FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Twenty South Side High School students who are now at Ivy Tech in Fort Wayne and Warsaw will graduate with almost nothing to repay thanks to a new scholarship.
Olivia Davis is one of those 20 who received a $10,000 scholarship to Ivy Tech from an anonymous donor, who is also a South Side alum.
Going into her senior year, money was one of this biggest factors in Davis' initial decision to not go to college.
Davis says, "I was very afraid that I was going to be in debt my whole life."
Now a freshman at Ivy Tech, she’ll graduate with little to no debt, on her way to becoming a teacher in the Fort Wayne area.
In total, a $200,000 gift was given to Ivy Tech of Northeast Indiana to set up the South Side High School Multicultural Scholarship, to divide among twenty applicants.
Tracina Smith, the executive director of resource development at Ivy Tech, says the wish of the donor was the same as Ivy Tech's mission, to help keep future talent here locally.
"Ivy Tech’s mission is to educate the workforce of Northeast Indiana, whether we are upskilling or straight out of high school, we want to keep that talent right here in Fort Wayne," Smith said.
So, when Smith heard someone wanted to make sure students like Davis who wouldn’t be able to afford college any other way got a chance to achieve their goals, "When you have someone who stepped in and realizes that there’s a population that don’t have a choice or an option to pay for schooling.We were thrilled, over the moon."
Davis says she’s grateful to get the chance to go to college and someone wanted to pay for it, and she says if you want to go to college, "You just have to put your mind to it. If you want to do things in life, you have to try harder."
The scholarships were also all given in honor of northeast Indiana community leaders from diverse backgrounds.
The honorees are: Steve Corona, Cookye Rutledge, Alice Jordan-Miles, Heather and Iric Headley, Joe Jordan, Ahmed Abdelmageed, Minn Myint Nan Tin, Michelle Chambers, Marlon Wardlow, and Bennie and Sheryl Edwards.