In 2012, Jason Glynn was earning a decent living working as a welder. But the work was too physically challenging thanks to injuries he’d sustained in a car accident a few years prior. Plus, he kept topping out as a team leader due to his lack of a college degree.
The economic recession had left instability in his field. He knew he needed to make a move, so he enrolled at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC).
“Because of my dismal high school track record, I had few other options,” he said. “I never expected to be offered membership in an honor society. That began a huge transformation.”
Quitting his job to return to school was a “huge leap of faith” for Glynn. He excelled and was inducted into the Alpha Chi Nu Chapter, serving as its president. But money was tight — he earned $9 an hour as a campus tutor and received Pell grants, but real-world expenses kept him in dire straits.
Glynn led efforts to open a food pantry on his campus. He also applied for and received several scholarships, including the 2015 Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship.
“Everybody likes to be recognized, and I truly believe success begets success,” he said. “Scholarships let you know that you’re being noticed for working hard, and they keep pushing you further.”
The Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship gives financial aid to students who have been faced with an unanticipated financial barrier that could keep them from completing their degree or certificate. Up to 15 scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded annually.
“At a community college, we know it doesn’t take much to throw students off the track to completion,” said Lou Oberndorf, who with his wife Rosemary established the scholarship. “Completion is critical to me. Completion is the signal to the world that you’ve achieved something, and it will stay with you the rest of your life.”
Applications for the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship are being accepted now through May 2. Apply today.
Phi Theta Kappa’s Spring Scholarship Application is also now open and gives members the opportunity to apply for more than $250,000. The application closes May 2.
Read more about Jason Glynn’s story in the 2016 issue of Visionary.