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Erlanger Scholarship: Helping overcome college debt

Janet Kiplinger Ciccone
December 04, 2013

Financial aid supplements paychecks to cover tuition

Madison Davisson drives her gray Ford Fiesta 350 miles per week to her two jobs. As her car adds on mileage, the teacher-in-training piles up experience by working with children in all kinds of venues.

Along with hundreds of other students at Ohio State, Davisson pays her own way through college. She babysits for two children three times weekly. A former competitive gymnast, she teaches girls at Gym X-treme Kids Sports Center in Canal Winchester four times per week.

The Obetz, Ohio, native runs up another gasoline bill driving to South-Western City Schools three times weekly for F.E.E.P., the First Education Experience Program. Davisson treasures time spent with the third-graders in teacher Veronica Byard’s classroom.

“I get to work with the children in small groups. They ask me for help with their work all the time. I’m busy, but I love it. It affirms my desire to be a teacher.”

As she entered her third year at Ohio State, though, Davisson knew her gymnastics and babysitting paychecks were not enough. She needed another source of funding for her education.

So she was relieved and grateful when she received the Ed and Evelyn Erlanger Scholarship in Early Childhood Education this year. “It’s an enormous burden off my shoulders to have help,” she said.

A self-proclaimed perfectionist and hard worker, Davisson has goals beyond earning her undergraduate degree from the Department of Teaching and Learning. She wants to earn a master’s of education degree and more.

“My plan is to become a school administrator,” she said. “I believe I can affect more people that way.”

Ed and Evelyn Erlanger are role models in many ways

“Erlanger. I know that name,” said Rod Davisson when he heard his daughter Madison had received the Ed and Evelyn Erlanger Scholarship in Early Childhood Education.

In fact, Evelyn was Rod Davisson’s third-grade teacher at Hamilton Local Schools, and Ed was his school principal.

So when Madison Davisson and her family learned in November 2013 that Evelyn had died, they mourned.

Evelyn had bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the college, both in elementary education. A master teacher, she was named a Martha Holdings Jennings Scholar. She regularly shared her skills with student teachers from Ohio State. She retired after serving more than 30 years in Hamilton Local Schools.

Evelyn’s dearest wish was to support future teachers to carry on the profession she had loved. One of the most touching examples of that desire is Ed and Evelyn’s wedding invitation several years ago. It requested that friends donate to EHE scholarships as the Erlangers’ gift. Many did.

The culmination of their generosity was their named scholarship, which the couple created this year for students studying elementary education.“I know I will love being a teacher,” Madison Davisson said. Each time she touches the lives of girls and boys, it will be in part because donors like Ed and Evelyn Erlanger were able to lift her burden.

Pay it forward

Give online or contact EHE Advancement to discuss your gift interests.