Scholarships are a family affair for the Schenk Family.
Mike and Ginger Schenk established the Jessica Schenk Memorial Scholar Athlete Scholarship Fund 11 years ago at the Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) in memory of their daughter, Jessica.
“Our daughter was passionate about sports and teaching, and her passions were nurtured by her teachers and coaches at Port Clinton,” said Mike Schenk. “Our scholarship fund is a way to help support college bound students and honor the Port Clinton City Schools.”
The Jessica Schenk Memorial Scholar Athlete scholarships are awarded to graduating Port Clinton High School students who excel academically and who also show a passion for athletics. Special consideration is given to students who plan to pursue a career in teaching.
Mike, Ginger, and their daughter Lara, established the scholarship fund to give back to the community.
“Our community really rose up for us. We were so moved by how many people were touched by losing Jessica,” Mike said. “These scholarships ensure that our daughter’s legacy will be carried forward for perpetuity. Every dollar donated is important and appreciated.”
From 2010-2019, the Schenk family and friends held an annual Jessie Schenk Memorial Turkey Chase in Jessica’s memory, with all registration fees from the race benefiting the scholarship fund. The whole family continues their active commitment to the fund and always attends the annual awards banquet at Port Clinton High School to congratulate the scholarship recipients.
“Our seven-year-old granddaughter has even come to the awards ceremony,” Mike said. “We are pleased that she understands the meaning of these scholarships at such a young age.”
Sierra Robinette of Port Clinton was one of four 2020 Schenk scholarship recipients. Currently a freshman at the University of Cincinnati enrolled in the Pre-Occupational Therapy (OT) program (and minoring in Psychology), Sierra’s goal is to complete four years at UC and then transfer to the University of Washington for the final two years of a six-year OT degree.
“I was very thankful and surprised to get the scholarship,” Sierra said. “The money really helped me pay my tuition.”
After completing her education, Sierra would like to use her training and skills working in schools. “I love working with kids,” she said.
Donations to the scholarship fund can be sent to the Ottawa County Community Foundation at P.O. Box 36, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452, or made online through OCCF’s donor portal at https://bit.ly/donatetoafund (click on the Jessica Schenk Memorial Scholar Athlete Fund).
Port Clinton High School seniors who are interested in the 2021 Jessica Schenk Memorial Scholar Athlete Scholarship should contact the Port Clinton High School Guidance Department for details on how to apply.
Scholarship funds of all types provide support for deserving students from across Ottawa County. Anyone interested in learning how to put their philanthropic goals to work by establishing a fund through OCCF is encouraged to contact Jan Preston, President of the Board, at 419-297-7838, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ottawa County Community Foundation has awarded over $501,000 in grants and scholarships in 2020 and since 1999 has distributed over $6 million in total funding. OCCF’s current assets are $9.3 million. For more information about grants, scholarships, or updates about OCCF, visit ottawaccf.org