In addition to the Jerry Grier Scholarship program, OCCH strengthens pathways to and through college by supporting other community-based organizations that assist students from less than advantaged backgrounds as they pursue higher learning. One of those such organizations is Greater Columbus Community Helping Hands, which has served more than 400 graduating high school seniors from Columbus City Schools, Whitehall City Schools and college-bound students specifically residing in affordable housing communities throughout Central Ohio.
Through workshops and training, students gain self-confidence and critical life skills in areas such as time management, self-presentation, financial literacy, and leadership. In addition, students are equipped with a laptop, printer, and dorm room package with all the materials they need to make a successful transition into campus life. “I have noticed that I am more prepared, and more successful because of my laptop and printer… I have been able to achieve the Dean’s list this semester, and it is all because of Greater Columbus Community Helping Hands,” one recipient described. Other special students include a young woman entering Morehouse College to pursue a medical degree after graduating from Spelman University, and a young man attending Ohio University with the goal to become an airplane pilot after completing an ROTC program.
Scholarships and supports provided by OCCH and Greater Columbus Community Helping Hands have also worked together to jointly benefit a number of students, residents of Columbus Scholar House, as well as Homeport and Wallick communities. In 2018, Fifth-Third Bank Community Development Corporation provided a generous grant of $70,000 to support the work of Greater Columbus Helping Hands, assisting 43 students from affordable housing developments as they ‘stepped off to college.’