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Why I chose...

... Ohio First!

By Meghan Letizia

One of the main reasons I chose to attend Ohio Northern University was the engineering education program. I am one of those people who just loves math, and I have always known that math would be part of my career. Just how much, I wasn’t sure.

Finding out that I was
one of only eight Choose
Ohio First scholars at
Northern was amazing.

I was torn between two choices. I could become an engineer and apply math at a practical level, using it to solve problems and hopefully change the world one day. Or, I could combine my love of math with my passion for helping others and become a math teacher, and know that I'm changing the world one student at a time.

Fortunately for me, Dr. Zechman introduced me to the engineering education major on my campus visit. It turns out I didn’t have to choose at all! I got everything I wanted thanks to a major that will immediately certify me to teach high school in the state of Ohio, while earning a general engineering degree at the same time. And to top it off, I earned a scholarship through the Choose Ohio First program to help me do it.

The Choose Ohio First program is a statewide scholarship program for qualified Ohio students majoring in one of the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering or math. The renewable award is $6,500 per year and can be applied on top of any financial aid package a student might receive. Here at Northern, we award the scholarship to students majoring in education within a STEM field, like I am through the engineering education program.

Northern’s engineering education program fits a real need in today’s society. Interest in STEM education has been waning in the United States, and our program, coupled with Choose Ohio First, addresses that specific concern.

Choose Ohio First helped
me make my decision. It
helped me financially,
and it also helped me
get acclimated to college
life.

I want to be a STEM educator because I would like to see tomorrow’s students take a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Many of the young people that I talk to don’t really know what being an engineer means. I think we can get more young students interested in these areas if they know the kinds of jobs and careers that are available to those with STEM educations. My Northern education is preparing me to do just that.

While the engineering education program appeared to be a perfect fit for my goals, paying for a private school education was a factor that I had to consider. Choose Ohio First helped me make my decision. It helped me financially, and it also helped me get acclimated to college life. I noticed right away how important this scholarship is to the faculty here, and how they are working to build an identity around the program. This year is our first year participating in the program, but I already feel like I am part of a community.

Finding out that I was one of only eight Choose Ohio First scholars at Northern was amazing. Because of this scholarship, I won’t need to work during school, and I can focus on my studies and on playing on the ONU tennis team (which I love!). I will have less stress over money issues and, most importantly, less debt.

I feel very fortunate to have been selected for this scholarship, and I am looking forward to participating in all the activities that go with it.
 

Meghan Letizia is a sophomore engineering education major from Dublin, Ohio. She is a member of the ONU varsity tennis team and a Choose Ohio First Scholar.