Edwin 'Jack' Haas Memorial Scholarship

Posted 2017-03-16 by MCF

"I grew up in Whipple Ohio on a 170 acre farm. I had plenty of space to ride my bike and four wheeler. There was a one acre pond stocked with fish and an enormous old White Pine tree to climb in our front yard. We raised about 10-15 head of cattle until I was around the age of 15. Of course that meant a few extra chores, on top of all the farm maintenance. I started feeding and watering as soon as I was old enough to move a bail of hay. That leads me to the next order of business that comes with cattle, THE HAY!!  We bailed and stored hay on our own property. This meant we always had to be available to help during hay season. I did learn to drive my dads truck and tractors at a very young age around our hay fields, whether I could see over the steering wheel or not! I am the youngest of three children so we all had our part on helping our parents.

I started helping my father off and on at his day job around the age of 13. My father, Bernie Thompson owned his own timber cutting business. He also worked at B.F. Goodrich/ R.J.F International from 4pm- midnight since before I was born. I learned to do every job to the best of my ability from my dad. He stressed the importance of my name being attached to anything I set my hands to. There were times when I had other employment and five years when my wife and I moved out of state. My heart was always on the bulldozer or log skidder there in the woods with my father though. Along with the equipment operation and use of chainsaws while cutting timber, some other skills I acquired through work were plumbing, residential and commercial irrigation, landscaping, hardscaping, gas and wood fireplace installation, tree trimming and removal. I found out that climbing all those trees as a child would help later on in life with my own tree trimming career. I have been, for the most part, self employed since 2009.

I was working full time with my dad after he took early pension from RJF International in 2014.  On September 12 2014, while I was on one of my own jobs, my father was killed cutting trees by himself. I had actually started attending another college for heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the same time. I found out that not all trade schools are the same. I spent more time on required classes unassociated to my main course of study, than I actually did HVAC. Realizing this, I decided to research The Washington County Career Center. I found that all the classes I would have to take were directly related to HVAC, not expensive mandatory classes that didn't aid in my career choice. I withdrew from that school and started attending classes at WCCC in September of 2015. I applied for this scholarship to help with tuition since my full time employment stopped when my father passed.

Being the recipient of the Edwin 'Jack' Haas Memorial Scholarship helped me to focus more on my studies by giving me financial support while being in school two full days out of my work week. I cant express my gratitude towards the Marietta Community Foundation for choosing me as the $1000 scholarship winner.

I am currently still self employed and have had a job in the HVAC industry for 6 months until recently being laid off. I will definitely pursue more education as the industry is always changing and updating its technologies. There is a very specific science behind the pressure/temperature relationship when it comes to the refrigerants used in the systems. The "how's and why's" of HVAC is what drew me into the field and I only want to know more now.

I would recommend The Career Center and its many different courses of study AND The Marietta Community Foundations' scholarship assistance program!!! It needs to be said that your organization was used in a blessing as an answer to prayers over my financial difficulties while putting myself through schooling. Marietta Community Foundation encourages me to want to do all I can for those who are struggling financially and are deserving of a helping hand."

Thank you with all my heart,

Phillip Thompson