue post-secondary education. Their initial contributions to establish the scholarship were met with community support and the first Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship award was made in 1984.
A nonprofit organization, the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc. was formed by and led by a group of local citizens. Between 1984 and 2018, the Swentzel Scholarship produced nearly $190,000 in awards. To ensure the perpetual existence of the scholarship and to provide support for its selection process, the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc.’s Board of Directors recently partnered with the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), a regional affiliate of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF).
“The Foundation has more than fifty-five years of history and a long-standing positive reputation of professionally managing charitable funds, including scholarships,” said Josh Weekley, Treasurer of Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, Inc. “They already manage many scholarships for our local students -- including the Janice Michels Scholarship and the Cathy McClain Nursing Scholarship -- and they have the administrative and investment resources to ensure that the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship will continue to provide meaningful, renewable scholarships for students graduating from Doddridge County High School forever.”
The Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship, now administered by the Doddridge County Community Foundation (DCCF), is currently open to applications. Graduating seniors from Doddridge County High School are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s website, www.pacfwv.com/scholarships, and complete the Consolidated Scholarship Application to apply to this fund and more than 160 other scholarship funds administered by the Foundation. The application deadline is March 1, 2019. An additional benefit of completing the Foundation’s Consolidated Scholarship Application is that students need only complete one form to be eligible for many different awards within the Foundation.
“We are very honored to manage this significant scholarship fund that has already made a meaningful impact for 167 Doddridge County High School students. We greatly appreciate the trust that the Swentzel Scholarship Board has shown in DCCF with its partnership,” said Julie Posey, DCCF’s Development and Communications Officer. “We look forward to continuing to engage with local citizens to annually award this scholarship and to share and highlight Mr. Swentzel’s legacy of commitment to education.”
Individuals who wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship may send a check (made payable to “PACF” with the fund name in the memo line) to: PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102. To learn more about the Walter B. Swentzel Scholarship or to make an online donation, please visit www.pacfwv.com/Swentzel.
Picture Caption: Walter Swentzel and his wife, Lovie, during their 50th wedding anniversary in 1959.
The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) is excited to launch its 2016 Scholarship Application! The Foundation administers more than 175 scholarship funds for the benefit of students in its 11-county service area (Calhoun, Gilmer, Doddridge, Roane, Wirt, Wood, Ritchie, Jackson, Mason, and Pleasants Counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio).
Through the Foundation’s online scholarship application, students are given the opportunity to apply for multiple scholarships through one easy application. To apply, students must visit www.pacfwv.com/scholarships to review the full list of available scholarships and their eligibility criteria. Students must then proceed to the online application form available at www.pacfwv.com/applications-forms. This application must be completed and submitted online by midnight on March 3, 2016.
During the PACF’s 2015 scholarship application process, the Foundation awarded 308 scholarships totaling over $320,000 to our region’s students. These awards were made possible by many generous donors who established scholarship funds with the Foundation to help our local students fulfill their educational goals. Each year, more than 215 community volunteers residing throughout the PACF’s service area assist the Foundation in reviewing the submitted scholarship applications.
“With hundreds of applications, we are very grateful for the volunteer support that we receive each scholarship season,” said PACF’s Regional Scholarship Coordinator, Rachel Brezler. “It is awe-inspiring to work with donors who are passionate about our region's next generation and helping them achieve their post-secondary education goals.”
To learn more about the 2016 scholarship application process, please contact the Foundation office by calling 304.428.4438 or by emailing email@example.com.
The Doug McLain Memorial Scholarship Fund was recently created at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) to forever honor the late Douglas E. McLain. McLain was a well-loved Parkersburg native, devout Christian, Air Force veteran, and retired police officer. Above all, he was a dedicated husband, father, and Papaw. McLain unexpectedly passed away on June 24, 2017. Hundreds of friends, family members, and local citizens attended his memorial service to say goodbye to a dedicated local citizen and hardworking public servant.
“Doug McLain was well known as a true servant leader and a man of high integrity,” said the PACF’s Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt. “He lived his life as an example for others. Doug's contributions to public safety and the shaping of young lives through his work as the first Prevention Resource Officer in Wood County, assigned to Parkersburg High School, will be forever remembered with gratitude through this new scholarship. We encourage gifts to help build this memorial for Doug.”
McLain retired after forty-one years of honorable service from the Parkersburg Police Department in 2016. For four decades, while serving on the police force, he was also an EMT for the St. Joseph Ambulance Service. The new scholarship fund, established by McLain’s family and friends, is designed to continue his caring legacy and honor his dedicated service to the Parkersburg region.
The Doug McLain Memorial Scholarship Fund will award annually one scholarship to a graduating senior from either Parkersburg Catholic High School, Parkersburg High School, or Parkersburg South High School who plans to pursue a public service field of study. The fund will make its first scholarship award in spring 2018.
Persons who wish to help honor Doug McLain are encouraged to make a charitable gift to the Doug McLain Memorial Scholarship Fund by mailing a check (payable to “PACF” with the fund name on the memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101-1762, or by donating online here. Other forms of donations may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304.428.4438.
Dennis O’Callaghan of Lowell, Ohio passed away August 2016 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of immigrant parents, O’Callaghan had a very high regard for hard work and entrepreneurial efforts. He was the progenitor of several business endeavors during his lifetime, beginning in his teens. In 1991, he started Gaskets, Packings and Seals in Parkersburg with his business partner, Tom Houck, serving the needs of local chemical and power plants. The business started as a very small company with only a few employees, but by the time of his death, Gaskets, Packings and Seals was a thriving enterprise with more than a dozen employees. O’Callaghan believed in rewarding hard work and was dedicated to his team of employees.
“Dennis was also a wonderful husband, father, son, and brother,” said his wife, Tammy O’Callaghan “He had tough standards for those who worked for him and for those who lived with him, but his great love and loyalty to both made everyone want to live up to his high standards.”
To forever honor O’Callaghan’s entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, his family established the Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF). This fund is designed to forever provide scholarship support to graduating senior students residing in Washington County, Ohio or Wood County, West Virginia. Recipients of this scholarship shall be selected on the basis of character, academic performance, work ethic, and community involvement. Preference shall be given to a qualified homeschool student. If there is not a qualified homeschool student, then a graduating high school senior with a grade point average between 3.0-3.5 on a 4.0 scale shall be considered.
The Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship will help support the region’s youth forever and continue to honor an influential local entrepreneur. Persons who wish to help honor Dennis O’Callaghan are encouraged to make a charitable gift to the Dennis M. O’Callaghan Memorial Scholarship by mailing a check (payable to the PACF with fund name on memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26101-1762, or donate online here. Other forms of donations may be made by calling the Foundation’s office at 304.428.4438.
Several local funding organizations and community agencies are teaming up to provide assistance to individuals facing financial hardships due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will help impacted individuals pay one month’s rent or mortgage costs. In special circumstances, some aid may be supplied toward utility costs. Individuals seeking support should call 211 to begin the intake and application process.
To be eligible for assistance, individuals must demonstrate that their need is related to:
The program is open to individuals whose income is at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines and who reside in the following counties:
For residents of Washington County, OH, support is limited to individuals in in the food service and/or hair dresser/spa/salon industries. For all other counties, individuals from any profession facing COVID 19 impact may be supported.
Initial funding for the program is being provided by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation through its Safety Net Fund and the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley through its COVID-19 Response Fund. Additional funding is expected in the coming weeks from other area funding sources.
“Our United Way (UW) is thrilled to be able to work together with such strong community partners to address these critical needs in the community,” said UW Executive Director Stacy Decicco. “We are proud of the collaboration that has been formed and we recognize the impact that it will certainly make for those who are facing hardship and challenge in our community as a result of COVID-19.”
“This program represents a unique partnership between local funding agencies and local service providers,” said Marian Clowes, PACF Associate Director for Community Leadership. “By joining together, we are able to do so much more than we could on our own. Together, we will deliver needed support to individuals facing hardship at this critical time.”
The program will be administered through a partnership with Community Resources, Inc. and Consumer Credit Counseling Services. Future collaboration also is planned with the City of Parkersburg’s Family Relief Program.
“Community Resources, Inc. is proud to be a part of this community collaboration and administer the Financial Hardship Assistance Program, which will provide critical support to ensure residents in our communities can stay housed,” said Michelle Barber, Executive Director/CEO of Community Resources, Inc.
By combining the expertise of Community Resources and Consumer Credit Counseling Services, individuals in need can benefit not only from financial assistance but also from counseling. “Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley (CCCS) is pleased to partner with these sincerely dedicated community partners to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shelene Shrewsbury, Executive Director of CCCS. “Our certified and experienced financial counselors will assist those who have been affected by helping them create a workable spending plan so that their budget is kept intact. We are fortunate to be a part of this collaborative endeavor while we continue our mission of encouraging financial freedom.”
During the week of November 12-18, 2018, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) will join more than 800 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. For nearly 30 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
Community Foundation Week, created in 1989 by former president George H. W. Bush, recognizes the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.
“Community foundations impact lives, solve problems, and improve futures,” said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director. “As many residents grapple with limited resources and a growing need for services, we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems here in the Mid-Ohio Valley region.”
Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits, agencies, churches, civic groups, etc. that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. The local PACF works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or nonprofit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our region.
The PACF currently manages more than 350 charitable funds with nearly $43 million in assets and works in partnership with its local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area. Last year, the PACF awarded $2.3 million in grants and scholarships for the benefit of that service area. Since 1963, the PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.
Sjostedt noted, “These grants and scholarships are made possible by individuals living right here in our communities. This week and every day, the PACF celebrates the generosity of local people and the impact that their giving has on improving our Mid-Ohio Valley area’s quality of life. With the year-end fast approaching, it’s a tremendous time for citizens to make an investment to advance their communities by supporting their local community foundation.”
To learn more about the PACF visit its website or stop by its office at 1620 Park Avenue in Parkersburg during regular business hours.
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