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Wheeling Park High School’s Ella Schellhase Earns Hagan Scholarship

Ella Schellhase

WHEELING – A year ago, Wheeling Park High School senior Ella Schellhase rescued a sick cat she found on her porch, and the experience increased her desire to want to be a veterinarian.

Schellhase’s aspiration is now closer after learning she is the recipient of a prestigious Hagan Foundation Scholarship, and she plans to attend Fairmont State University.

The scholarship not only provides her up to $6,000 per semester over the next five years, but additional money to cover costs while in college, establish a savings fund, and travel and study abroad if she maintains an “A” average.

The foundation has a mission to help working-class students graduate debt-free. Schellhase is the daughter of Shani and Charles Schellhase, an Ohio County Schools maintenance department employee.

One of the major criteria for the scholarship is that the applicant have a job and have worked at least 240 hours for compensation over the past year. Schellhase is employed at Uncle Pete’s restaurant in Elm Grove.

Also part of the application was an essay detailing the applicant’s four-year-plan while in college.

“I am 100% grateful to the Hagan Foundation,” she said “I understand nothing makes me standout. I’m just an average teenager. To get something like this is absolutely fantastic.”

Schellnase said since she was a young child, she has been interested in being a veterinarian. Fairmont State doesn’t have a pre-veterinary program, so she plans to major in biology.

She also was always encouraged by her parents to go to college.

“They always told me they didn’t care if I wanted to be a ditch-digger, they wanted me to go to college and be the best ditch-digger I could be,” Schellhase said.

“But I knew with our financial situation that wasn’t going to happen, so I’ve been pushing for scholarships. I knew that obviously, if not for scholarships, we couldn’t afford it.”

Before she starts college in the fall, Schellhase first will receive $1,000 to purchase essential items for college not covered by the scholarship – such as a computer, cell phone, clothing, office supplies and bedding.

Second year recipients are provided with another $1,000 to establish a personal brokerage account, and will be provided with a $20,000 Hagan Scholarship Fund brokerage account to manage until graduation – so that they can learn first-hand how to invest to achieve financial security.

Third year students with at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average are eligible for an all-expense paid study and travel abroad experience worth up to $8,000. These funds can be used to study abroad for one semester.

Recipients graduating college in fewer than eight semesters can use the remainder of their Hagan Scholarship to attend graduate school. Full time graduate students receive $6,000 each semester, and there is no limit on how many credit hours a recipient can earn.

Schellhase said science classes are her favorite at WPHS, and she especially enjoyed zoology class.

She knows she wants to follow her love for science at Fairmont State, but she is still determining where that path might take her.

“I’m going to major in biology, but they have an aviation program that’s the neatest thing ever. It has ties with the Air Force,” she said.

“I toured a number of colleges. But when I stepped on the campus at Fairmont State I just loved it – the size, the feel of it. I liked it a lot.”

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