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College Cash Wrap Up

College Cash Wrap Up

Posted: 02.11.13

Joseph Lorick, keynote speaker for 2013 College Cash 101 Seminar

This year’s College Cash 101 was the best received seminar yet.  It was our fourth year in a row offering the service to students in Maryland.  Students and parents attended free sessions in Baltimore and Columbia and learned about the scholarship search, money management, and student loans.  We are grateful to our generous sponsors — BB&T, Howard County General Hospital, and SECU, for their support.

Our keynote speaker, Joseph Lorick, opened the session with a lively discussion about the importance of thinking about one’s future before signing on the dotted line.  Joseph wrote Did Everything But Think (D.E.B.T) — a guide to avoiding debt traps while on the path to financial freedom.  Joseph graduated from the 3rd oldest high school in the country, Baltimore City College, in 1999.  He went on to earn his bachelors in business administration from Bowie State University.  As a senior, Joseph began his career in banking and has never stopped.  He has worked in Collections, Credit, Mortgage, Consumer Loans, Consumer Checking, Small Business Checking and Strategies for ten years.  During this time, he has spoken with thousands of customers and gained extensive knowledge about the financial habits of American citizens.Students at the 2013 College Cash 101 Seminar

Our program staff (Roberta Goldman, Angela Harrison, and Jennifer Bauer) shared tips on how to stand out in the application pool and advised the audience about different types of student loans.  We had 100 students in attendance at the University of Baltimore College Cash session, and 120 attending the Columbia session at Howard County General Hospital.  Those who attended are eligible for one of three College Cash 101 Scholarships.  We are receiving applications for this scholarship now and results will be announced in May, June, and July via our twitter and facebook pages.  The first place College Cash 101 scholarship for $1,250 will be announced and awarded at Central Scholarship’s Annual Student Awards Ceremony in July.

Central Scholarship presents 4th annual College Cash

Posted: 01.08.13


The evening event, sponsored by Howard County General Hospital, is

aimed helping high school and college students find money for school. College Cash 101 logo

Baltimore, MD – January 7, 2013 – Central Scholarship presents its fourth annual College Cash event sponsored by BB&T, Howard County General Hospital, and SECU. The financial literacy event is intended to help high school and college students figure out the complex world of paying for college.  Central Scholarship elected to host these events after years of working with students who were struggling to navigate the complex world of paying for higher education.

Central Scholarship will be hosting two sessions, one in Baltimore City and one in Howard County. The sessions will be specifically focused on helping students find ways to pay for college featuring guest speaker Joseph Lorrick, author of DEBT (Did Everything But Think).

Attendees will have the opportunity to win scholarships valued up to $1,250. Scholarship funding provided by Howard County General Hospital. 

The event will be open to the public, but registration is required and space is limited. Attendees can register for the Baltimore event here and for the Howard County event here.

 Session #1

When: January 15, 2012, 5:30pm-8:00pm

Where: University of Baltimore School of Law, Moot Court Room
1415 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

Session #2

When: January 31st, 2012, 5:30pm- 8:00pm

Where: Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center
10710 Charter Drive #100
Columbia, MD 21044

This will be a great event for students and parents who are wondering how they can afford college. The session will be interactive and informative and attendees will walk away with a better understanding where they can find money for school. For more information please call 410-415-5558.

 About Central Scholarship:

Central Scholarship enables students to pursue education or training after high school through scholarship opportunities and interest-free loans that fund the gap after all other financial aid has been awarded. Established in 1924 and with more than $1 million in scholarships awarded annually, Central Scholarship screens student applications against dozens of scholarship opportunities according to criteria established by its donors. With a deep connection to its students and the local community, Central Scholarship’s uniqueness is in its approach: investing in the future of students, their families and the neighborhoods in which they live.


Founded in Baltimore in 1951, SECU is the largest state-chartered financial cooperative in Maryland, with over 225,000 members. SECU is ranked among the top 47 credit unions for total assets in the U.S. As of October, 2012, assets were $2.6 billion. Headquartered in Linthicum, MD, SECU has 21 branches and 104 ATMs throughout Maryland. SECU also provides access to over 68,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the CO-OP and Allpoint networks. For more information about SECU, visit

# # #


Jessica Schmidt-Bonifant

Development Director

Office: 410-415-5558

Cell: 443-812-1655

[email protected]

Join us this month for COLLEGE CASH 101

Posted: 01.07.13

College Cash 101 Invitation

Join us for this year’s COLLEGE CASH 101 sponsored by BB&T, Howard County General Hospital, and SECU– a free seminar we offer to undergraduate students and high school seniors.  Why attend COLLEGE CASH 101?

1. Opportunity to win $2,500 in scholarship awards available only to those who attend

2. Network with Central Scholarship decision-making staff

BB&T logo3. Learn how making smart choices can help you avoid debt and set you up for success

To accommodate students living in different parts of Maryland, we have two sessions at different locations available this year.  Please choose which session you will attend below.  The same material will be covered at each location.

Tuesday, January 15th

Howard County General Hospital logoUniversity of Baltimore School of Law, Moot Court Room, 1415 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201

5:30-8 pm *snow date for this event is January 22nd

Register here for the January 15th session. 

Directions to the UB School of Law.  Parking will be validated at the Fitzgerald garage and the Maryland avenue garage.

SECU logoThursday, January 31st

Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive #100, Columbia, MD 21044

5:30-8 pm

Register here for the January 31st session.

Directions to the HCGH Wellness Center.

Refreshments and snacks will be served at 5:30 pm and the program will commence at 6:00 pm.

This event is open to the public.  You may bring guests.

Grant Prize MONEY Magazine Scholarship Winner

Posted: 07.25.12

Joshua Parker and Jan Wagner present Money Magazine Scholarship check to Kimberly Ozuno

Congratulations to Kimberly Ozuna who was surprised with the news that she won a $5,000 MONEY Magazine Scholarship at Central Scholarship’s Student Award Ceremony this month.  Her name was announced on July 12th and with both parents in the audience, Kimberly excitedly received the check from Central Scholarship Chair, Michael Ward, and Central Scholarship Executive Director, Jan Wagner.  The MONEY Magazine Scholarship competition asked students to write essays about their experience at COLLEGE CASH 101 — a financial literacy event held in March.  Kimberly is a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  The first three winners — Michael Greene, Ashley Banks, and Makruma Islam, were announced in previous months.  Kimberly’s winning essay is below.

Money Magazine Scholarship winner Kimberly Ozuno (center) with her family

I would like to begin by showing my appreciation for the College Cash event.  It challenged me academically and emotionally to push further to reach my highest potential.  I really enjoyed the wonderful speakers who were able to speak to us about their different experiences in college and where they are today. It helped me get a new perspective on the importance of college and how to manage the financial burden that comes along with it.  One of the speakers, Myra Halloway, a Human Resources Client Consultant, said, “If you do what you love, then you don’t have to work another day in your life.”  This quote stuck with me because doing what you love is something everyone wants to achieve and accomplish in their life, but many times they do not have the right tools or are unsure of how to attain this desirable career path.  I was able to go to the Breakout session called “Finding Money for College.”   I decided to go to this session because I knew it would benefit my parents, who are currently struggling with paying for college.  My brother and I are both attending college at the same time and I know it is hard on my father who has to support us and my other four siblings. 

During my senior year in college, I was accepted to nine schools, so I had a variety of options to pick from and many financial aid letters to look at.  The smartest thing to do, especially in our financial situation, is to go to school in-state.  However, as a young high school student ready to get away from her parents and get the college experience everyone was talking about, I chose to go to an out-of-state school in Virginia.  After the first semester, I decided the school was not for me and to help my parents with the tuition fee, I transferred back to Maryland.  Now I attend University of Maryland, Baltimore County and if I could go back in time I would have attended this school instead of the one in Virginia for the reason that I received more financial aid.  At the session, Angela Harrison and Jennifer Bauer shared important information about the types of college cash, need-based, and merit-based aid.  College students are sometimes unaware of these different forms of way to pay for school.  As a result, they graduate from college with large amount of debt and loans.  Since the discussion, I have become more aware of these types of aid and will try to avoid college debt. 

This event has also taught me how to build wealth after college by setting goals, creating a budget, and creating a personal financial statement.  Another quote that remains with me, said by Joe Kontoff is, “People’s success is due to ability, timing, and practice.”  I also learned the importance of maintaining a relationship with the people you meet as a key component in creating a network with them, because you never know when those people will benefit you in the future.  For instance, my high school counselor has always helped me throughout the school year, telling me about scholarship opportunities.  In my junior year, he nominated me for a program called Collegiate Directions Inc.  This program is a non-profit organization dedicated to help students whose families are financially struggling and need more assistance for students going to college.  During the application process for college, they helped me find resources to help pay for the SAT test fee and the college application fee.  This was really helpful, especially when I had applied to nine schools.  This bond with CDI last from high school through college, communicating through emails.  My relationship with Mr. Thompson also is intact till this day.  I remember when I was in school in Virginia and he would call me to see how I am doing and talk to me about my other options if I wanted to transfer.  It was nice to know that if I needed any counsel, I could count on him.  Now in school I make sure to get along with everyone and network as much as possible.
Next year, it would be nice to talk about other options if college is not affordable for some students.  Also, find ways to help those students who struggle financially and help them find programs such as CDI, to help families with low income.  This is very important because as our economy is getting worse it becomes harder for students to even think about going to college, since they have to help their families with their basic needs.  So as a result, many students do not have the time or motivation to go to school because they cannot afford it, and instead they get jobs to support their families.  However, I know if more people are educated in ways to help these students then it will have a ripple effect and circulate to other people, forming a network that strives to make sure these students are not burdened by financial reasons and are given the chance to get an education like everyone else.

Bonnie Lyon, Art Educator and Scholar of the Month

Posted: 06.26.12

BHD Endowed Scholarship Program for Graduate Teacher Education recipient Bonnie Lyon

Bonnie Lyon is an aspiring art educator.  She received the BHD Endowed Scholarship Program for Graduate Teacher Education at Central Scholarship.

As a product of the Harford County Public School System, Bonnie came to appreciate the diverse student body and the challenges students face.  She writes, “I believe allowing students to channel their inner frustrations in a therapeutic non-threatening way is the most significant challenge in the school systems today.  It is imperative for a child to be able to have a creative outlet and share their inner voice.”

Bonnie earned her undergraduate degree at Towson University.  During her time at Towson, Bonnie was an assistant teacher, played the piano for a children’s choir, and conducted tours of the Baltimore Museum of Art.  During the summer before her first year of graduate school, Bonnie incurred  a terrible fall which resulted in significant injuries.  “I was completely disarrayed as to why I would have sustained such significant injuries in my life at a time in which I was ready to start my life as a young educated lady,” writes Bonnie.  Medical bills from the accident placed a financial burden on Bonnie and her family.  The BHD Scholarship helped Bonnie pay for school and graduate this year.

Central Scholarship has helped many students become teachers.  At this year’s Student Awards Ceremony, Joshua Parker — Maryland State Teacher of the Year — will speak to our guests.  For more information on this year’s Student Awards Ceremony, click here.

Announcing the second MONEY Magazine Scholarship Winner — Ashley Banks

Posted: 06.18.12

MONEY Magazine Scholarship winner Ashley Banks

Ashley Banks has won the second of four MONEY Magazine Scholarships.  Ashley is a graduate student at UMBC and she hopes to teach math after she graduates.  At College Cash 101 in March, students attended a seminar about how to manage their finances.  Sessions about finding scholarships, budgeting, and planning for the future were available for those in attendance.  In partnership with MONEY Magazine, Central Scholarship held the event at the University of Baltimore.  Students were eligible to apply for an additional scholarship not available to those who apply online — the MONEY Magazine Scholarship which will be awarded to four students.  The first two winners, Michael Greene and Ashley Banks, were announced in May and June.  The remaining winners will be announced in July — with the grand winner of $5,000 to be announced at Central Scholarship’s Student Awards Ceremony on July 12th.  Upon receiving the award, Ashley wrote, “This award is a extra motivation to continue networking, and to always be informed.  Now I would also like to make sure others know what’s out there too.  I was glad to see the turnout of high school students, undergraduates, parents and educators. Every session was helpful, and I hope to see more things to come.”
Ashley’s winning essay —

As a college graduate, I have learned you have to take opportunities when they are presented.  Seminars are excellent ways of providing you with useful information and networking.  I attended college for several semesters by using loans, graduated with a poor credit score, am applying for graduate school, and am always thinking about life after college.  I was very grateful to attend College Cash 101 and get answers to my current situations.

I came in with a positive attitude and an open mind thinking I would make the most of an opportunity.  I needed to practice speaking with people to make contacts who were knowledgeable about paying for college and living financially responsible lives.  Knowing I could use information from every breakout session but could only attend two left me with a responsibility.  It was up to me to step out of my comfort zone and make contacts with speakers from sessions I could not attend.   I was able to chat with Mr. Stephen Briggs who held “The Perks and Perils of Credit” session.  After our talk, I have learned about attaining a free credit report every year and different types of saving accounts.  Since then, I have reviewed my credit report with a manager at Wells Fargo which helped me to reduce my bills, and learn about a credit repair program at a community center.  Now I have another opportunity to go to a seminar concerning credit where I can afterwards sit alone with a financial manager.   I was also able to converse with Jennifer Bauer from Central Scholarship, and clear up some questions I had about Central Scholarships.  I was glad about having to write one essay and be eligible for several scholarships. I will also keep in contact with Ms. Bauer for information on the no interest school loans offered through Central Scholarships.

As an undergrad, I didn’t know where to turn to or opportunities on receiving money for college.  Now I know about paying for college without incurring more debt.  In the “Finding Money for College” session, I was informed on the different types of money for college.  There are many scholarship search engines but this session helped to identify the most notable websites.  After looking at the Fastweb website, I have learned some valuable tips such as interview etiquette and internship prospects.  I took this seminar one step further and found scholarship programs inside of my university that will offer me summer experiences with middle school and high school students.

Choosing sessions was tough, but I focused on my current situations which are finding money for college and repaying student loans.  Kim Clark was excellent at warming the audience.  Dealing with money issues can be stressful to students and their parents.  Ms. Clark was very relaxed and eased our tension in letting us know other possibilities of repaying loans.  Since I will be in graduate school, I can place my undergraduate school loans in deferment.  I plan to pay the interest now.  She went around the room and gave advice to each person.  I want to be a mathematics teacher, and she told me about programs that pay loans for STEM teachers.  I went to the Maryland Higher Education Commission website, and found several grants and loan repayment programs for when I start my career.  The Direct Loans website also has a repayment program for STEM.  She differentiated between subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, and which places offered the best loans.

The final presentation was the panel on “Post-College Employment”.  I was inspired to make things happen for me after listening to the four panelists tell about their hard work, careers, and advice.  I am motivated to seek out opportunities, and not become complacent.  There are great opportunities that I can take and I plan to keep progressing.  I am not only setting my sights on becoming a teacher but also move up the education ladder.  Listening to how Mr. Ashley Stewart reached out to people which lead him to become a Speechwriter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education made me want to take action.  I went to my high school, and spoke with several math teachers, the mathematics department head, vice principle and principle.  What happened next made me think of Myra Holloway and the impression she left with people that gave her job opportunities she did not apply for.  A teacher remembered teaching me and introduced me to some of the faculty.  I was surprised that some of the faculty remembered me as well.  I will know be an assistant teacher for my former teacher, and have the possibility of a job.

What other things could be included in the next College Cash 101 Sessions?  Although I took notes, there was a lot of information that I missed.  It would have been nice to have a handout or email of the information presented.  I wanted to attend all four sessions but there was only time for two sessions.  It would be pleasant to have a weekend conference or split the sessions up.  Adding a session on resumes and interviews would make post graduates more employable.  Another idea is to have a few mock interviews to show students a model of what interviews are like.  Focusing on high school graduates, a session on college life would help these students be responsible at the beginning of their college careers.

I truly appreciate the efforts of Central Scholarship and Money Magazine.   I found the Money magazine April 2012 issue to be very.  I am also pleased at the opportunity for a chance of several more scholarships through this essay.  With College Cash 101, I have become more confident and motivated in continuing my progress.  I feel more confident in speaking to professional contacts, widely informed on paying for college, and ready to build my credit.  These sessions lead me to other opportunities by helping me reach out to program directors for scholarships, initiating financial counseling and job placement chances.

Meet the first MONEY Magazine Scholarship Winner

Posted: 05.16.12

MONEY Magazine Scholarship Winner Michael Greene

Finishing out his senior year at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Michael Greene received news that Central Scholarship awarded him with a MONEY Magazine Scholarship.  Poly is a high school in Baltimore known for its emphasis on science and engineering, and Michael plans on pursuing engineering as a career path.  Michael is a member of the National Honor Society, Air Force JROTC and the varsity tennis team.  Michael participated in the American Cancer Society “Race for the Cure” and he also served as an international missionary to Ghana West Africa for Huber Memorial Church.  Michael was accepted as a freshman in the honors program at Morgan State University where he hopes to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

College Cash 101 logo
Students who attended Central Scholarship’s COLLEGE CASH 101 in March of this year were eligible to apply for a MONEY Magazine scholarship.  Michael took advantage of the opportunity and he is the first of four winners.  At COLLEGE CASH 101, students learned about how to find money and how to manage it.  Michael says, “This event was awesome! Everyone knows that information is power and students need a lot information to help them make good choices about financing their college educations and how they can take advantage of the many opportunities that exist for students in today’s challenging economy.”

Michael’s winning essay is below:

The most impactful message I heard during the March 31, 2012 College Cash 101 was delivered by Ms. Jennifer Bauer. Ms. Bauer said “there is money out there for you if you do your homework and make sure you are prepared”.  I listened as she shared information about many grant and scholarship opportunities that are available for undergraduate and graduate students.  I could tell that she cared and wanted everyone to be as excited about college and learning as she appeared to be. Many of the topics she discussed forced me to think about my strategy for obtaining scholarships. I know that my work doesn’t end once I’m accepted to college. I also enjoyed learning about the importance of a student budget.  I know that my mother will not be able to spend a lot of extra money on me because she will need to care for my younger sister and take care of household bills.  College does not mean that your family has to go bankrupt and that as a student; you don’t have to be cash poor.

The biggest eye-opening moment for me related to the importance of having a good SAT score. I know that this is very true because each time I took the test and raised my score, I got additional scholarship opportunities.  I learned that the admissions process and financial aid process are closely related.  I appreciate the help I received during high school because it prepared me to be competitive in the scholarship arena. The most important take away from the event is that college is an opportunity to plan the rest of your life. Many of the speakers seemed to share the common message that college is a positive experience where most of your learning happens outside of the classroom. The common theme for me was “life planning”. It may seem like a big deal to some students still in high school, but it’s real. I also enjoyed the one-on-one sessions with the college financial aid counselors. I met with a representative from the University of Maryland and Morgan State University. I understand how the process works.

My future career goal is to become an Electrical Engineer because the field deals with the use of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism to make new tools.  I have chosen to apply to colleges and universities that have strong engineering programs and that support students with great internship opportunities. My educational goal is to pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of electrical engineering. I’m interested in Electrical engineering because it deals with how we use electricity, electronics and electromagnetism to make new tools. I think that this will allow me to learn more about power, electronics, control systems, signal processing and telecommunications if I decide to work for NASA or a private company. I like engineering because it is a broad career field and it allows me flexibility in finding the right use for my skills. I know that there are ways to use existing ideas and materials to help employee the next generation of people in our country. I believe that it is my job to create opportunities once I become trained in this field.  I would like to be considered for this scholarship because of my academic success at Poly, my contributions to the school community and greater Baltimore community and to help offset the financial burdens for my mother.

If I had to choose a way to improve next year’s event, I would suggest that you try to ensure more senior high students attend the program. I would partner with a local radio station that targets youth and spread the word. I would also have a contest that would publicly recognize the school with the most students that attended. It would be nice to have student sessions where kids could share what they did to get scholarships. I would invite freshmen college students who received scholarships to come back and talk to new applicants to share secrets of success.

Congratulations to Michael for winning the first MONEY Magazine Scholarship!  Stay tuned to find out who else won this year.

MONEY Magazine Scholarship Announcement

Posted: 05.03.12

Students attending College Cash 101 seminar

Exciting stuff is brewing here at Central Scholarship.  This month, we will announce the first winner of the MONEY Magazine Scholarship.

All those who attended College Cash 101 (read about our annual financial literacy event here) in March were eligible to apply for a MONEY Magazine scholarship.  Four students will win scholarships.  Three students will win runner-up scholarships and the big winner will receive a $5,000 MONEY Magazine scholarship to attend their accredited institution of choice.  The contest required that students write an essay about their experience with financial literacy.  We will profile and share these students’ essays with you as we announce the winners.  Stay tuned!

College Cash 101 Recap & Photos

Posted: 04.10.12

Student attending College Cash 101 seminar
Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s College Cash 101 event a big success!  Eager students and parents arrived at the University of Baltimore on the morning of Saturday, March 31st .  We kicked off the day with a welcome from Michael Ward, Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Johns Hopkins University and Kim Clark, Senior Writer at MONEY Magazine.  Everyone moved into the break out session of their choice following breakfast and the introduction.  Attendees chose from “Finding Money for College,” “The Perks and Perils of Credit,” “Surviving Student Loan Repayment,” and “Building Wealth After College.”

Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot speaks at College Cash 101 Seminar
During lunch, Peter Franchot, Maryland State’s Comptroller, spoke to the room about the importance of financial literacy.  The day closed with a post-college employment panel featuring Cheri Harman Dorsey (Gordon Feinblatt LLC), Jason Hardebeck (Executive Director of Greater Baltimore Technology Council), Myra Holloway (Human Resources Client Consultant with Carefirst Blue Cross and Blue Shield) and Ashley B. Stewart (Senior Associate in the Talent and Development Unit at the Annie E. Casey Foundation).  We were excited about our partnership with MONEY Magazine and thankful for our sponsors this year — Wells Fargo, BB& T, Vitamin, and Baltimore College Town.  To see photos from the event, click here.

Announcing $5,000 Scholarship To One Student Attending College Cash 101

Posted: 03.12.12

College Cash 101 logo

All students at this year’s COLLEGE CASH 101 event will be eligible to win a $5,000 MONEY® Magazine scholarship.  Space is filling up quickly so register soon.  Every year, Central Scholarship provides students the opportunity to learn about financial literacy.

This year, attendees will walk away with knowledge in the college financial aid letter, basic budgeting, the perils of credit, and repaying student loans. We also include a session on post-college employability designed to help students understand what to expect after graduation.

Read about Central Scholarship’s annual College Cash event here.