Service Learning Opportunity Fund Seeks Applicants

Initiative of the Dr. Ronald A. Stewart Charitable Fund

2009 marks the fifth year of a unique scholarship fund designed to provide students with first hand experience among different cultures. The Service–Learning Opportunity Fund, an Initiative of the Dr. Ronald A. Stewart Charitable Fund, was established by Dr. Stewart in 2004. His goal for the fund is to enable young leaders to travel and gain new appreciations for world issues and recognize the important role these issues play in bringing about practical solutions—both at home and abroad.

However, Service Learning is much more than a travel opportunity. The Fund, made available to students in the 32 Ohio Appalachian Regional Commission Counties, provides an opportunity for its participants to expand on their traditional classroom learning by engaging in service to others. Students are encouraged to travel and immerse themselves in different cultures in order to enhance their personal character, support new learning, celebrate the world’s diversity, and nurture greater tolerance and respect through service to others. Previous awardees have provided service to the peoples of Jamaica, Guatemala, Russia, Africa and South Africa.

Full-time high school or college students who are current or former students from high schools in the 32 Ohio Appalachian counties are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. A maximum of $1,500 may be requested from this Fund. The application deadline is February 28. Awards will be announced on or before April 1.

To obtain a copy of the application please call the Stark Community Foundation at 330-454-3426, visit their website, or download it here. Questions regarding the application can be addressed to Dr. Ronald A. Stewart via e-mail at or by phone at 626-644-0619.

Ronald A. Stewart, Ph.D., is a 1983 graduate of Carrollton High School, a 1987 graduate of Kent State University, a 1996 graduate of Case Western Reserve University, and a 2004 graduate of The Union Institute and University. Dr. Stewart established The Service–Learning Opportunity Fund upon the completion of his doctoral studies in 2004. Dr. Stewart currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Stewart is a native of Perrysville, Ohio (Carroll County) and takes great pride in being from one of the thirty-two Appalachian counties in Ohio. As an educator and social advocate, Dr. Stewart’s career has focused on the nonprofit sector—addressing community–based issues such as poverty, inadequate health care, affordable housing, and homelessness.

Travel (both domestically and internationally) is a passion for Dr. Stewart. Through his travels he has witnessed the powerful effect that exposure to various cultures, customs and beliefs has on a person’s character. He believes so strongly in the need for young leaders to experience other cultures in order to help them develop character, understanding and tolerance, that he created The Service–Learning Opportunity Fund.

For more information, contact:
Ronald A. Stewart, Ph.D.

Last edited on 01.30.2009 at 9:51 a.m. by lrisler

OACHE Hosts Credit-Flexibility Constituent Conversation

On January 14 the OACHE hosted a constituent conversation on a proposed credit-flexibility plan for Ohio high schools. The plan, being developed by the Carnegie Design Team in compliance with state legislation in Senate Bill 311, would enable Ohio students to earn high-school credits based on a demonstration of subject-area competency, instead of or in combination with hours of classroom instruction.

Approximately 35 attendees participated in the January 14 conversation. The purpose of the meeting was to (1) gain feedback from stakeholders in southeastern Ohio about how this provision can be successfully implemented and what’s needed to ensure the vision of graduating all Ohio students becomes real, and (2) help early adopters to position themselves to get positive results – and to help larger numbers of students to graduate with postsecondary credits and work experiences that reflect the necessary preparation for success beyond high school.

The Ohio Department of Education is holding similar constituent conversations throughout Ohio on the proposed credit-flexibility plan. For more information about the proposal or other meeting details, visit and search using the keywords "credit flexibility." You can also download the plan brochure here.

Last edited on 01.15.2009 at 9:56 p.m. by lrisler