Just a few short years ago, uneven terrain, broken goal posts, weeds and trash greeted students at Webster Middle School in south Oklahoma City, as well as families from the nearby neighborhood looking for a space to play. Thanks to a collaboration of community partners including the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and Fields & Futures, the school grounds now feature new athletic fields and a walking/running track complete with landscaping and trees.
Katrinka Greear, Webster Middle School athletic director, says the renovation has been a game changer for both students and the community.
“This is one of the few places where they can come with their families,” she said. “It’s a community field.”
To provide for ongoing maintenance of the fields and ensure the area can be enjoyed by the surrounding community for years to come, Fields & Futures established an endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. To help build the fund, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund is offering a $200,000 matching grant for $600,000 in gifts made through May 31, 2018. To make a gift toward the match, visit occf.org/kffmatch.
Learn more about the Webster Middle School project in a recent segment of Oklahoma Gardening below.
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.