Grainger Foundation Helps HVAC, Automotive Students

Three students enrolled in the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning) program at Columbus Technical College and one Automotive Technology student have an extra spring in their step, thanks to the generosity of the Grainger Foundation. The Grainger Foundation provides 625 dollars to four deserving students in the industrial/trade fields three times a year. The funds are donated in support of the College’s mission of providing a quality-driven workforce. The scholarship is managed through the Columbus Technical College Foundation.

Students seeking the financial helping hand from the Grainger Foundation must submit an application that includes a 300 word essay, be in good academic standing, and provide at least one instructor recommendation.

Grainger Scholars

Winners of the latest scholarship from the Grainger Foundation are (left to right/front row) Jonathan Chaves, Leighton “Brent” Rollins, Norbert Ferrell, and Tyrone English. Looking on are Alan Ashmore/Automotive Technology Program Director, Meredith Yoe/Dean of Professional & Technical Services, Dr. Linn Storey/VP of Academic Affairs, Craig Oldenburg/HVAC Program Director, Gloria Dodds/Director of Institutional Advancement, Brian Golden/HVAC Instructor, Ron Barfield/Lab Assistant, and Brian Brock/Grainger Branch Manager.

In his essay, former soldier Norbert Ferrell talked about witnessing avoidable tragedies and how his path to HVAC turned into a way to help others. “I have witnessed far too many senior citizens, in my neighborhood and across the nation, who have had to be hospitalized or – in more than one case – perished – due to lack of air conditioning during the summer months. This has become a labor of love for me…it does my heart good to be able to give back to my community.”

HVAC student Jonathan Chaves wrote about being able to buy much-needed equipment for this new chapter in his life. “I would make sure it was quality equipment so I can go out into the field and prove I know how to do my trade to the highest standards, like I’ve been taught.”

Automotive Technology student Leighton “Brent” Rollins found himself falling in love with auto repair and is eager to keep learning more, despite having a busy schedule of classes at day and working at night. “After starting my new career, I plan on continuing to better myself by attending evening classes to keep abreast of new technology and keep my mind sharp.”

Tyrone English is enrolled in the HVAC program to better provide for his wife and two children. “I am enjoying a family oriented classroom environment. This scholarship will be a blessing that will allow me to get three to five tools that I really can’t afford right now.”

This donation was recommended by Brian Brock, Branch Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s Columbus location. Grainger has been a part of the Columbus business community for more than 20 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products. The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc.  For further information about Grainger contact: Kristen Lawrence, Communications Manager at