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New Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship campaign encourages adults to go to college

In Education, Local, News by OC Monitor Staff

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Never Underestimate You! That’s the mantra behind a new campaign for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, a program designed to boost education and employability among adults.

The scholarship, which Owensboro Community & Technical College began offering in 2017, offers up to 60 hours of free tuition for anyone who has not yet earned an associate degree. The scholarship includes 185 credentials in five high-demand sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, business/IT, construction/skilled trades, and transportation.

OCTC awarded $796,712.00 in the Work Ready KY Scholarship for the 2019-2020 year. The scholarship has already been awarded to 182 students for fall, for a total of $294,412.00.

Funded by the Kentucky Lottery, courses are available through OCTC and the other 15 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Galen College of Nursing, MedQuest College, Northern Kentucky University, Sullivan University, University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.

“We are excited to be able to offer students this resource. Interested students can check out the website or contact our financial aid staff to get help with the process,” commented Rebecca Simon, Director of Financial Aid. She added, “If students are unsure of which program they want to pursue, we can refer them to the Pathfinder Den where the success coaches can help them explore all their options.”

The new campaign features a hotline number (833-711-WRKS) that adults can call to receive assistance from college advisors on how to enroll in the program. Other components include special events, paid media and a Work Ready website.

Hip-hop artist Buffalo “B.” Stille of the Nappy Roots, the campaign spokesperson, created a rap about the scholarship that is featured in all the advertising.

Stille, a Grammy and American Music Awards nominee, recently earned his bachelor’s degree and champions education as the key to a better life. His rap urges Kentuckians to “Never underestimate you!” He is a Louisville resident and Kentucky native.

“I believe that education is the one thing that nobody can take away from you,” said Stille. “The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program is amazing because it offers a lot of different skill sets and is tuition-free. If I can go back to school, anybody can do it.”

Dr. Andrea Borregard, OCTC’s Dean of Students added, “The great part about this scholarship is that at OCTC it really is like free tuition for those that qualify. If you don’t have a college degree, are a citizen of Kentucky and don’t have any prior debt to KHEAA, this scholarship will cover your tuition even if you are not eligible for any other aid.”

The Work Ready campaign is a partnership between KCTCS, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Lottery, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, The Graduate Network, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, Prichard Committee and AARP. It is also supported and partially funded by the Lumina Foundation.

For more information about Work Ready and the campaign visit the website.

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