Student Success Stories

Our student success stories allow us to highlight the journey of a Sinclair student from their first day of class to after graduation. Read the inspirational stories and donate to the Annual Fund to contribute to their success.

ValarryaValarrya is proud to be the first person in her family to finish college. After years of taking time off school, she returned to finish her degree. After overcoming her difficulties in math she managed to conquer the obstacle with the help of tutoring and much determination.

Valarrya started at Sinclair Community College in 2004 before taking time off because of life challenges. She wanted to be able to support her family and she knew the only way to do that was to finish getting her education. She believes a lack of education can correlate with the occurrence of recreational violence which led her to organize an educational fair at the Dayton Metro Library. Valarrya has dreams to start a non-profit organization that encourages education in communities that are categorized as places with high crime and violence rates.

Valarrya is proud she was able to receive the Taylor Access Grant. “Receiving the Taylor Access Grant really helped me to secure a great future. I am proud to say I will be the first in my family to graduate.” says Valarrya. She graduated May 2014 with a degree in Communications.

AndrewAndrew has worked for everything he has gained in his years leading up to and attending Sinclair. A high school dropout, Andrew looked for ways to get by before eventually deciding to follow his dreams and do something he really loved.

“It was something I always regretted, that I did not finish school, so I set out to get my GED like I have many times before, but this time was different. I had made my mind up that no one was going to tell me I can’t do it,” Andrew said.

With the encouragement of his wife, Andrew was able to earn his GED and come to Sinclair where he would follow his dream of becoming a mechanic and working on cars full time. With the help of the Fleck Automotive Tool Scholarship to help him pay for tools, he is on the road to success. “I always wanted to work on cars,” Andrew said.

Since his time at Sinclair, Andrew has made the Dean’s List and is on track to graduate this May. Andrew will earn his Associates of Applied Science in Automotive Technology specializing in General Motors. He is currently working in Sinclair’s co-op program at Bob Ross Buick GM where he is getting hands on experience in the field he loves. 

jerriJerri Williams is a married mother of four children. Her children range in ages from 5 months to 13 years old. In her free time, Jerri pursues her dream of having the flexibility to raise her kids by becoming her own boss and owning her own event planning business.

Jerri originally started working on a degree in Nursing but switched over to Hospitality Management with a focus in Event Planning. “I decided it was time for me to stop taking care of people and start celebrating people” she says. Since her change in majors she has gone from barely having a 2.0 GPA to having a 3.2 GPA and being on the Dean’s List. She plans to graduate in spring semester with an associate’s degree in Hospitality Management.

The Aramark Culinary Arts scholarship was created in March 1993 with the sole purpose of helping students who are majoring in Culinary Arts or Hospitality Management. Though Jerri says grants cover most of the cost of tuition and books, she still has a 45 minute drive to and from the Dayton campus which racks up quite the traveling expense and with the help of the scholarship it’ll be one less thing she has to stress about.

JordanJordan is completing his third exciting year in the Aviation program. He spends long hours of class time combined with sporadic hours of flying time and still manages to hold a full-time job. He even finds time to fly family and friends around on short trips.

Jordan has hopes to eventually work for himself and have his own business, with hopes to start a charter plane service and a dock dedicated to airplane maintenance. Thanks to Sinclair Foundation scholarships, Jordan has been lucky enough to have no out-of-pocket expenses during the majority of his college experience.

“I always wanted the opportunity to thank the people who gave me the money to help finance my education,” he said. “The scholarships I received helped relieve any financial stress I had. It also is allowing me to say I am among one of the very proud people who will get the chance to say I completed my degree!” One of the many scholarships he received was the David and Doris Ponitz Leadership Scholarship.

DebDeb is a full-time student who works part time. She explains that her time management skills have helped her persist in getting her degree. She felt the need to get an education in a field that would establish a stable career. With her children grown, she wanted to give herself a sense of security for her future. She is now working toward a degree in Respiratory Therapy, after experiencing her own difficulty with a diagnosis of asthma later in life.

Deb relied on the support of her family and friends and the inspiration she received from the staff and students at Sinclair to keep pushing her toward finishing her degree, which she received in May 2015. After Sinclair, she plans to continue on to pursue a bachelor's degree with dreams of being a member of a Rapid Response Team.

"If seeing is believing, visualizing is achieving," Deb says. She received the Choose Ohio First Scholarship, Taylor Access Grant, David and Doris Ponitz Leadership Scholarship and the Dayton Women's Coalition Books Fund. She is thankful for the financial assistance with not only her classes but her books as well. "It inspired me to really strive to succeed in my career choice, to be able to one day put myself in the financial position to support others."