2017 WOW Foundation Scholarship Winners - Vanesa Mora & Morgan Rowan
Vanesa Mora, graduate of Cristo Rey High School, and Morgan Rowan, graduate of St. Francis DeSales High School, are the 2017 recipients of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship. Vanesa has received a $5,000 scholarship from the Foundation and is attending Brown University. Morgan received $2,500 in scholarship funds to attend Walsh University.
Vanesa Mora was vice president of Cristo Rey’s National Honor Society chapter, secretary of its student government, and co-founder of its Junior State of America chapter, and has been editor of the school newspaper and yearbook. She has also been a tutor and mentor for younger students and a school ambassador. Vanesa worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for four years as a part of the Cristo Rey work-study program and has been a volunteer at Columbus Christ the King Church, and a caddy at the Columbus Country Club. Studying this year at Brown University, Vanesa in interested in international relations and has hopes of a possible career with the State Department or the United Nations.
Morgan Rowan was a member of DeSales’ National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society and has served as captains for its girls cross country and track teams. Morgan has been a member of the Diocesan Youth Council and been a peer tutor and student ambassador. In addition, Morgan has sung in the school’s Horizons liturgical youth choir, been a cantor, taken part in the Poetry Out Loud competition and been a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Teen Spirit youth group. Morgan’s studies in North Canton at Walsh University include hopes to obtain a degree in psychology, with a minor in French or Spanish in anticipation of becoming a school psychologist.
Congratulations to Vanesa and Morgan in joining the past winners of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship Claire DiOrio (2016) and Meghan Springer (2015).
The Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship
The purpose of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship is to honor the memory of Wendy Ward, wife and mother of two, who tragically passed away on May 18, 2012 at the age of 32 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Wendy excelled as a student at Bishop Luers High School in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Wendy always achieved great success at all levels of her education in the areas of English, literature and creative writing. After receiving her B.A. in English from UD in 2001, Wendy went on to have a successful 10-year career as a writer and public relations consultant. Wendy was grateful for her Catholic school education, and she always said that she counted herself lucky to have the opportunity in her career to do something not all English majors can - to use her skills and write everyday for her job.
To honor Wendy’s memory and success in all her academic pursuits, her husband, Chris Ward, established the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship in 2014 to provide a yearly award to graduating seniors for their hard work and excellence in those fields of study where Wendy’s passions did rest. It is with this purpose to financially assist the furthering of students’ education and to honor Wendy’s memory for those who loved her, especially her two children, Caroline and Jack, that the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship is established.
To be eligible, each applicant must:
- Be a permanent resident of the State of Ohio;
- Be a high school senior at one of the eleven high schools in the Diocese of Columbus;
- Be accepted for full-time enrollment to attend an accredited four-year college or university or accredited junior or community college;
- Provide a copy of high school transcript;
- Demonstrate superior academic achievement in one or more of the following areas of language arts study: English, literature, composition, creative writing, technical writing, college writing or any other form of writing;
- Submit two (2) personal recommendations by persons not related to the applicant. At least one (1) of the recommendations must be from an instructor or person with direct knowledge of the applicant’s work in one of the areas of study highlighted above (English, composition, literature, creative writing or any other form of writing).
- Provide a completed scholarship application post-marked by the established application deadline.
Criteria for Scholarship Award Selection
The Foundation and the Diocese of Columbus will solicit from each of the eleven high schools in the Diocese of Columbus two (2) applicants, one male and one female, for a total of 22 applicants. The completed application and associated materials from each of the 22 applicants will be submitted to the Scholarship Selection Committee for review.
The Board of Directors of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation has chosen a five-person Scholarship Selection Committee to review all information provided by all applicants and determine eligibility. This year’s Selection Committee consists of Chris Ward, Kate Robinson, Nick O’Bryan, Karen Limbert and Lenna Jarrett.
The Committee and Board of Directors shall use the following criteria in recommendations and determinations:
- overall high school academic achievement;
- superior academic achievement in one or more of the following areas of language arts study: English, literature, composition, creative writing, technical writing, college writing or any other form of writing;
- involvement in the school, community and extracurricular activities; and
- review of letters of recommendation and responses to substantive application questions.
Although not required at this time, the Board of the Directors of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation and the Scholarship Selection Committee reserve the right to require an in-person interview for any finalists for the award as an condition of such award.
The Committee and Board of Directors shall not base recommendations or determinations on financial need, academic institution to which applicant(s) have been accepted or any specific intent or plans as to future fields of study or career aspirations.
No award of any Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship under any circumstances shall be made to a member of the immediate family of any of the following: the Incorporators, Board of Directors, Officers or employees of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation; or any immediate family member of any current member of the Scholarship Selection Committee.
The Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship shall be awarded on a non-discriminatory and objective basis. All funds must be used for tuition, room and board or other educational expenses.
Scholarship Application and Procedure
The deadline for all first-time and renewal applications for the Memorial Scholarship and for all documents and information required for eligibility shall be determined annually by the Board of Directors of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation or by the Scholarship Selection Committee in cooperation and counsel with the Diocese of Columbus. In 2018, the Foundation will award one $5,000 scholarship. This year’s scholarship deadline is tentatively set at April 2, 2018.
Potential applicants should contact their guidance counselor for the application materials, which should be ready by March 2018. A copy of the application materials will also be provided in hard copy to any renewal applicant upon request to the Wendy O. Ward Foundation.
The awarding of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship must be performed in a manner that honors the spirit of the award. The intent of the Wendy O. Ward Foundation is to schedule and conduct the Wendy’s Walk charitable event during the summer of each year, it is the intent that all awards shall be officially presented to the recipients at the Wendy’s Walk event each year. The Wendy O. Ward Foundation asks that any recipient(s) make any and all effort to attend the Wendy’s Walk event and accept the award in front of those gathered in Wendy’s honor and memory. Neither the selection nor the award of any scholarship funds is contingent upon the recipient attending the Wendy’s Walk event.