The Scholarship

This Year’s WOW Foundation Scholarship Winner - Claire DiOrio

The Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship is very pleased to announce that the 2016 scholarship winner is senior Claire DiOrio of Bishop Watterson High School.  Claire was selected among many outstanding and qualified applicants.  The Foundation established the scholarship to award $5,000 each year to a graduating senior from a high school in the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, and is renewable to the winner for $1,000 for the following three years.  In awarding the scholarship, the Selection Committee evaluated the candidates based upon academic performance, specifically in the area of language arts, and also parish, school and community involvement.

Claire more than demonstrated the kind of academic excellence, service and leadership to represent the Foundation and honor Wendy.  Claire is an outstanding student at Watterson, achieving a cumulative grade point average of 4.137 and excellent performance in all levels of language arts and literature.  She is a four-year varsity cross country runner and team captain, president of both the Italian Club and the National Honors Society, a National Merit Commended Scholar and the recipient of the Honda Math Medal and the AP Scholar Award.  Moreover, Claire’s application stood out to the Selection Committee as one with heartfelt and thoughtful answers to the application questions about her Catholic education and the importance of language arts and writing skills in her education experience.  

Claire will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall with plans to major in mathematics and Italian.  Clearly, Claire represents exactly the kind of person this Foundation wants as a representative in its second year of this scholarship award.  Her performance and achievements certainly are a reminder of Wendy’s life and experiences and honor Wendy’s memory.  She would be proud of the Foundation’s selection of Claire and making a difference in a student’s life in attending college.

The Foundation, the Selection Committee, Chris, Caroline and Jack are very pleased and congratulate Claire on receiving this scholarship award.  Thank you to the Selection Committee, Lenna Jarrett, Nick O’Bryan, Karen Limbert, and Kate Robinson.  Thank you to the Diocese of Columbus.  And congratulations Claire!

Also, last year’s winner of the scholarship award, Meghan Springer, has enjoyed a tremendous first year at the University of Notre Dame and will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship for her second year.

 

First WOW Foundation Scholarship Winner - Meghan Springer

In this inaugural year awarding the Wendy O. Ward Foundation Memorial Scholarship, senior Meghan Springer of St. Francis DeSales High School was selected among many outstanding and qualified applicants.  The Foundation established the scholarship to award  $5,000 each year to a graduating senior from a high school in the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, and is renewable to the winner for $1,000 for the following three years.  In awarding the scholarship, the Selection Committee evaluated the candidates based upon academic performance, specifically in the area of language arts, and also parish, school and community involvement.

Meghan more than demonstrated the kind of academic excellence, service and leadership to represent the Foundation and honor Wendy.  Meghan is a valedictorian at DeSales, achieving a cumulative grade point average of 4.133 and excellent performance in all levels of language arts and literature.  She is a cantor at St. Matthew parish in Gahanna, was the editor of the school newspaper, senior class president, National Honors Society president, captain of the dance team and is a National Merit Commended Scholar.  Moreover, Meghan’s application stood out to the Selection Committee as one with heartfelt and thoughtful answers to the application questions about her Catholic education and the importance of language arts and writing skills in her education experience. 

Meghan will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall with plans to major in biology with a possible minor in history, and the goal of someday attending medical school.  Clearly, Meghan represents exactly the kind of person this Foundation wants as a representative in its first ever award.  Her performance and achievements certainly are a reminder of Wendy’s life and experiences and honor Wendy’s memory.  She would be proud of the Foundation’s selection of Meghan and making a difference in a student’s life in attending college.

The Foundation, the Selection Committee, Chris, Caroline and Jack are very pleased and congratulate Meghan on receiving this scholarship award.  Chris was grateful to be able to personally award the scholarship to Meghan on May 19th at the DeSales senior awards assembly.  Thank you to the Selection Committee, Lenna Warrick, Nick O’Bryan, Karen Limbert, Kate Robinson, and Dana Forsythe.  Thank you to the Diocese of Columbus.  And congratulations Meghan!

 

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.

 

2015 - First Scholarship Award!

Donations before, at and after this year’s Wendy’s Walk amounted to more than $14,000!  This tremendous generosity will allow the Foundation to set up a sustainable yearly scholarship award of $5,000 to a graduating senior starting in 2015 and for years to come.  Additionally, because of the amazing support for the Foundation, it will be possible to help those students with a renewable $1,000 award for three subsequent years of college.

 

Scholarship Eligibility

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.

 

Restrictions

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 2017, due to generous donations in 2016, the Foundation will award two $5,000 scholarships.  This year’s scholarship deadline is April 3, 2017.

Potential applicants should contact their guidance counselor for the application materials, which should be ready by March 2016. 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. 

 

Scholarship Presentation 

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.