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Bill O’Dell Legacy Ascend Scholarship 

The Legacy Scholarship honors the memory of Bill O’Dell, president of the Putnam Wellness Coalition (PWC) who passed away unexpectedly in 2019. O’Dell worked tirelessly toward the greater good of the youth in Putnam County and surrounding areas for over 30 years. O’Dell focused his efforts on educating young adults about the dangers of addiction and the importance of education and a healthy lifestyle. This scholarship is to honor him and his commitment to the youth of Putnam County.  

*The 2023 scholarships are available from a generous donation from Fruth Pharmacy. 

Life often has a way of delivering to us situations that we never ask for and never wanted.  Individuals have two choices:  Give in to the perceived defeat and allow it to control your future or rise above the circumstance and move forward with passion and perseverance.  The Ascend scholarship is for those who want more and wish to soar above their circumstances to a better life.  

Application Guidelines 

  • Four $500 scholarships will be awarded to students within Putnam County who have endured challenging situations and have a passion to move beyond them.  Situations may include living in foster care or kinship care, living in recovery from substance misuse, experienced homelessness, etc. 

  • Participating students must have maintained no less than a 2.0 GPA to qualify for a scholarship opportunity. 

  • Participating students must be between ages 17-19 years old to qualify.


Application Process
  • Video— All applicants must review the Putnam Wellness Coalition (PWC) educational video (approximately 2 hours in length), complete the pre and post surveys, and write a short essay.  The link to the video:

  • Pre and Post Survey– Complete the pre and post surveys and submit with the short essay.

  • Short Essay—Please describe significant points that were made in the video segments and how you, as a student, will use the information to help yourself and others in the future.  Include how you plan to encourage others living in a situation similar to yours.

  • Please complete this form, and attach with all supporting documentation. Failure to complete any part of the application, the video series and its pre/post quizzes may result in disqualification.

  • Once complete, please print the pre/post quiz results, this application, your completed essay, and the letters of recommendation to: Putnam Wellness Coalition-P.O. Box 450 Hurricane, WV 25526. All entries must be postmarked by March 15th 2023.

  • Questions or concerns? Email Cathy Schrader:


Essay Guidelines:  12 pt. font, Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced, 1” margins, no less than 750 words

At the top of the page, flush left, please include the following:

  • List your full name

  • Name of the school currently attending

  • Specify if attending public, private or homeschool

  • Current Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Address and phone number

  • Email address

  • Whether you are interested in attending a college, university, or a trade school 

  • Field of interest you wish to pursue


Mail completed essay, pre and post surveys, along with a letter of recommendation from the current educational facility to the Putnam Wellness Coalition Scholarship at P.O. Box 450 Hurricane, WV 25526.  Applications due no later than March 15, 2023.  


Selection Process for Scholarships
  • PWC Board Members will review all applications accompanied by the required supporting materials.

  • Applicants will be scored using a point system based on the quality of the content of the essay, the student’s academic performance and review of the letters of recommendation.

  • All decisions by the PWC Board of Directors are final, and any attempts by applicants to lobby or persuade the members during the process will result in immediate disqualification.


Notice of Academic Scholarship
  • Notice to scholarship finalists will be sent via email to the address provided on the application.

  • PWC will require final enrollment verification from the college, university or trade school of choice, and a signature for promotional release. The scholarship is not officially awarded until finalists return the required documents.

  • The scholarship payment will be made directly to the college, university, or trade school on behalf of students. 

  • Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis if extenuating circumstances are demonstrated.


Teen Leadership Summit

Students in Putnam County, WV and surrounding areas are welcome to participate in the 3-day Teen Leadership Summit that takes place in June of each year at the Valley Park Conference Center in Hurricane, WV.  Three scholarships will be distributed on the last day of the conference for eligible participants who engage in all three days of the conference.  Watch the Putnam Wellness Coalition Facebook page for details closer to the event.  The conference is free but registration is required. 

Disclaimer:  The number of scholarships awarded, and the amount of each scholarship will be determined yearly pending available funding. 

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