Mayor's Scholarship Program Equals Ca$h for College
Early in 2009, Mayor William J. Healy decided to take a gamble with a concept, one staff member and no budget. The Mayor’s Scholarship was born, and by 2010, the program had twelve participating colleges and universities, 110 applicants, and the first class of Mayor’s Scholarship recipients.
Over the past two years, Mayor Healy has traveled across the state of Ohio to recruit new colleges and universities to participate in the program, which asks each institution to provide scholarship dollars available only to students living in the City of Canton. While the first year has been a learning process for everyone involved in the process, the Mayor’s goal of providing scholarship money for every student attending public schools in the City of Canton is becoming closer to a reality.
“We are truly overwhelmed by the response to this program,” said Mayor Healy. “The support from each institution demonstrates their commitment to providing educational opportunities to students who may not otherwise have believed they could afford college.”
Twelve students have received scholarships so far. These students have just completed their first semester at their respective college. Scholarships for the first class range from $1,000 to $8,500 annually and are guaranteed for the length of each student’s college career as long as they continue to meet the school’s academic standards. Current recipients are enrolled at Malone University, Kent State University – Stark Campus, Mount Union University, and Bowling Green State University.
While the Mayor continues to pursue new institutions, his administration is also focused on assuring that every student is aware of the program. In September, a Scholarship Fair was hosted by Malone University to allow Canton students to meet with each of the participating institutions and learn more about their programs and scholarship opportunities.
Approximately 200 students and parents were in attendance, and each of the college representatives were thrilled with the turnout and student interaction.
"The sight of parents, students, and college and university representatives discussing the future educational needs of Canton's students was tremendous,” said Brock Schroeder, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Malone University. “I am thankful for the initiative that Mayor Healy has made to foster a culture of education in our community. On behalf of Malone University, I can say that we were proud to host this great event for our community, and are looking forward to future events such as this."
Making students aware of the program continues to be a main focus for the administration, and the application process is constantly being reviewed to make the program more accessible and efficient for students, parents and participating institutions.
Scholarship recipients are not forgotten after they begin their college careers. In December, all of the recipients, college representatives and high school counselors were invited to a special luncheon at Pete’s Grill and Pizza. At the luncheon, the students were congratulated by the Mayor for their success.
He also informed them of additional opportunities that are now available to them as Mayor’s Scholarship Program recipients. In addition to maintaining communication with each recipient and inviting them to city functions, the city provides internship opportunities for each student in one of the city’s many diverse departments that offer experience in several fields.
“We want to let these students know that we will not forget about them just because they are away at school. In return, we want them to remember Canton when they think about where they want to apply their education when they enter the workforce,” said the Mayor. “To accomplish this, we want to provide opportunities for them while they are in college, so they know that Canton is a viable place to live, work, and raise a family.”
To learn more about the Mayor’s Scholarship Program, participating institutions and application criteria, please visit our website at www.cantonohio.gov/mayor or call the Mayor’s Office at (330) 438-4307.