Scholarship Helps Kazakhstan Woman Pursue her Dream at COTC

NEWARK, Ohio, July 10, 2017 – Four years ago, Viktoria Tara and her family made a dream come true. They moved to the United States from Kazakhstan, a central Asian country and former Soviet republic, to reunite with relatives who had immigrated to the U.S. many years earlier. Now Tara is working to achieve another long-time dream. The mother of two from Westerville is pursuing an associate degree at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) in diagnostic medical sonography​ and recently learned that she's getting some help in the form of a scholarship from an organization called Women Walking West.

"One day after the class, the director of my program, Melinda Shoen, and the clinical coordinator, Beth Eyster, told me about the scholarship," said Tara. "As a student, who is working to overcome financial difficulties, I knew that it was a great opportunity that would bring me closer to my dream of becoming a sonographer."

Women Walking West was established in January 2015 to help foreign-born women who legally come to America achieve their educational goals. The founder of the organization is Dr. George Sehi. Sehi believes the scholarship support is crucial. He came to the U.S. in 1975 from Iran to get an education. Sehi had struggles himself, but believes that women coming from developing nations are at a greater disadvantage than men.

"When Dr. Sehi called me to notify me of the award, I was absolutely happy and thankful for such generosity," said Tara. "As an immigrant, I have to cope with many obstacles on my way to success. I am thankful that such an organization exists to provide help and support to foreign-born females. It is an overwhelming feeling to know that you are not alone, there is someone who cares and is ready to assist you in case of need. The scholarship will help me to pay for the summer semester, and the financial burden placed on me to pursue my education will be reduced. I will be able to go to class without financial worries and concentrate on my studies."

Sehi is now a senior consultant for COTC and recently assisted the college in its efforts to get four of its engineering technology programs internationally accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ETAC/ABET).

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. 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.​​