MOTIVATING A NEW GENERATION OF TEACHERS
In his almost four decades as a teacher within the Muncie school system, Gary Addison saw firsthand the positive influence that classroom educators can have on youth. To encourage college-bound students to pursue careers in K-12 education, he established the Gary W. Addison Scholarship at The Community Foundation in 2010.
His efforts to ease the financial burden of higher education were linked to his personal experience. When Addison entered college in 1964 he cobbled together loans and worked summer jobs to meet tuition expenses. Still, he admits he “didn’t have a prayer” without the scholarships he received in his hometown of Hobart, Ind. These helped pay for his freshman year at Northwestern University. He then transferred to Marion College and received additional scholarships to finish his degree in English education.
“I was helped because somebody saw fit to put up some money,” he says. In the spirit of this generosity, he met with the staff at The Community Foundation, created the Addison Scholarship fund and specified the requirements for its recipients. Applicants need to have earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher and have “gone above and beyond their academic studies outside the classroom.”
In addition to developing future teachers, he hopes his scholarship encourages recipients to someday create similar funds.
What I’d really like to think is that they—like me—realize that somebody’s philanthropy helped get them through school and that maybe at some point, they’ll be able to help somebody who follows them.
He chose The Community Foundation as his partner because “The Foundation is unique because it isn’t a single-focused foundation. You can support almost any charitable purpose with this foundation. It exists to help the community…and it’s not restrictive.”