Applications for PARTA scholarship now available

Catrina Cieslik

The Robert Blakemore Jr. Scholarship began in the spring semester of 1995 and has been giving away scholarship money ever since. The scholarship awards $1,000 every semester to a deserving PARTA employee.

PARTA employees have the opportunity to not only form friendships and lifetime experiences but earn money for college.

“The scholarship money has grown and people helped contribute to it throughout the years,” said Tom Clapper, senior assistant to the vice president for administration.

Kent State University originally awarded the scholarship when it had its own bus system.

“We took over awarding (the scholarship) when we took over PARTA,” Director of Human Resources Claudia Amrhein said.

The scholarship was originally started by the father of Robert W. Blakemore Jr., a campus bus service employee.

“Blakemore had progressed in rank,” said Clapper. “Working for the bus system really helped shape his life.”

Robert W. Blakemore Jr. was a dedicated and successful campus bus service employee and his time as an employee helped to start a wonderful future for him. Now the scholarship program can help others succeed after graduation.

“His son worked in the early ’70s and unfortunately passed away, so he wanted to start a scholarship in his honor,” said Clapper.

The scholarship is awarded to an employee of PARTA if they meet the following criteria: has a minimum 2.3 GPA, is committed to earning a degree from Kent State and partly pays his or her own way through college.

“We get five to 10 applicants each year,” said PARTA Operations Manager Joe Yensel. “It is a good percentage of the 70 employees we have on staff.”

Scholarship applications are now available for any PARTA employee by contacting Tom Clapper.

Contact transportation reporter Catrina Cieslik

at [email protected].