Three students have been selected for the first-ever Butler Tech Transforming Lives scholarships. The money was raised by faculty and staff through Friends of Butler Tech to support higher and continuing education.
More than 60 students submitted essays on the topic of how Butler Tech has transformed their lives. A review panel formed by Butler Tech Workforce Services reviewed the entries with student names removed.
The top three finalists each earned a $500 scholarship:
· Maria Burch, Fairfield High School
· Jason Hentz, Northwest High School
· Emily Mullen, Talawanda High School.
Maria Burch credits Butler Tech for sparking her interest in engineering and manufacturing. She has taken programs in Industrial Design, Commercial Arts and Manufacturing Operations while at Fairfield High School. While doing the hands-on work in the woodshop, Maria says she came to appreciate the engineering behind every design. She says instructor Chad Reed’s mentorship changed her perception about her future career potential.
“Throughout my life, I was deterred from doing manufacturing kinds of jobs since I was female; however, Mr. Reed encouraged me to continue with engineering even though I was the only female in my sophomore year class. Without Mr. Reed’s encouragement, I wouldn’t have been able to find out that I enjoyed doing technical sketching, or thinking about what actually goes into designs. He truly was a major part in transforming my life into deciding what I should do with the rest of my life,” Maria wrote.
Jason Hentz is part of Butler Tech’s Financial Services Honors program at Northwest High School. He wrote that he knew he wanted to pursue a career in business, but his experience with Butler Tech gave him a clearer vision of his future in college and beyond. He says the curriculum in entrepreneurship, accounting, personal finance and corporate finance has better prepared him for the University of Dayton, where he will major in business and engineering this fall. But he says his experience outside the classroom with Business Professionals of America has also helped him build character.
Jason wrote, “Going into high school, I was very shy. I challenged myself to join as many extracurricular activities as possible so I could build my resume and be successful in my future. I quickly realized the impact these organizations would have on my character. They helped me get out of my comfort zone and build my leadership skills. Looking back on these decisions, the most important thing I have gained from joining these groups was maturity and experience. As a shy freshman, I struggled to present in front of my class. The confidence that Butler Tech has helped me develop as given me the ability to give a speech in front of over 2,000 people at a leadership conference last fall. Without Butler Tech and Financial Services, none of this would have ever been possible.”
Emily Mullen grew up on her family’s dairy and has a deep appreciation for the tradition of farming. She said that often made her feel like an outsider, because her interests were so different than other teenagers. Her life took a dramatic turn in January 2013, when she suffered a severe injury on the farm that kept her out of school for several months. When she returned, she discovered Butler Tech’s agriculture programs at Talawanda High School, and describes being “welcomed into a family with open arms.” Her advisors encouraged her to participate in more and more events through FFA, which helped Emily discover new talents and passions for public speaking and agriculture education.
Emily wrote, “I now have the kind of confidence and experiences under my belt that not only give me a leg up from other classmates, but also have allowed me to leave a positive impact on each and every person I come into contact with. Before my involvement in this organization, I had never been out of the state of Ohio and had little to no experience with knowing how to conduct myself in front of a crowd. Butler Tech has taken this small-town girl to Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Oklahoma. For the last three years, I have represented my FFA chapter at the state level for public speaking and have discovered a passion for educating others of the importance of agriculture and the vital role it plays in our society. None of this would have been possible without Butler Tech’s constant support.”