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Two Students Receive Scholarships from Ford Dealers

Two Students Receive Scholarships from Ford Dealers

Posted: January 7, 2015

Two Buffalo State freshmen enrolled in the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program recently learned that more than 70 percent of their college costs will be covered, thanks to scholarships funded by the Western New York Ford Dealers.

Isabelle Poslinski, an elementary education major, and Sonya Bayba, a biology major, each received the Buffalo ADI Ford Dealers Cooperative Scholarship. Both students will receive the scholarship annually during their four years at Buffalo State.

"As early as third grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I chose Buffalo State for its well-regarded early childhood education program," said Poslinski, who grew up in Elma, New York, and works part time in a local daycare center to help pay her remaining expenses.

Without the Ford scholarship Poslinski said she would have had to take out loans, and she predicted that would be tough to repay on a teacher's starting salary.

"Graduating debt-free as I enter the job market will be more helpful than I can ever imagine," Poslinski said. "Now, I can just focus on my studies to become the best teacher candidate I can be."

Both women applied for the scholarship earlier this year and penned essays on why they should receive the scholarship. In her essay, Bayba described the continual promise she made to her grandfather, a Ukrainian immigrant who grew up during the Great Depression, to get a college education.       

"Not only do I want to study, I want to succeed. For my grandpa and the life he built from nothing," she wrote.

Students must be enrolled in Buffalo State’s honors program to be eligible for the scholarship. To date, more than $70,000 has been awarded.

"I’m happy to see local businesses provide opportunities for our bright scholars," said Andrea Guiati, distinguished teaching professor and director of the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program. "These are dedicated individuals. Not only they will do well academically, they will also give back to the community."

The Western New York Ford Dealers’ partnership with Buffalo State began in 1994 with a donation of two brand-new Ford vehicles to the college. Buffalo State then sold raffle tickets at various school events during the year and invested the ticket sales into an endowed scholarship fund.

The first Buffalo ADI Ford Dealers Cooperative Scholarship recipient was selected in 1998 and since then it has been presented to a total of six students, including Babya and Poslinski.

"We are grateful for the Western New York Ford Dealers' continuous support of our students," said Susanne Bair, Buffalo State's vice president of institutional advancement. "Partnerships with our local business community like the Ford dealers are crucial to the mission of the college not only to educate our students, but to meet their financial needs as well."

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