Investing in Education Through Scholarships

Kelly Guyen with Linda Brinkworth and Phyllis Bennett
Phyllis Bennett (right) and daughter Linda Brinkworth (middle) are two scholarship donors who are helping Kelly Nguyen (left) follow her dreams. Photo by Brandon Snider.

The commonalities that exist between Owen Bennett and Kelly Nguyen aren’t easily recognizable. Owen, from Holdenville, Oklahoma, was a veteran, beloved husband and father of three. Kelly is a 2016 graduate of Edmond Memorial High School and is pursuing an engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines. Both Kelly and Owen, however, grew up in single-parent families. Both have witnessed the struggles faced by those who lack higher education, and both have been fearless and victorious when facing childhood adversities. Their past comparisons aren’t the only thing binding Kelly to Owen and his family, though. Kelly is a recipient of the Bennett Family Scholarship that is helping fund her education, overcome barriers and prepare her for a better future.

After Owen’s death in 2015, his wife, Phyllis, and their children, Linda, Lyle and Rob, wanted to establish a scholarship to reflect the values their family was built on and help single-parent students. Linda knew about the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and spoke with her attorney about the fund options. After they learned a scholarship fund required no administrative work from the family, they needed little convincing that it was the right path for them.

The Bennett Family Scholarship at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation benefits children of single parents who intend to pursue studies in the field of education, science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Each area of study is related to the career or background of a Bennett family member.

“We understand the financial hardships that single-parent families endure and we want to help,” said Linda. “The Bennett Family Scholarship mirrors our family values and what we stand for.”

Kelly says that receiving the scholarship has been a great source of inspiration and motivation.

“Overcoming the barriers in my childhood has motivated me to attain success at the highest level,” said Kelly. “Instead of letting my past define me, I learned to empower myself through improving my community and helping others. I intend to spend my life dedicated to that endeavor, and I take pride in these accomplishments that, ironically, derived from overcoming adversity.”

Learn more about our scholarship program and find out how we can help you make a difference in the lives of students in our 2017 Scholarship Review.