Funds provided for Bridging the Dream ScholarshipsPine Technical & Community College Foundation’s Bridging the Dream scholarship program will be able to help a few more students achieve their educational and career goals, thanks to a grant from the Onan Family Foundation. The Onan Family Foundation recently award an $8,000 grant to provide "Bridging the Dream Scholarships" to qualified students attending PTCC. The Onan Family Foundation has indicated to the college that they intend for the grant to be ongoing.
The Onan Family Foundation is based in Minneapolis and supports nonprofit and community organizations through grants. Its founder, David W. Onan, was a man who never shied from hard work and felt the need to give back to the community that had always supported him and his business endeavors. His grandson David W. Onan II, now a trustee of the organization, said the Onan Family Foundation had often supported colleges in the past, mostly liberal arts schools. The trustees of the Foundation sought an opportunity to support technical education.
“The family started as tradesmen, and we want to support the trades of any kind – all the things that put people to work. We need people with hands-on skills,” said Onan. “What [PTCC] does is an ideal fit.”
Onan explained that by supporting the trades, the Onan Family Foundation can also help foster entrepreneurism and the regional economy. His daughter, Karen Onan Amundson, was excited for the opportunity to support a college she felt she had an affiliation to.
“The trustees are giving to the organizations that we feel strongly for. We’re feeling a connection to those that we’re giving to. With what Pine Tech does, it supports the community,” Amundson said. “And I think a lot of the folks that go there have a thought to start their own business. That’s something my great-grandfather would have been proud to support.”
“We are indebted to David Onan and the Onan Family Foundation for their great generosity. This partnership will ultimately benefit a great number of students, enabling them to attend college and gain the benefits that technology education can provide,” said PTCC President Robert Musgrove. “In some cases, a scholarship can mean the difference between going to college or putting those dreams on hold. Our graduates go on to be some of the very finest entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, business leaders and tradesmen that our community relies on. And we’re proud to help them achieve their goals with the generous gift from the Onan Family Foundation.”
Each year, scholarship recipients share a similar story: Bridging the Dream Scholarships have made a difference in their lives.
“I would not have been financially prepared to go back to college if it wasn’t for the Bridging the Dream Scholarship,” said Nicholas Seeger, a 2013 scholarship recipient.
“Receiving this scholarship played a key role in helping to achieve my educational dreams,” affirmed 2012 scholarship recipient, Jamie Anderson.
“We are a small foundation, and we do things in small ways,” said Onan.
The Onan family tradition of helping the community dates back to the 1930s, when David W. Onan became the president of Optimist International and began volunteer work building a boys’ camp. Helping to improve the lives of children was always close to D. W. Onan’s heart, and became the impetus for the Onan Family Foundation. Today, the Onan Family Foundation has provided more than $10 million in grant funds to various nonprofit, arts and education organizations throughout the region.
For more information on the Onan Family Foundation, go to http://www.onanfamily.org/. To learn more about the Pine Technical & Community College Foundation, or to contribute to scholarship funds, go to http://www.pine.edu/partners/ptcc-foundation/.