Written By Kay Bouyack

The Scioto Foundation is pleased to announce two new endowment funds: the Animal Health Professionals Scholarship Fund and the Southern Ohio Professional Licensure Scholarship Fund to benefit students seeking technical careers.

Students applying for the Animal Health Professionals Scholarship Fund must be enrolled at an accredited college or university seeking an associate or bachelor’s degree to become a vet tech or vet assistant, or enrolled in a veterinary-related program. Those who are residents of Scioto County or surrounding counties, including Kentucky, are eligible to apply.

To be eligible for the Southern Ohio Professional Licensure Scholarship Fund, a student must attend an accredited post-secondary school to pursue a certificate or license in trade or adult education. Again, students from Scioto County and surrounding counties, including Kentucky, are eligible to apply.

The volunteer scholarship committee of the Scioto Foundation will make annual selections of the scholarship awards on

behalf of the SF Board of Governors.

The endowment funds were set up by Janice Johnson.

“Both scholarships are designed to help people have the means to achieve their dreams” said Johnson.

“In Animal Health, people are often unaware that they don’t have to seek a full veterinary doctorate degree to work in that field; there are two and four-year degrees. If someone is interested in a science career and wants to help healing but with animals, not people, vet tech careers cover a broad field,” Johnson explained.

In addition to helping veterinarians during animal exams, veterinary techs do a variety of clinical, care, and laboratory tasks. Vet techs who work in research-related jobs ensure that animals are handled carefully and are treated humanely. They may help veterinarians or scientists on research projects in areas such as biomedical research, disaster preparedness, and food safety. Veterinary techs may specialize in a particular discipline such as dentistry, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, and zoological medicine.

“Morehead State University is one college in our area that offers both degrees; their bachelor’s program is ranked top in the state and #8 in the nation. Animal Health is a growing area,” said Johnson. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 20% occupational growth in the next ten years versus 7% growth in health technicians and 5% growth overall in all occupations.

The Licensure Scholarship is for those in careers or professions in various areas of the trades to help with their costs for getting licenses.

“Often people can’t afford to go on to get a professional license for their careers or they might be aiming to change careers and need a new license,” commented Johnson. “They might be able to find a one-year certificate program that helps them advance in their career. There are not many scholarships available for this process. This scholarship will help any age group get a license or certificate.”

“I think it is important to get the word out about these funds for people who might be interested in supporting them, to encourage donors to help get the scholarship funds going, and to help people who want to go into these types of careers” Johnson said.

Johnson, who was an Associate Professor of Business at Shawnee State, retired in December, 2021 from a series of careers in medical laboratory, business, and higher education with her roots in the family farm run by her parents Jim and Gwynn Johnson. When she retired, she starting looking for areas where she could help improve the community, the region and the world, she said, searching to find a gap and areas that weren’t being covered, which led to her establishment of the two new scholarship funds.

The Johnson family also has a traditional scholarship endowment fund at the Scioto Foundation.

“It is making a difference and those people who receive it will make a difference. The Scioto Foundation does a great job,” Johnson stated. “We wanted to work with them and to invest time and money to make a better future.”

Contributions to the Southern Ohio Professional Licensure Scholarship Fund or the Animal Health Professionals Scholarship Fund from family, friends, community supporters or the general public may be made at any time. Donations may be in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property.

Additional information about the Southern Ohio Professional Licensure Scholarship Fund and the Animal Health Professionals Scholarship Fund or other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Officer – Donor Services, or SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.

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