Scholarship and aid help Ramsey pave his road to success
March 17, 2017
Ohio State Marion freshman Trent Ramsey knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity. When he was just 10-years-old, his father suffered a heart attack, leaving his mother to raise him and his older brother on her own. Like many single parent households, Ramsey’s family did not have a lot of disposable income or any type of college savings plan. This did not stop him from pursuing his dreams.
Ramsey, who is currently majoring in mild-to-moderate special education at Ohio State, doesn’t want to be seen as a victim, but someone with a strong will to achieve and give back to the community, a community that his given him so much.
A 2016 graduate of Marion Harding High School, Ramsey was always involved. Whether it was football, tennis, show choir, wrestling, band, teen board, or student council, he took advantage of every opportunity life presented.
As a senior, he took part in the Marion Community Foundation's "Youth Engaged in Philanthropy" program which takes three representatives from each local high schools. The group met once a month to learn about local non-profit organizations and later awarded grant money from the local foundation to deserving non-profits.
The group donated to the Leapin Outreach Program and his work with the Marion Community Foundation left an indelible mark on Ramsey’s opinion about his hometown.
“You always hear bad news stories about Marion,” he said. “But there is some legitimate good going on in this town."
Ramsey explained that because of his guidance counselor and teachers at his school he was encouraged to apply for Marion Community Foundation scholarship's. Director of the Marion Community Foundation, Dean Jacob also inspired Ramsey by informing him about the various scholarships the foundation offered.
Ramsey believes his hard work in the classroom, his willingness to get involved in school, and his want to give back to the community is now at the core of propelling him through his undergraduate education. All of his efforts are now paying off in college, both in the classroom and in terms of making college affordable.
“They don’t just look at your grades when accounting for scholarships,” Ramsey said. “Showing hard work, getting involved, and doing your best with academics can pay dividends.”
For his first year of college, all of his books, and a portion of his college living expenses are paid-in-full thanks to the scholarship and aid package he received to attend Ohio State Marion.
According to Ramsey, he has earned $15,000 a year in scholarship and aid. The list of his financial package includes: the Federal Pell Grant, Money from Ohio State Marion’s GoBuck$ program, the GearUp scholarship, A scholarship from the Black Heritage Council, the Alber Scholarship, and the Marion Community Foundation’s Mandy Kruder Memorial Scholarship. With Ohio State Marion undergraduate tuition set at $7140 per year, Ramsey gets the remainder of his $15,000 scholarship package back to cover his books and living expenses.
This means a great deal to him because he knows without the aid package he received at Ohio State Marion, college would be a much different experience.
“If I didn’t have this money, college would be more intimidating because of the worries about loans," he explained. "These scholarships show an investment in me, and I don’t want to feel like I am letting down the Black Heritage Council, Marion City Schools, Ohio State Marion, the Mandy Kruder Scholarship, or anyone else who have ever invested in my future.”
In addition to his first year on campus, the Marion City Schools hired Ramsey as an assistant varsity football coach at Harding, where he coaches the running backs and outside linebackers. He also serves as the JV assistant coach for his alma mater. This has afforded him the opportunity to do something he loves while passing on his knowledge to the next generation of student athletes at Harding, not to mention earning a little extra money.
“It has given me a way to learn to manage different kids with very different personalities, which will be beneficial to me,” said Ramsey. “It’s been really fun working with the kids and learning more about the sport. I can’t thank Coach Brady enough for giving me this opportunity,” he added.
While some students he graduated with are busy working part-time, working a nine-to-five job, or are going out in the evening, Ramsey said his choice to pursue a degree is serving him well now and even more so in the future. Sometimes that means postponing fun until the weekend.
"When you're in college, I feel like your Monday through Friday class schedule is like your job. If you can stray away from distractions through the week, you can have fun on the weekend,” he said. “Especially since you are making decisions now that will affect the rest of your life.”
Ramsey hopes to be a special education teacher after graduating from Ohio State, and continue his education to eventually become a high school administrator. He felt Ohio State Marion offered him the best opportunity to achieve those goals.
“I know there is a great opportunity in terms of my education with having The Ohio State University on the top of my degree.” “Financially, this seemed like more of a responsible option.”
Realizing higher education doesn't seem like a realistic option for everyone, Ramsey shared that "if no one in the family thinks college is an option, students won’t ever think of college as an option.”
If young people have a role model encouraging them to go to college, then they know college is an option. Ramsey hopes he can provide that encouragement to others.