Holmes County Education Foundation truly made a difference in our children's lives. They were able to borrow less for their college tuition, but more importantly the scholarships gave them some ownership and a sense of community. When one of our children's G.P.A. dropped below the criteria for keeping the scholarship. He felt like he was letting the hard-working people of Holmes County down; he worked very hard to get it back up by the end of the semester for not only the money, but for his community. The scholarships from the Homes County Education Foundation have been a gift of a "sense of community" to our children. Thank you to the people who make this possible.
From my time in an OCAN grant-funded position, I can state unequivocally that I think the Education Foundation is the crown jewel of an accomplished number of superb organizations in Holmes County. Since its beginning, the HCEF has had a clearly defined and administered mission. Their 20+ years of success can be seen in the number of scholars who have brought themselves and their excellence back to serve their Holmes County neighbors through a variety of professions. It was truly a joy for me to work with their dedicated Board and efficient staff, and to lend my fund raising expertise in mentoring their outstanding Executive Director.
The HCEF is a community resource because the original donor and the current donors believe in education as a way to improve the life of all residents of Holmes County. The belief has come true in the hundreds of success stories of Holmes County young persons who have become more productive citizens with the help of HCEF. It is not just the young who benefit from HCEF. Many mature persons have received vital skill training from resources provided by HCEF. Additionally, the expense ratio for HCEF is very low relative to other foundations. The dollars are wisely spent and the emphasis is on the student.
Our daughter received a scholarship from the HCEF, which was a great help and encouragement in her higher education. In addition she received good advice and help from the staff at the HCEF. It was my pleasure to serve on the Advisory Board and get to know the staff, board members, some donors and some recipients. The Holmes County Education Foundation has, and will continue to be a great help to many Holmes County Students as they continue their education.
Higher education is expensive, and especially for high school students it is a daunting undertake to research, apply, and fund their schooling. The Holmes County Education Foundation has been very supportive and helpful throughout the entire process; they make themselves visible and approachable to students. While I would have gone to college without the help of the Foundation, it has been a great solid rock of reassurance for me that people do want you to succeed.
For years, I had two part-time jobs serving people in Holmes County. My "day job" was with Big Brothers Big Sisters, where I helped recruit and screen community volunteers to mentor youth. I also provided support for the "matches" and planned group activities. My "evening job" was (and still is) with Buckeye Career Center's ABLE adult education program, where I teach GED and basic literacy classes at Hiland High School two evenings per week. Several fellow professionals had spoken very highly of their experiences in the Leadership Holmes County program. Although I had wanted to participate for a couple of years, I knew that I couldn't personally cover the cost and that neither of the organizations I worked for could supply the funding. Someone suggested that I check with the Holmes County Education Foundation and see if I might be eligible for a scholarship. I applied, and because of HCEF, was able to take advantage of this wonderful program, which has enhanced my leadership skills, increased my knowledge of county resources and history, and allowed me to network with and learn from other people I might not have otherwise met. I believe that because of Holmes County Education Foundation, I am a better teacher and resource to the adult learners who come through my GED class each year. This year, I learned that a former student who earned his GED is actually currently in medical school and doing amazing things! Because of state budget cuts, the test fee for the GED was put back to the students last year, and this financial matter is a considerable barrier for some people. The Holmes County Education Foundation recognizes the importance of undergirding those people who have put forth the effort to prepare to take their GED test. Earning a GED certificate can be a key step to a more stable future with greater career opportunities, and ultimately a broader ability to "give back" to the community. HCEF partnered with Buckeye Career Center to cover half of the test fee for those students who came through the ABLE program at Hiland. I have great appreciation and respect for the work of HCEF and the many ways they enhance the futures of community members.
When my son wanted to go to college the whole idea of FASFA forms, scholarships, etc., was like Greek. The Holmes County Education Foundation put on a seminar, had a kit of information put together, and was there to help anyone who was not comfortable processing forms on their own.
I have been a Board Member for less than two years, but a long time contributor to the Foundation. This Foundation has made a tremendous impact on furthering education of Holmes County residents. The scholarships that have been awarded since the beginning of the Fondation have benefited hundreds of students from our County. In addition they fund programs that benefit our large Amish community as well. An overall excellent local Foundation.
I grew up in Holmes County and come back each year from North Carolina to our Holmesville Alumni Banquet. Having written a book Holmesville, Ohio - Our Home Town because I felt compelled to help preserve the legacy of this wonderful place to grow up, I put similar importance to helping fund Holmes County educational efforts. My parents Roy and Dorothy Stallman fostered the importance of education and a Scholarship Fund has been created in their name. I am honored to be a part of the Education Foundation's work. David A. Stallman