Sandusky County Blogs
SCPP 8th Annual High School Positive Living Award Breakfast
Publication Date : 05/22/2019 15:04:56
Author : Mandy Burris
Everyone has a story; a set of circumstances that has led them to be who they are today and to view the world in the way that they do. We all have faced some kind of hardship in our lifetime. Our hardships and circumstances have been made part of our personal story, but we tend to forget that others face hardships too. We tend to pass off other’s circumstances and ignore their troubles, because it’s hard for US to handle and acknowledge their circumstance and their pain. It makes US uncomfortable to hear the stories of others if it’s not all happy, but let’s face it…NO ONE’S story is all happy.
The Sandusky County Positive People (SCPP) is an organization that has an incredible mission. Their mission is “to encourage and support youth of our area to seek continuous positive improvement of self and community.” They serve these kids by empowering and acknowledging who they are. They listen to the kids’ stories and give them a voice in a positive environment, which allows them to move on through their pain and help them plan for their future. These scholarships not only give the kids who apply monetary help, but emotional support as well.
No one’s story is perfect, but these kids who apply for the SCPP scholarships have faced things most of us can only imagine. Each kid that applies for a scholarship from the SCPP has to not only write their personal story down in an essay, they also have to go through a personal interview and talk about their story with the deciding committee. These kids are incredibly brave. At the SCPP 8th Annual High School Positive Living Award Breakfast we heard excerpts from each finalist’s essay. (Each child along with their parents/guardians gave permission for their story to be shared.) The excerpts tell the attendees just a small portion of what each child has faced in their short life. These kids have faced things like domestic violence, eviction, homelessness and squatting, financial hardships, drugs, physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse, mental illness, divorce, death and being moved through the foster care system.
For all the things that have gone horribly wrong in their young lives, however, these kids have a positive attitude and a plan for the future. Each of the finalists desire to go to college to become people who will help others. It’s incredible to hear that their hearts haven’t been hardened against humanity; they see a need for helping others. They see a need for compassion and love. They see challenges and they’re facing them head on. I was personally super impressed by their attitudes and their bravery.
The SCPP saw a need in our community eight years ago and chose to confront what they saw. They saw kids that needed encouragement and mentorship and they dove in with both feet. The SCPP desires to be fully endowed to continue their scholarship program. Right now their goal stands at $750,000, and many private donors, companies and groups have made their scholarship program a possibility to this point through their donations. These kids couldn’t be more grateful for the funds that these donors make available to them! These funds are helping to change their lives.
Not only do these kids receive encouragement in the form of a scholarship, but they also receive mentorship and friendship for life from the SCPP group. The group provides each finalist and scholarship recipient with a mentor to answer questions and give encouragement and advice. Their mentors do not fill the role of a parent. The mentors are in the background as a cheerleader and a listening ear. The SCPP group as a whole sends the kids care packages, cards and gift cards while they are away at college as an extra encouragement to them.
The SCPP awarded a dozen scholarships this year, totaling $33,450. These awards were made possible by private citizens, large and small companies, and other service clubs and groups. To date the SCPP has awarded sixty-eight students with scholarships equaling $143,550. (You can see why it’s so important that they raise the funds for full endowment!) Certain colleges give scholarships in addition to what these kids receive from the SCPP group as well! Colleges mentioned were: Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio, Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio, University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, Terra State Community College in Fremont, Ohio, and the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. The SCPP also gives Spark Awards (to a student or students who seemed to “light up” the room during their interview), and also the Courage Award (to a student or students who demonstrates much bravery in coming forth to tell his/her story).
The finalists for scholarships were:
The awards given were as follows:
The SCPP committee also gave awards to four people who have positively impacted one or more of the students who applied for scholarships. These awards went to teachers, a brother and a girl friend’s mother. Following this was an update from three scholarship program alumni on how this program has positively affected their lives. One of them is moving soon to work for NASA, one of them is married with two children, and the other is graduating soon. They all encouraged the winners of the 2019 scholarships to never give up and that when SCPP says they support you, it’s for life. The three alumni are still in contact with their mentors and the group today.
The Sandusky County Positive People’s scholarship program grows more each year. When the program started in 2012 they only awarded to certain schools, but now scholarships are made available to any student living within Sandusky County. That means that homeschool, private school, and public school students all have an opportunity to apply for a scholarship through the SCPP. Forms are available on the SCPP website (https://www.scppohio.org/).
A very big “CONGRATULATIONS” to the 2019 scholarship winners. We cannot wait to see what you do next!