Floyd Edwin Younkin (1916) and Mary Irene Pontius (1920) were born and raised in Pickaway County. The struggles involved in working family farms during the Depression established a strong work ethic and determination that they carried throughout their lives. They instilled that same principle in their three children as well as Irene’s twin sister’s three children whom they raised after her untimely death.
After their marriage in 1940, they moved to Columbus and purchased 9 acres of ground on Greenlawn Avenue where they ran a wrecking company during WWII and later used the land as a temporary trailer park for returning GI’s. What started as 25 temporary spaces grew to a dozen manufactured housing communities and nearly 2500 residents. A pioneer in the industry, Floyd’s park designs and building methods and Irene’s hands-on management led them to both being inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame as a testament to their success. Along the way they also built parks in Florida and transitioned that into a public company known as Dycom Industries, a leading construction company in fiber optics which is currently traded on the NYSE.
Following Floyd’s death in 1997, Irene continued her active role in the businesses they built until her death in 2015. She paid forward to the communities they loved and educating youth with her contribution to form the Floyd E. Younkn branch library in Ashville and the Younkin Success Center at The Ohio State University. Although they never had the opportunity to attend college, both strongly believed in the rewards that education brings. To continue the legacy that they started, Floyd and Irene’s family established this scholarship.
Brenda Muller was an avid reader. The last seven years of her career with the State of Ohio were in the Department of Education. Charles Muller was the recipient of a scholarship that made an otherwise unobtainable college education possible. His studies of America’s material culture could not have been without the assistance of many libraries. Libraries are the keepers of history, the preservers of culture and the gateway to the pursuit of intellectual curiosity.
Ohio has a long history of inventing and building things. The purpose of the Savan Family Scholarship is to allow residents of central and northeast Ohio to continue this tradition through technical post-secondary education in fields related to design, construction, manufacturing, and logistics. An emphasis is placed on skilled trades and technical academic fields.
Paradigm Operating Company is a leading manufacturer of vinyl windows that goes to market through both the Paradigm and Vista brands. The purpose of the CWindows Scholarship is to assist dependents and children of Paradigm Operating Company employees in their pursuit of post-secondary education.
The scholarship was created to honor Ed Harper, who devoted his more than 40-year career to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. His vision for assisting individuals to achieve their maximum potential led to the formation of community supportive living services. As a result, four residential homes were established in central Ohio. He served as the executive director for Franklin County Residential Services (FCRS), predecessor to I Am Boundless, until his retirement in 2015.
The scholarship was established by the Michael and Linda Stickney Foundation. Linda has a passion for animal welfare and Michael is the broker of NorthSteppe Realty, and the great-great grandson of Thomas Ewing Miller. The fund commemorates T. Ewing Millers’ founding directorship of the Capital Area Humane Society.
The Marian and Wayne Sinsel Fund was established by Marian Sinsel to honor her late husband Wayne. From childhood, Marian was hearing impaired, and understood the importance of quality and affordable services to those with hearing loss, and is designed NOT to displace state or federal funding.
Marian Sinsel was born August 17, 1920 and graduated from Steubenville High School in 1938. Marian and Wayne Sinsel owned a Western Auto Association Store in Logan, Ohio, later changed to Sinsel’s Craft Place.
Dr. Kasturi Rajadhyaksha (Dr. Raja) was a physician, mother, grandmother, and community volunteer. A physician by training, Dr. Raja immigrated to the United States in 1969. After the death of her husband in 1976, she reinvented herself in her 50’s by deciding to go back to school to pursue a Master of Public Health Administration at Johns Hopkins University. After finishing her master’s degree, she became the Asian coordinator for Jhpiego, an international nonprofit organization run by Johns Hopkins University to improve education in gynecology and obstetrics. She spent six years in this position, during which time she traveled to more than twenty countries to organize training in laparoscopy.
In 1984, Dr. Raja moved to Columbus to serve as a board member and Minority Business Coordinator of DLZ Corporation, an architectural and engineering firm founded by her son, Vikram “Raj” Rajadhyaksha. In Columbus, she volunteered her time for many community organizations and became a community leader for several causes. In 1990, Dr. Raja founded the Women of Indian Subcontinent Support Group (WISSUG), a group to help South Asian women. In 1993, she co-founded the Asian American Commerce Group (AACG) to unite the diverse Asian-American community in central Ohio under a single voice.
In 2003, Dr. Raja and nine others founded ASHA-Ray of Hope, a nonprofit organization that helps domestic abuse victims in central Ohio’s South Asian Community. Since its foundation, ASHA-Ray of Hope has helped hundreds of women and their families by providing much needed support to female immigrants who often have no other support system.