Bill O’Dell Ascend Legacy Scholarship

The Legacy Scholarship honors the memory of Bill O’Dell, president of the Putnam Wellness Coalition (PWC) who passed away unexpectedly in 2019. O’Dell worked tirelessly toward the greater good of the youth in Putnam County and surrounding areas for over 30 years. O’Dell focused his efforts on educating young adults about the dangers of addiction and the importance of education and a healthy lifestyle. This scholarship is to honor him and his commitment to the youth of Putnam County.  

The 2024 scholarships are available thanks in part to a generous donation from Fruth Pharmacy. 

Rise Above the Circumstance

Life often has a way of delivering to us situations that we never ask for and never wanted.  Individuals have two choices:  Give in to the perceived defeat and allow it to control their future or rise above the circumstance and move forward with passion and perseverance.  The Ascend scholarship is for those who want more and wish to soar above their circumstances to a better life.  


Application Guidelines 

  • (Up to 5) $500 scholarships may be awarded to students within Putnam County who have endured challenging situations and have a passion to move beyond them. Situations may include living in foster care or kinship care, living in recovery from substance misuse, experienced homelessness, etc.

    Participating students must have maintained no less than a 2.0 GPA to qualify for a scholarship opportunity.

    Participating students must be between ages 17-19 years old to qualify. 

Application Process
  • Video— All applicants must review the Putnam Wellness Coalition (PWC) educational video (approximately 2 hours in length), complete the pre and post-survey, and write a short essay.  The link to the video:

  • Pre and Post Survey– Complete the pre and post-surveys and submit the short essay.

  • Short Essay—Please describe significant points that were made in the video segments and how you, as a student, will use the information to help yourself and others in the future.

  • Please complete this form, and attach it with all supporting documentation. Failure to complete any part of the application, the video series, and its pre/post quizzes may result in disqualification.

  • Once complete, please print the pre/post quiz results, this application, your completed essay, and the letters of recommendation to Putnam Wellness Coalition-P.O. Box 450 Hurricane, WV 25526. All entries must be postmarked by April 22, 2024.

  • Questions or concerns? Email Evan Young: 

     pt. font, Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced, 1” margins, no less than 750 words

At the top of the page, flush left, please include the following:

  • List your full name

  • Name of the school currently attending

  • Specify if attending public, private, or homeschool

  • Current Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Address and phone number

  • Email address

  • Whether you are interested in attending a college, university, or a trade school 

  • Field of interest you wish to pursue

  • Mail completed essay, pre, and post-surveys, along with a letter of recommendation from the current educational facility to the Putnam Wellness Coalition Scholarship at P.O. Box 450 Hurricane, WV 25526.  Applications are due no later than April 22, 2024.  

Selection Process for Scholarships
  • PWC Board Members will review all applications accompanied by the required supporting materials.

  • Applicants will be scored using a point system based on the quality of the content of the essay, the student’s academic performance, and review of the letters of recommendation.

  • All decisions by the PWC Board of Directors are final, and any attempts by applicants to lobby or persuade the members during the process will result in immediate disqualification.

Notice of Academic Scholarship
  • Notice to scholarship finalists will be sent via email to the address provided on the application.

  • PWC will require final enrollment verification from the college, university, or trade school of choice, and a signature for a promotional release. The scholarship is not officially awarded until the finalists return the required documents.

  • The scholarship payment will be made directly to the college, university, or trade school on behalf of the students.

  • Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis if extenuating circumstances are demonstrated.