Students at EGCC say thanks

STEUBENVILLE -Anna Cain is living a lifelong dream at Eastern Gateway Community College she never thought would happen thanks to a scholarship.

“I am the 11th of 13 children, the mother of six kids and after my husband got sick I decided I wanted to go back to school, but I never thought I could go to college. Because of the EGCC Foundation and the scholarships you provide I will now be able to graduate in May 2014 with a degree in radiology. I will not disappoint you. I will earn my degree in radiology and help my community,” Cain told EGCC faculty and members of the EGCC Foundation during the first Scholars Honors breakfast Friday.

“I am not a traditional student. I am 50 years old, a disabled military veteran and I had to overcome obstacles I had set for myself. I had to settle financial issues as well. But thanks to my teachers, my counselors and a scholarship through the Foundation, I was able to excel here at EGCC. Because of your helping hand I will graduate in May and can then give a hand to other people,” related Lisa Thomas.

Sydney Parks said the scholarship she received allowed her to take “that first step toward a college degree. I just want to thank you so much for making this happen for me.”

The three EGCC students were among 15 scholarship recipients who joined several Foundation members and financial donors to the Foundation who listened to the stories Friday morning in the Founders Hall.

“This is what we stand for. This is our mission,” stated EGCC Director of Development John O’Brien.

“We are currently working on updating the EGCC Foundation website that will share the stories of our Foundation donors. The college appreciates those who are very instrumental in all of this because your participation helps people attend EGCC and improves our community,” added O’Brien.

The attendees also heard about Steven Strupe, an EGCC student who died in 2005 in a motorcycle accident.

Ken Perkins of Tri-State Financial helped Ed Strupe set up a scholarship in his son’s name to assist future EGCC students.

“A.B.A.T.E. of Ohio helps organize a motorcycle poker run every year to raise money for the Strupe scholarship and the Strupe family gives a matching grant every year. During the past eight years we have raised $65,000 for the scholarship and we will continue raising money to help a student attend EGCC,” Perkins explained.

According to former college President Ed Florak who is a member of the Foundation, “This institution means a lot to the community. We are at a point now where we have a great opportunity with the oil and gas industry. This institution is poised to serve the oil and gas energy and to help move our community forward.”

And EGCC President Laura Meeks noted the newest scholarship donor to the Foundation is the Hess Corp., which shows their commitment to our community and our college.

O’Brien said the Scholars Honors breakfast will be an annual event in the future.

“I was very pleased with our first breakfast. We had a good showing of our scholars and our Foundation members. And this will help us grow our Foundation and Eastern Gateway Community College,” said Foundation President Scott Campbell.