College Aspire Inspires Local Middle and High School Students

​​​ NEWARK, Ohio, July 3, 2018 – After a year hiatus, Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) again offered it's free, hands-on summer workshops known as College Aspire from June 11 to June 15. Local middle and high school students had the opportunity to participate in workshops on cooking, photography, drawing, engineering, entrepreneurship and medical procedures, and get a glimpse into the possibilities of a college education. College Aspire not only inspired the students to think about the possibilities but also gave out Shooting Star Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 to 11 students for future attendance at COTC.


Shooting Star Scholarship recipients include Hannah Adelsberger, Luke Adelsberger, Morgan Bender-Dye, Toby Burak, Mattew Fidler, Isabella Fontaine, Robert Gangwer, Riley Janiszewski, Olivia Luli, Madeline Rakowsky and Riley Stewart.

Participants got the same hands-on classroom experience that COTC students have during their education. Each session's participants worked throughout the week to create something to be presented at the College Aspire showcase on June 16.

The children in the entrepreneurship workshop created their own town, Aspireville, from PlayDoh with businesses they envisioned opening in it. Those in the medical workshop put on a skit to show the emergency procedures they learned. The participants in the drawing and photography classes displayed their artistic creations in small galleries. Engineering workshop participants talked with visitors about the architecture of bridges and how electrical and solar energy power up every-day items. The cooking workshop students delighted guests with a variety of desserts available during the showcase.

Ten-year-old Leila Hartley, COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark Testing Center Coordinator Heidi Hartley's daughter who has an anxiety disorder known as selective mutism, participated in College Aspire's "Now We're Cooking, Jr." workshop for the first time. She learned the basics of cooking including things like making fresh pasta.

"I signed her up because I wanted her to be able to try something new and to be able to get a little taste of college life," said Heidi Hartley. "This experience turned out to be more than what either of us expected. By the end of the first day, she was so happy and was speaking to the kids in her group and to the COTC staff. This was a major breakthrough after years of therapy and of not talking in school at all. The program just gave her so much confidence and made her feel so comfortable that she was able to overcome the anxiety and speak."

"The benefits for us are literally life changing! She can't wait to come back next year."

College Aspire will be held again June 10 – 15, 2019. More information will be released about it early in 2019. For a complete photo gallery of College Aspire 2018 visit our Facebook page:

Caption: Madeline Rakowsky, 15, receives Shooting Star Scholarship from COTC's Culinary Instructor Matt Russo. She participated in the "Now We're Cooking, Sr." workshop.

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.