ST. MARYS — A local networking group presented its first scholarship during its monthly meeting on Thursday.
Members of the Auglaize/Mercer Women in Business Networking Association gathered at Wayne Street United Methodist Church in St. Marys to announce the recipient of their first-ever Auglaize/Mercer WiB Program for Continuing Education — a grant to provide financial assistance to women whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to resume studies because of changing demands in their lives.
“Ever since our inception back in June 2009, we have been sharing dollars and raising money for our scholarship fund,” Women in Business Chair Sandy (Matthews) Gerdeman said.
She thanked those who worked on the scholarship committee, including Karen Ryals, Cathy Flinn, Janice Ebbing, Terra Henkle and Melissa Smalley, who was the scholarship director.
Gerdeman noted Smalley could not make it to Thursday’s meeting because of work requirements.
“She apologizes she couldn’t be here today, this is what she has worked for the whole time,” she said of Smalley.
Gerdeman then announced the group’s first-ever scholarship recipient.
“We are very, very proud that we get to award our very first scholarship to Miss Sheila Goins,” Gerdeman said.
Goins noted she is a working mom and is working toward a bachelor’s degree.
“God has blessed me with three beautiful children at home and a fourth stepchild that is older now, but I’ve been blessed,” she said. “I have an associate’s in business, working on my bachelor’s, maybe go for my master’s, but we’ll see, step-by-step. Baby steps lead to bigger things.”
Goins noted she also works locally in St. Marys.
“I’m now business manager of a wonderful new business here in St. Marys, Victory Apparel, right downtown,” she said. “Never thought I’d go into retail, but you never quite know where the road’s going to lead you.”
Goins said she also has other projects currently on her plate.
“I’m working now at starting my own business teaching technology,” she said. “There again, as I mentioned in the interview process, I never saw myself as a teacher. I just never could’ve dreamed that I would be leading other people, but here I am in that path, and I’m enjoying it.”
Goins also thanked those gathered at the church for their contributions, which led to the creation of the scholarship.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for your sharing dollars,” she said. “It’s a blessing to be honored with this scholarship. It will go toward my tuition and my books and maybe a smart pen to help me continue that goal and dream of becoming my own business owner, while I’m in that ladder of success.”
More information about the scholarship can be found at the group’s website, which is AuglaizeMercerWomenInBusiness.com.
The group’s next meeting will be in January to discuss the group’s first-ever Women’s Power Conference, which will help fund the group’s scholarship.