Supporting students who demonstrate hard work and strong character is the crux of the Worthington Scholarship Foundation’s mission. David and Beverly Worthington know a thing or two about working hard and overcoming challenges to achieve their academic goals – and they know the value of having a support system. Now, they’re using their success to help the next generation of hard-working Maine students through their higher education journeys. The Worthington Scholarship Foundation is charting a new path for Maine students, partnering directly with colleges and taking a proactive approach to providing mentorship and support for students alongside financial assistance.
Dave attended Marietta College in Ohio for his undergraduate studies, but it wasn’t a linear path to graduation. After two years as a student, he ran out of money and had to leave school. He joined the Army to help support himself and served for three years before returning to Marietta. Dave’s military service not only allowed him to go back and complete his undergrad studies, but also to use the GI Bill to pay for graduate school.
“My heart goes out to people that need support to get through the phase of having no funding and no easy resources for funding,” Dave says of how this time in his life impacted his work with the Foundation now.
In 1966, Dave completed his degree in geology – though he readily admits he was not a star student. He was a C-student, and following the Army he discovered his aptitude for math and physics and earned a full fellowship to study geophysics in graduate school. Dave knows that it’s not just A-students who can be successful and have drive; he’s seen through his own experience and from watching Worthington scholars how a student with a 2.1 GPA can rocket forward once they discover how to draw on their inner talents and drive. With the support provided by the Worthington Scholarship Foundation, students have the resources, space, and time to focus on how to succeed in their studies.
A first-generation college student during a time when it was unusual for women to seek higher education, Beverly (Bev) benefitted much from mentorship and support from those around her. Though her family didn’t always understand her drive to seek academic success, they were always supportive. Seeing her desire to learn, her professors at Lee College were willing to go out of their way to help her succeed; Bev tells the story of how she went into labor the night before final exams, and a professor delivered the exam papers to her hospital room after she gave birth so that she could complete the testing and earn a grade for the course.
After college, Bev attended flight school at Houston’s Hobby Airport where she was the only woman in the class. She’s never been afraid to face challenges and overcome hurdles, but understands the value of drawing on support to do so.
“In college, my teachers really believed in me and that I was capable of going far – the same way we believe in our Scholars, who were chosen because we know that they have what it takes, they have that spark and we’re here to help them get through,” says Bev.
A Future-Focused Legacy
The Worthingtons are using the experience of their pasts to help Maine students build a brighter future. They want to give students the chance to break out, discover their passion and the drive they have within, creating a strong future for themselves and for Maine communities. Bev readily admits they both get emotional thinking about these students’ journeys.
“When we see their shining faces as they graduate and get that job here in Maine, they are so appreciative of people believing in them. Seeing their success and hard work is so worth it,” she says.
If you’d like more information about the Worthington Scholarship Foundation and our work to empower the next generation of Maine students, please get in touch. We can be reached at (207) 596-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.