Sep. 12, 2011
While attending the SOMC Foundation Board's Nautical Adventure fundraiser aboard the Belle of Cincinnati riverboat, Dr. Rita Rice Morris, president of Shawnee State University, had no idea the wheels were turning in SSU's favor. Shawnee State won the grand prize of the evening of $5,000.
Morris immediately thought about how this could help a student in the healthcare field. She did not know that a struggling second-year radiology student Ashley Williams, of Peebles, Ohio, was wondering how she was going to finish school to get her degree. She had no money.
Working at a Subway two or three days a week just barely paid for her tuition but Williams didn't give up her dream of going to school. Her biggest problem was paying her bills, gas and other expenses she needed to be able to go.
One Sunday, Williams confided in her pastor's wife that she was desperate and they prayed that she would be able to continue her education. After the prayer, the pastor's wife looked at her and said, "Ashley, don't you worry. God's going to bless you with something big sometime soon."
"Exactly two days later I received a phone call that I was getting a $5,000 scholarship," Williams said. "That is exactly the amount I told my pastor's wife I needed to finish the next two semesters. I couldn't believe it but then again miracles do happen. God provides what we need."
Williams has wanted to work in radiology since she was eight years old when she had some health problems and had to go to the Brown County Hospital. She grilled the two technicians working there, Kim Browning and Lana Ward.
"I was just a nosey kid and asked a thousand questions," Williams said. "Between the two, I grew a great interest in radiology and I always told myself from that point on that I wanted to be in the radiology field, now I am able to complete that goal."
Shawnee State awarded the $5,000 scholarship to Williams in the name of Southern Ohio Medical Center.
"When we heard Shawnee State University called as the winner, we knew immediately that we would use this money to help a student – and future healthcare professional," Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President said. "In many ways, our community was the big winner that night. This young woman has a bright and promising future and will be making a difference in the lives of many of our friends, neighbors, and families for years to come."