Meet our 2020-2021 Award Winners here: Women of Value (PDF)

20 Success Stories from 20 Years

SOS provided me with scholarships from 2008-2010.  In February 2021, I will celebrate 10 years as a registered nurse with OhioHealth. I started as a staff nurse at Doctors Hospital, transitioned to Dublin Methodist Hospital, obtained my BSN from Ohio University, and am now an Administrative Nurse Manager on the Cardiac Intermediate Unit at Grant Medical Center.  I couldn’t have made it to where I am today without the support and encouragement that SOS provided.  Currently, I serve as a board member for SOS, so I can continue to help women achieve their dreams of obtaining a college degree.

I am forever grateful to SOS for their support while pursuing my lifelong dream of working with children. I graduated with my MS in Nursing from Ohio State in 2018 and I currently work at Cleveland Clinic. In my role as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, I provide support and guidance to families while promoting positive health outcomes. Serving patients in this capacity has been extremely rewarding, and I could not imagine working in another field. 

In June, 2020 I earned my Doctorate in Health Administration, from Franklin University. As I reflect on my journey, I can’t help but share my gratitude for the continued support I received from my SOS family. SOS has been there to help me bear the weight of so many different challenges by genuinely showing interest my academic progress, sharing words of encouragement, and providing financial assistance year after year. I believe that I have become a true testament to the power of resilience and I could not have gotten to this point on my own. Since the completion of my degree, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to advance my career and become a policy developer for the State of Ohio and contribute to student success for those pursing healthcare management and healthcare leadership graduate degrees. Thank you SOS for all you have done for me and continue to do for our community.

SOS has helped me conquer my dreams! Having the support of a network of women that truly cares about my success has encouraged me to keep pushing. Earning my Associates degree opened doors to begin my career in Human Resources. With the continued support form SOS I am able to progress further continuing coursework for my Bachelors. This is only my beginning; I also plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Psychology. My life has changed for the better, no longer living with the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. I am proud of the role model that I am for my daughter who I know is watching my every step. Thank you SOS! 

I was a blessed recipient of SOS for many years.  When I originally made the decision to further my education, I was in no way financially capable.  I was living in a treatment center, raising two small children solely on public assistance. I had absolutely no idea of how I would pay for college yet I knew I needed to go back.  I applied originally with nothing but a hope shot that I would be chosen. When I was told that day in 2014 that I was selected to receive a scholarship my whole life changed. Someone saw me. They saw potential, capability and believed in me.  That faith changed me as a mother and a woman. SOS supported my journey the whole time all the way to my Bachelor’s degree at Franklin University. The support they provided me with via funding or mentorship always kept me pushing.  I now have a career that allowed me to be completely independent for myself as well as my children.  No more public assistance. No more struggling.  No more feelings of worthlessness and failure.  Today I walk with my head high and convictions strong, not by anything done on my own, but from the faith of SOS.

SOS is the reason that I am where I am today. Back in 2014, I exhausted all of my financial aid, in my last semester of becoming a Social Worker at Capital University, I applied for a scholarship in January 2014, and was selected to receive the scholarship which allowed me to pay for that semester and graduated as a Magna Cum Laude, and I was inducted in the Phi Sigma National Society. In 2016, I started OSU in the master program where SOS helped paid for my tuition. I graduated in 2016 with my Master of Social Work. In 2016, I attended Ohio Dominican where I graduated with my second Master in Science in 2017. I will be attending Case Western in the fall of 2021 for my Doctorate. My business should be ready in the fall as well; I am opening a DUI/Treatment Center called Access One. Without the help from SOS and its volunteers and supporters, I wouldn’t have exceeded as far as I have. Thank You for believing in me and sponsoring towards my goal.


I had been working on my recovery from a 15-year opiate and heroin addiction. Once I had some sobriety time, I went back to school to obtain a Social Work license. Due to the scholarship I received, I was able to obtain my Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and my Chemical Dependency Counselor license. I now work as a Therapist at Ohio Guidestone here in Columbus Ohio. I work to provide individual and group psychotherapy to men and women with mental health and addiction issues. I am beyond grateful for the scholarship I received because it made my dreams a reality for myself and family. 

I could not have finished my last quarter of school without the help of SOS. Being a fulltime working mom of two children, I had exhausted educational funds, and was required to pay out of pocket to get my degree in my very last quarter of school. That's when SOS stepped in and helped me reach my educational goal. Without the help of SOS, I wouldn't be able to tell you that I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science. Without the help of SOS, I wouldn't be able to provide my children with a better future and I wouldn't have been able to apply for career choices that help people in need. I will be forever grateful for this program and hope to one day pay it forward as SOS has done for me.

As a student parent of two who works full time and held multiple jobs throughout my collegiate experience, it has not been an easy journey.  I would not be where I am today without the financial support and encouragement from SOS. Thank you, SOS, for standing by my side the past years, from the day I obtained my associate degree from Columbus State to the day I received my master's degree from Ohio University. Today, I am currently working in Global Diversity and Inclusion at Columbus State supporting students. Thank you for making this dream and passion possible! 

La Shawn
I am currently working as a Fiscal Administrator at Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services. SOS helped me graduate from DeVry in 2008. I received a Master of Information Systems Management from Keller Graduate School of Management in 2017. My husband and I purchased a home in Pickerington in May of last year. I feel like I am in a good space in life. I am a member of Expanding Visions Ministries Church and I volunteer with the Harmony Project and a few other community organizations. I don't think I would have been able to achieve this much if it wasn't for SOS. Undergrad was a huge challenge for me - I didn't have a computer, I had a young son, I was a newlywed, sometimes I didn't have transportation and I was living in poverty. I appreciate all of the help I received from SOS and I am willing to help out in whatever way you need me to. 

I was trying to earn my Licensed Practical Nursing education at The Columbus School of Practical Nursing through Columbus City Schools Adult Education Program. I finally graduated in the fall of 2019 and hope to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing someday.  SOS’s support was extremely helpful.  Trying to work as a nurse’s aide and keep up with school studies while raising a teenager was at times overwhelming. Currently I am employed as an LPN at Franklin Medical Center which is part of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections. I eventually would like to work at Ohio Health in cardiology.  Because of the help of SOS and their mentorship, I am on my way to success.  Thank you so much!

I am currently a mentor for Columbus City School’s Digital Academy and am in my first year at Capital University’s school counseling and clinical counseling graduate program! The SOS scholarship allowed me to pay my tuition without the use of federal student loans my senior year of undergrad at Capital University. This was a blessing for me post-graduation when I began repaying student loans!

Congratulations on celebrating your 20th year!  It’s been 17 years since your organization helped me pay for my dental hygiene board exams. I’m currently working in a private practice full time.  I’ve been with the same staff for 7 years and loving it!  Thank you for the support you showed me so many years ago and the support you continue to show my fellow hygienists!  Congratulation on 20 years!

I graduated with a MHA degree in Healthcare Administration from Franklin University.  Currently I work in Business Intelligence as a Healthcare Analyst. I created a non-profit called BreatheOhio Inc. known on social media as breatheohio614. This non-profit helps to create awareness, provide holistic management, exercise/breathing techniques for individuals who suffer from Asthma/ COPD symptoms. Having asthma myself and growing up with limited resources, I wanted to be able to provide an organization that allows others the resources needed to live a healthier life. Actively pursuing to continue my education as a Doctoral Candidate in Public Health at Capella University.

SOS assisted Toska while attending Columbus State Community College and after she transferred to Gallaudet University in Washington DC, the only university where students live and learn in American sign language and English. Toska was one of the only hearing students at the University.  She graduated June 2013 with a degree in American Sign Language (ASL). In 2016 she received her master’s degree in International Development. Toska continues to live in Washington D.C. and works at Context Global as an interpreter. "SOS assisted me at a time in my life when I needed it the most.  As a single mother of a teenager at the time, I decided to obtain my bachelor's degree.  SOS provided me books, school supplies and gas.  The support from SOS was appreciated and needed.  Thank you SOS!!!"

SOS has not only fundamentally impacted my education and career but also the direction of my life.  A first generation high school graduate, I am a product of generational poverty. I am so proud to have had the opportunity and support of SOS to break that cycle for myself and for my future children. With your help arranging neuropsychology testing showing I had a moderate  to severe learning disability, paying for books, computer, printer, and summer classes, I was able to graduate summa cum laude from OSU then earn a master's in social work with a 4.0-point average. All this after doing poorly in school, failing at CSCC 3 times in 5 years and finally suspecting then having it confirmed that I was dyslexic. As a social worker/therapist at OSU/Wexner Medical Center specializing in chronic pain, I have the opportunity to work with patients truly suffering and help make a positive impact on their lives. I cannot imagine doing anything else and I recognize that without SOS believing in me and supporting me, I would not be here today.

Jasmine graduated from Columbus State Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree in 2019. While attending, she was highly active in many groups.  In 2018 she was the Outstanding Woman Leader Award recipient.  She is now in her last semester at the Ohio State University in the College of Social Work and will graduate May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in social work.  She plans on getting her masters and is currently waiting to hear back from graduate school. “SOS has been such an incredible support to me during my academic journey.  They provided me with the tools to be successful as well as encouragement and validation that I had the power to change my life and that of my children through higher education.”

I am blessed I am currently still in the area working for Ohio Gastro and Ohio Health women's health. I am starting the process of buying my first home and patiently waiting for covid to let up so I can travel the world freely again.  SOS was such a big help in a very tough time for me. I had a lot going on with my providing care for my mother while working full time. SOS was there to provide not only financial but also the emotional support and compassion from other women meant the most to me. That gave me the drive and determination to tough it out and I graduated from Capital University with a 3.5 overall GPA in 2019. Look at me now working in a field I love and being able to inspire other women to always make themselves a priority in this world in any aspect. Thank you again SOS for being a local organization that saw a need and started something that is making change and touching countless lives!

It’s been 10 years since I received my SOS scholarship. I have been a licensed social worker for almost 10 years; initially working with adults with developmental disabilities in residential settings. About 4 ½ years ago I made a switch and started working with foster children who are medically fragile and/or disabled, this is a dream job for me! I have worked my way through school and earned a Master’s degree and hope to start working with students at the community college level as well. The SOS scholarship allowed me to worry a little less about the finances needed to continue my studies and become a social worker, it helped change my future for the better and for that I am thankful.

When I applied for the SOS scholarship, I faced a difficult decision. I was three semesters away from graduation, but I was running out of financing options. My Pell grant was used up. I had reached a borrow max for federal student loans. I didn’t work enough hours to be considered for private loans, and I could not pay out of pocket. I did not want to increase work hours because I had a young daughter and I solo parent. The SOS scholarship helped me bridge the gap and finish my degree in Interactive Media Design at Franklin University.  More importantly, the scholarship allowed me to hold sacred the time I valued spending with my daughter. While others suggested taking it to work and make more money, the women at SOS honored my values and made it possible for me to keep parenting a priority while finishing my degree. Thank you, S.O.S. for educating two generations with one scholarship.

At age 18, Tara worked three jobs day and night to support herself. At age 28, she enrolled at Columbus State to finish basic requisites. The following year she transferred to OSU -- majoring in social work with a minor in international development. She was awarded the College of Social Work Distinguished Service award. In May 2013, she graduated with summa cum laude honors and shortly after, was offered a position as a women’s health and medical clinic social worker with MOMS2B. She works with vulnerable women and children in some of the
most impoverished areas in the city to provide healthy interventions for better birthing outcomes. Recently, she helped to develop and open a medical bridge clinic in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Columbus where she works directly in the community to offer greater access to health care for families and young children.