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NEW WASHINGTON -- Last year, The Community Foundation for Crawford County teamed up with First Federal Community Bank to present two unique scholarships designed to attract college graduates from Crawford County to return home to live and work.

Recently the Foundation and First Federal awarded two more of these scholarships. Come Home Scholarships were awarded to Adam Paynter and Nathan Harvey. These awards are used toward paying off college debt. In return, the recipients must move back to Crawford County to live and work.

Paynter is a graduate of Buckeye Central High School and Bowling Green State University. More recently, he earned a doctorate degree in physical therapy from Ohio University. He will begin working at Avita Therapy and Sports Medicine in Bucyrus in June. Harvey graduated from Bucyrus High School and The Ohio State University. More recently, he earned an MBA from Franklin University. He is currently employed at First Federal Bank of Ohio in Galion.

“It is gratifying to be able to help these graduates with their student debt,” explained Lisa Workman, Foundation President. “In addition, these awards provide a boost to our dwindling population, increase our tax base, and are just in general good for our local economy.”

“Our last census showed a slight increase in the 20-29 age group,” added Brad Murtiff, President of First Federal Community Bank. “We hope these awards are one way to keep that positive momentum.”

Those who want to support the Foundation’s Come Home Scholarship fundraiser may do so by going to anytime through Tuesday, May 21. The Foundation’s goal is to reverse the brain drain with a brain gain. Founded in 1984, the Foundation seeks to bridge philanthropy with causes that improve Crawford County’s quality of life.

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