TFBT awards Last Dollar grants

TROY — On Wednesday, Aug. 5, a day-long Last Dollar Grant pick-up award ceremony was held outside of The Future Begins Today (TFBT) office in Troy. Twenty-nine students who reside in the Troy School district, whether graduates of Troy High School or Troy Christian High School, brought their special guests and were individually recognized for receiving a Last Dollar Grant to support their higher education training or college. There were $41,250 in Last Dollar Grants awarded.

Additionally, 10 individuals or companies have now established named scholarships that were awarded above and beyond students’ Last Dollar Grant in the amount of $5,250. Two new named awards were established in 2020. The one-time Kurtis Johnson Award ($750) is in honor of The Future Begins Today Club alumnus and previous Last Dollar Grant recipient, Kurtis Johnson, for his long-time commitment and passion to the organization and the Troy students it serves. The Kurtis Johnson Award recognizes a Troy student who has exemplified civic responsibility or leadership. The first recipient was Kane Feltner. The annual Mayor Mike & Ginny Beamish Award ($500) is in recognition of the couple’s 60-plus years of collective work in the field of education, their continued passion for civic responsibility, and their commitment to the academic support programming that TFBT provides Troy’s youth. The Mayor Mike & Ginny Beamish Award recognizes a Troy student who has a goal to benefit his or her community and who has displayed tremendous hard work thus far, despite possible obstacles or challenges. The first recipient was Asanti Carey. The other special scholarships include the Harold M. Harris Memorial Award, Dunham Lawn Care Educational Award, Betty Cole Clark Memorial Award, two Jill Wilson Awards, Bill & Carla Lohrer Leadership, Al Mayer Memorial Award and Alan Zunke Award.

TFBT Tuition Match Program at Edison State Community College was presented for the third year by TFBT and Edison State’s Chris Spradlin, provost, and Bruce McKenzie, Executive Director of Marketing. There were two TFBT Tuition Matches at Edison awarded for 2020. Brooklyn Grove received a $1,250 Last Dollar Grant from TFBT and a match from Edison State to support her last semester toward her degree. Edison State also matched Codi Meade’s $2,500 Last Dollar Grant. Both students have been TFBT Club students since the fourth grade in Troy City Schools.

Last Dollar Grant Awards program began in the year 2000, and TFBT has since granted $780,000 to more than 300 Troy students, furthering their education at accredited institutions of training or college. Patricia Robinson had the vision 20 years ago to bring an organization to Troy similar to that of “I Know I Can” in Columbus. With support from educators and philanthropists, her vision developed into “The Future Begins Today” non-profit organization, now reaching more than 1,200 Troy students each school year through youth academic support programming, mentoring programs, trade school and college introductions, higher education scholarship opportunities and more. In addition to grade point average checks, and retaining a full-time student status, it is also required that Last Dollar Grant students serve the Troy community for minimum hours each grant year, which collectively have now surpassed 11,000 hours since the program’s inception. This program is unique because Troy students may apply and receive up to four years of awards within five years of high school graduation. Students who were members of TFBT Club in their youth receive first access to Last Dollar Grant scholarships, additional funds are allocated to additional eligible Troy candidates. For more information about how to apply for a Last Dollar Grant, call (937) 332-0467 in late April when new applications will become available.

Strawberry “Sweet Heat” Salsa Sales’ profits directly benefit the Last Dollar Grant program. Salsa can typically be found at the Troy Strawberry Festival. When in stock, Strawberry Salsa can also be found at Winans in downtown Troy, Fulton Farms, Haren’s Market and Bakehouse Bread Co., Be You Boutique and Provisions-co.com.The Robinson Fund and The Acorn Society of Troy have also traditionally provided a foundation for the Last Dollar Grant program to excel and impact even more Troy students. Loyal and major supporters of the organization’s several other programs have included Dan and Carole Kerber, Larry and June Crawford, The Troy Foundation, Paul G. Duke Foundation, United Way of Miami County and Miami County Foundation amongst others. Loyal and major supporters of the organization’s several other programs have included Dan and Carole Kerber, Larry and June Crawford, The Troy Foundation, Paul G. Duke Foundation, United Way of Miami County and Miami County Foundation amongst others.

TFBT 2020-2021 Scholarship Committee: Paul Delwiche, scholarship committee chair; Alan Zunke, co-founder of TFBT; Carol Baer, trustee; Dr. Michael Moore, trustee; and Natalie Rohlfs, executive director of TFBT.

Others in attendance at times during the day-long celebration included: Mayor Robin Oda; Chris Piper, superintendent Troy City Schools; Chris Spradlin, provost at Edison State Community College; Bruce McKenzie, executive director of Marketing at Edison State Community College; Troy School Board of Education office representatives; Gary Stanley, chair of TFBT; Ann Frigge, administrative assistant of TFBT; and the TFBT Board of Trustees.

The Future Begins Today (TFBT) provides nurturing, mentoring and scholarship programs for Troy students.

Michala Andrade — Bowling Green State University, Troy High School

Asanti Carey — University of Kentucky, Troy High School, Mayor Mike & Ginny Beamish Award

Emily Clawson — Bluffton University, Troy High School

Meredith Covault — The Ohio State University, Troy High School, Harold M. Harris Memorial Award

Ally Decker — University of Findlay, Troy High School

Mikayla Dixon, University of Cincinnati, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Kane Feltner — Ohio University, Troy High School, Kurtis Johnson Award

TFBT Club member Randi Frazier — Wright State University, Troy High School, Dunham Lawn Care Educational Award

TFBT Club member Brooklyn Grove, Edison State Community College, Troy High School, TFBT tuition match at Edison State

Grace Hartman — Bowling Green State University, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Kailyn Hatfield, University of Cincinnati, Troy High School, Betty Cole Clark Memorial Award

Lauren Heckman, Bowling Green State University, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Alaura Holycross — Tiffin University, Troy High School, Jill Wilson Award

Brooke Klopfenstein — Ohio University, Troy High School

Madelynn Long — University of Cincinnati, Troy High School

Megan Malott — The Ohio State University, Troy High School

Carlene McGuirk — Wright State University, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Codi Meade — Edison State Community College, Troy High School, TFBT tuition match at Edison State

Katelyn Overla — Kent State University, Troy High School

Katie Robinson — University of Cincinnati, Troy High School

Molly Sanders — Ohio University, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Amanda Setser — Bluffton University, Troy High School, Jill Wilson Award

Jonathan Slone — Trine University, Troy Christian High School, Bill & Carla Lohrer Leadership Award

TFBT Club member Victoria Solomon — Wright State University, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Cynthia Stanley — The Ohio State University, Troy High School

Megan Studebaker — Waynesburg University, Troy High School, Al Mayer Memorial Award

Jacob Sweeney — Shawnee State University, Troy High School

TFBT Club member Grace Walling — Brigham Young University, Troy High School, Alan Zunke Award

Krista Wells — Cedarville University, Troy Christian High School.