Each year, Ohio ACTE awards up to two Darrell Parks Student Scholarships, which provide $1,000 toward the continuing education of career-technical graduates. The winners are chosen by Dr. Darrell Parks, former director of the ODE Office of CTE and past Executive Director of Ohio ACTE.
Congratulations to the 2022 scholarship winners, Samikchhaya Oli & Gabriel Morgensen!
Samikchhaya Oli graduated in May of 2022 from the Scarlet Oaks Health Technology program and will be attending the Miami University Regional Hamilton Campus nursing program.
Samikchhaya was born and raised in a refugee camp in a tiny hut built of bamboo and plastic, dirt floors, no running water, heat, or air conditioning. In 2013, Samikchhaya’s parents were given the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. She was in third grade at the time and going to school in America was difficult because of the language barrier, but Samikchhaya took initiative to seek help at the library and from family members who could help with homework. During sophomore year, Samikchhaya’s class toured Scarlet Oaks Career Campus. She said of the experience, “As soon as I walked into the Nursing lab, I knew this was where I belonged. The nursing skills displayed by the seniors during the tour grabbed my attention and sparked my curiosity. I applied to the program after a few days. I was concerned at first because it was a competitive program, but I knew what I wanted and that if I put my heart into it, I could succeed. I made the best decision of my life by coming to Scarlet Oaks to learn more about the medical field.” Through the program, Samikchhaya has become a state-tested nurse aide, and graduated with a medical assistant certificate and honors diploma. In addition to pursuing the nursing program at Scarlet Oaks, Samikchhaya was also a member of Student Council, HAPPAC, and Key Club, and worked at McDonald’s and Walmart. Samikchhaya’s long-term career goal is to work as a nurse practitioner and make a positive impact on the lives of sick patients.
Gabriel Morgensen graduated from the Pike County Career Technology Center’s Engineering Technology program and will be attending Shawnee State University to pursue the Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing 2+2 Plastic Options program. While at Pike County Career Technology Center, Gabriel was a member of 4-H, National Honors Society and worked on several service learning projects, including helping with STEM activities at a local elementary school.
Gabriel’s career-tech program benefitted him in many ways, such as giving him a unique skillset and teaching him how to tackle problems head-on. Gabriel was able to build a 3D printer, design digital creations, and turn them into reality. “While I learn things like Trigonometry and Algebra, I am also learning information about technology related to the real world, and that’s given me special skills only students in my career-technical program can get,” said Gabriel. The opportunity to attend a career center set Gabriel up for success in his chosen field, and he is excited to continue his career at Shawnee State University.
Congratulations and best wishes in your future careers, Samikchhaya and Gabriel!