Because our total goal and focus is on ensuring students go to college and earn a degree, we have many professionals in the community who serve as mentors or partners.
We would like to acknowledge these organizations or individuals here who are our constant and steadfast supporters and partners:
Oklahoma State University was our very first university partner in 2006 when we founded the program. Our first LFYS Program college graduate (Dec., 2011) attended Oklahoma State University. Degree options abound at OSU for our students.
Our second university partner, Oklahoma Wesleyan University has been a wonderful partner. OKWU has been amazingly supportive of assisting the LFYS Program, as well as aggressively seeking to match endowment funds. This option provides LFYS Program students with the college experience while living close to home.
Rogers State University, our third university partner, joined in 2008. We are pleased to be associated with Rogers State. Several options are available while attending RSU, and many students start school in Bartlesville and then later move to Claremore to live on campus.
Gary Quinn, Superintendent, has been a strong supporter of our program and is a great asset to the Bartlesville School District.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Bartlesville Office has been a wonderful partner. They perform the initial interviews, conduct background checks of all mentors, and assist us in the matching of students to mentors. With their expertise and many years of experience, we are able to create long-lasting and successful matches.
Truity Credit Union has worked with the LFYS Program to create a new curriculum for Finance for Your Future. The curriculum is taught by a variety of professionals who work with Truity Credit Union.
Karen Lowe-Alton has worked to create the new Steps 4 Success Program and now teaches the monthly class to 7th and 8th graders in the program. This class replaces and updates Real Life Real Choices and emphasizes the 8 values of the LFYS Program.
With the help and guidance of Mr. Harris, we have been able to develop our inkling of an idea into a strong non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We couldn't have done it without your help, Ray. Many thanks.
Johnnye was born in a Phillips Company (her father was a Phillips employee) house at Shidler, Oklahoma, in July 1925. She passed away in August 2012 at the age of 87 of what Jack describes "a bad heart," but as you read further, I believe you'll agree she actually had a very good heart. Soon after she graduated from high school, her family was transferred to Borger, TX durring WWII. By coincidence, that very same month, Johnnye's husband-to-be, Jack, a Phillips employee, was transferred from Bartlesville to Borger. Jack, a shy young man, noticed Johnnye at parties, dances, and picnics they both attended. He assessed that she was the young lady he wanted to settle down with...even though he hadn't asked her for a first date! WIthin a year after getting up enough nerve to ask Johnnye on that date, they were engaged and married at Borger. Jack and Johnnye had 66 years together as husband and wife togeether, they had three daughters.
Jack describes Johnnye "as a wonderful partner, personable and hospitable. She loved people and often was found helping othes, including frequently visiting the Owasso Baptist Children's Home. Before Jack's retirement, the couple discussed how they were not rich growing up, but they had their needs met. Then, through Jack's success and career, they climbed up the ladder econonomically and decided they wanted to give back to society. This idea sprouted several memborial funds Jack has created honoring Johnnye, including this one to the Lowe Family Young Scholars Program. Jack Presnell passed away on October 19, 2017. He was 98 years old.
A special gift. One from the heart. One that will touch young lives. Thanks to Terry and Cheri Spears, their gifts will live on in the LFYS Program Scholars. They provided memorial gifts in 2013, 2014, and 2015 in memory of their daughter, Wendy Spears Fitzpatrick.
Wendy was the oldest of their four daughters. She had boundless energy and enthusiasm. She was also very shy. Excited to get on with her life, she finished high school a semester early. Wendy did not go directly to college after high school, but took a special course to become a travel agent. She loved her career. While enjoying her career as a travel agent, she also began taking a few courses each year in college. Fellow employees described her as a "breath of fresh air." Wendy later moved to Norman, Oklahoma, and because she was learning to overcome her shyness, she assertively bargained for better pay with a Norman travel agency. She was very much like the Wendy in the song "Windy." Her stormy eyes flashed at the sound of lies and she had a ready smile for all.
Her love for her family was shown in a thousand different ways. One example of this was including her sisters on some of her FAM (familiarization) trips-mostly ski trips just before Christmas.
Through this memorial gift, other excited, ambitious young scholars will be able to look forward to their lives and future as Wendy Spears Fitzpatrick so enthusiastically looked forward to her own.