Fifteen years ago, six central Ohio women organized Scholarship Opportunities for Success (SOS). Their mission -- to help women of low income with financial aid for education.
Financial assistance was the answer, they decided. Not only the traditional scholarship covering tuition, but grants that would meet expenses associated with attending an institution of higher learning - books, computers, gas cards, child care, bus passes, special fees and supplies. After nearly a year of preparatory work, Scholarship Opportunities for Success received its not-for-profit designation, and the grass roots organization was ready to fulfill its mission. With funds from bake sales, a garage and craft sale, and donations, SOS awarded two $1,000 scholarships -- depleting its treasury.
SOS is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year. The fledgling organization has grown. SOS now has 17 Board members and over 80 active volunteers, no paid personnel, all working together to help women achieve their a academic goals. In 2016, SOS awarded $67,000 to 21 deserving women.
In 2009, SOS established an endowment fund with The Columbus Foundation. The decision was made for the purpose of expanding its fund raising capacity, and ensuring the sustainability of annual scholarship awards beyond the terms of personal commitments to the organization.