In immeasurable ways, I am very much the person I am today as a result of the guidance and inspiration I received from my parents, Jim and Karen Hogan. My Dad had a rough upbringing where education too often took a backseat to the harsh realities of life. The 1960’s were a turbulent time for our country, when young men faced the reality of a nation at war. My Dad graduated from high school and joined the Air Force where he bravely served our country for six years, including a year in Vietnam. Desiring to create a better life for our family, my Dad took advantage of the GI Bill and moved our family to Tuscaloosa where he would become the first college graduate in our family. He did all of this while working full-time unloading trucks for the post office and trying to raise my sister and I. That sacrifice and willingness to do whatever it took to create a better life for our family has always inspired me. Likewise, my Mother has always been my educational inspiration, though in different ways. My Mother was thrust into motherhood at an early age and never had the opportunity to attend college. Nevertheless, she never let me forget about the importance of education. I often think about those long hours sitting at the kitchen table redoing my homework or writing my 9’s so that they actually looked like nines, and I know that my dedication to excellence when it comes to education came from the many lessons my Mom taught me. It is indeed an honor to create this scholarship in my parents’ names to a student who displays a commitment to excellence and a sincere desire to make a better life for him or herself. Based on nominations and availability, I am excited to be able to offer 6-8 students each year with full scholarships to attend one of my ACT classes ($475). Nominations can be accepted from students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, or school administrators.
I have been very blessed over the past decade or so to work with over a thousand students in preparation for the ACT. One of the things that I have learned in working with all of these students is that some students are just as motivated as other students, but they simply don’t thrive in a classroom setting. These students have just as many aspirations and goals as other students; it’s just that their needs are better met through individual tutoring. It is based on this realization that I am excited to announce the launching of the Jonathan Wade Hogan Scholarship. This scholarship will allow four students (one each quarter throughout the year) to receive a free tutoring package ($600) to help them prepare for one of the ACT’s. Jonathan Wade Hogan is my brother. Jonathan always wanted to make something better of himself but just couldn’t seem to fit in in a classroom. Upon receiving his high school diploma through home-schooling, my brother would often tell me that I should be teaching because I was the only person on the face of the earth that could have ever got him through high school. When he passed away over 12 years ago, it was with this thought in mind that I began what has become my passion: helping as many students as possible achieve their academic dreams. I am excited to be able to offer 4 scholarships annually to students who sincerely desire to make something better for themselves, but would benefit more from individual tutoring. Nominations for this scholarship may be submitted by teachers, guidance counselors or school administrators.
I have been very blessed over the past 25 years to be active with regards to disability issues. The progress with regard to accessibility and awareness that I have been able to be a part of over the years are some of my proudest accomplishments. There have certainly been too many disabled individuals to count who have inspired me and shown courage in pursuit of their dreams that is quite simply remarkable. One individual, however, has and continues to inspire me in more ways than he will ever know. I was blessed to meet a man named Nathan Ballard 27 years ago as a student at the University of Alabama. Nathan was the first severely disabled student to ever enroll at the University of Alabama. Nathan has fought discrimination and seemingly insurmountable obstacles to go on to write an autobiography and travel the world as a motivational speaker. To this day, he continues to inspire me, and I consider myself blessed to be able to call him one of my best friends. It is with this in mind that I am extremely excited to announce the launching of the Nathan Ballard scholarship. Based on nominations, I will be offering up to 2 students annually who have accommodations for the ACT scholarships. This scholarship will allow these students to receive whatever tutoring or instructional assistance they need (up to $1,000) to make sure they are as prepared as possible to take the ACT. The amount of instruction or tutoring the student receives will be based on that student’s individual needs. Nominations can be submitted by students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and/or school administrators.
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