Gene and Ellen Seaman GED Scholarship Endowment Providing Funds to Assist Students for Generations to Come
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
Melinda Siotos dropped out of school only having completed her education through the eighth grade. Twenty-years later, Siotos decided she wanted to attend Del Mar College but learned she couldn’t register without a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Now, Siotos is training to become a registered nurse through the College’s Nurse Education Department after completing her high school equivalency education and receiving her GED certificate in 2013.
Siotos is the type of driven individual that Gene and Ellen Seaman want to help make their pursuit of higher education possible by providing scholarship funds specifically for graduates of the College’s GED program.
On Monday, April 10, the Seamans presented a uniquely shaped $100,000 check to the DMC Foundation to complete the endowment process for the Gene and Ellen Seaman GED Scholarship.
Watch highlights from the announcement by clicking on the frame:
“Ellen and I are committed to supporting local students on their educational journey because too many of our local high school students drop out and then find they don’t have good employment opportunities,” says Gene Seaman. “Through Del Mar College’s GED program, these students can get back on track, so our goal is to empower graduates of the GED program to continue pursuing their educational dream by providing scholarships to attend Del Mar College. Dual Credit and GED will change society one student at a time.”
You can watch the full presentation provided on YouTube by Mr. Seaman and Josh Harper Photography atwww.youtube.com/watch?v=50QntN8kDOI.
The Gene and Ellen Seaman GED Scholarship was established in 2006. Since then, the Seamans have provided $5,000 annually with $3,500 covering five $700 scholarships each year to help GED students enter college. The remaining $1,500 has been added to an endowed scholarship fund.
The couple decided to fully fund the endowed scholarship at $100,000 with a gift of more than $72,000 to establish the endowment, which will provide scholarships in perpetuity.
“The Gene and Ellen Seaman GED scholarship was the first scholarship I received, and it brought me to tears that these amazing community members believed in me and chose to support my pursuit of education,” says Siotos, now a Level II Nursing student. “Sometimes students pursuing their GED are doubted or looked upon as a possible risk for retention because of quitting school before, so for Mr. and Mrs. Seaman to specifically target those who have obtained a GED certificate is truly remarkable, and I am eternally grateful and inspired by them.”
Siotos is a full-time student taking 12 hours each semester, working part-time and juggling motherhood and “life’s crazy problems.” She notes, “I want to show the Seamans that their help is making a difference.”
The Seamans have a reputation for supporting children and education, raising five children and numerous foster children during their more than 50-year marriage. They also attended college as nontraditional students, juggling life much like Siotos has while pursuing her associate’s degree.
A former Texas State Representative, Seaman served during the 75th through 79th Legislative Sessions. He currently operates a financial planning business, owns his own real estate development company and serves on the DMC Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
To qualify for the Gene and Ellen Seaman GED Scholarship, applicants must be a GED graduate, an incoming Del Mar freshman taking courses part- or full-time in any major. Recipients can receive up to $1,000 per semester with up to five students receiving the scholarship annually. For more information about applying for scholarships, visit the Foundation website at www.delmar.edu/foundation, call 361-698-1317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.