PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College student Amber Gonzales of Findlay has been chosen by the Walters Family to receive a $500 Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters Scholarship for the upcoming 2012-13 academic year.
Established in 2011, the endowed scholarship honors the legacy of Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters and their commitment to lifelong learning. The scholarship is given annually to an Owens student at the Walters Family 5K Run with aspirations of careers in early childhood education, information systems, computer programming and computer systems.
“On behalf of the Walters’ family, extended family, friends, local community and the Walters’ Family 5K Committee, it is truly an honor to present the Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters Scholarship to Amber Gonzales,” said Robin Arquette, who is the sister of Ryan Walters. “It gives us great joy and pride to be able to assist in helping students in the community achieve their educational goals.”
Selection criteria for the scholarship is based upon recipients being enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours at Owens per semester and achieving a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Additionally, preference is given to a student who is majoring in early childhood education, information systems, computer programming and computer systems. Scholarship applicants also must state how they will utilize their college degree to give back to the community in which they live in the form of an essay.
Gonzales is pursuing her associate’s degree in early childhood education and aspires to work with children as a teacher at a child care center. The 2010 Buckeye Online School for Success graduate ultimately envisions a career as an elementary school guidance counselor. In addition to her educational studies, Gonzales works part-time at Brinkman’s County Corner in Findlay. She also is gaining hands-on experience in learning about the development of young children while serving as a student worker at the College’s Child Care Center on the Findlay-area Campus.
“I want a career I am fully in love with,” explained Gonzales. “My goal is to make a child’s day brighter and feel secure. When I help a child to accomplish something that is meaningful to them, I feel honored. Receiving this scholarship will surely help me to achieve my careers goals.”
In June 2010, Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters lost their lives as a result of a tornado and damaging storms that devastated the Northwest Ohio region. The Walters Family 5K Run was established to honor the seven victims of the June 5, 2010 tornado. Proceeds from the race benefit the Ryan, Mary and Hayden Walters Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.