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2 Ohio Colleges to Offer Senior Volunteers Tuition Wavers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Residents in northeastern Ohio at least 60 years old can earn college tuition credits by volunteering at youth-oriented programs.

“GIVE back. GO forward” is a pilot program announced recently at Youngstown State University. It allows seniors who volunteer at least 100 hours at certain organizations to earn three credit hours at Youngstown State University or Eastern Gateway Community College.

The program was developed by state officials with support from Gov. John Kasich.

The Vindicator reports that officials hope the pilot can be expanded.

Volunteers have until May 31, 2016, to earn 100 service hours. They can earn one tuition waiver per year and it must be used within five years.

Youngstown and Eastern Gateway will each provide 50 tuition waivers. The volunteers can give their tuition waivers to students.

“I have a dear friend who is an incoming freshman” at Youngstown State, said, Elsie Dursi, a retired social worker who has signed up to participate. “She needs all the financial help she can get. She plans to be a teacher.”

Dursi plans to volunteer with the Success After Six program.

“Our elders are valued and respected resources that are in a position to contribute to their communities in ways that will impact the state for years to come,” Ohio Department of Aging Director Bonnie Burman said in a statement. “GIVE back. GO forward” will allow Ohio’s elder population to feel valued in their community while they experience the health benefits that come with volunteering and helping others. And by working with youth-centered programs, they will be able to pass their wisdom and experience on to a younger generation.”

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