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OSU-OKC uses $1 million gift to launch Center for Social Innovation

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 16, 2020) – Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City has formed a new center to help Oklahomans redefine their future.

The Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) Center for Social Innovation was launched late last month thanks to a $1 million, three-year commitment from the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation. The Center’s launch is realized following more than two years of partnership and program development between OSU-OKC and several metro-area nonprofit agencies, including The Curbside Chronicle, ReMerge, Pivot and Oklahoma County DUI/Drug Court.

The Center’s signature program, Growing Hope, guides participants through an intensive, 16-week schedule utilizing a hope-based curriculum that helps identify life goals, career pathways, and support systems. Participants advance through college courses toward a certificate or degree while gaining life-skills and resume-building work experience made possible by a growing number of community partners.

To read the full news release, click here.

Determined. Driven. Destined to beat the odds.

If these words describe you, then you have a home at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. At OSU-OKC, it's our mission to help people succeed. No matter your background or situation, you can earn your college degree. But don't take our word for it. Check out our student profiles below to read incredible stories of resilience and accomplishment. It's these students -- and their humanity -- that powers us at OSU-OKC to push forward and help the next student reach their goals.

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Catherine DixonCatherine Dixon-Shelton

OSU-OKC graduate, substance abuse counseling

“OSU-OKC literally feels like home. I was embraced there. After overcoming obstacles, my confidence increased.”

Catherine Dixon-Shelton doesn’t dwell on the past, but she does remember her childhood and teen years when surviving was all that mattered. She remembers being routinely left unsupervised for days at a time in a house where utilities and water often were shut off. If she needed water, she filled a bucket from a neighbor’s outside faucet. She remembers people coming and going from her house at all hours even when her mother wasn’t at home. Read Catherine's story of survival

OSU-OKC President Brad Williams

A message from the president: OSU-OKC's campus culture

Do you want to see what OSU-OKC is all about? Watch this video message from university President Brad Williams to see how we strive to make a difference in our students' lives.

Stormy PoeStormy Poe

OSU-OKC student, business management

"If you choose to take every opportunity given to you, you can't lose."

Growing up in western Oklahoma, Stormy Poe learned to hate school. She attended a dozen different schools by the time she dropped out in eighth grade. “I never finished school where I started,” Poe said. “I was very distracted all the time. I had a lot going on at home that I carried with me.” It was a rocky beginning to an educational journey, but it wasn’t the end. Poe reluctantly dipped her toe back in the water last fall by taking the Student Success Strategies course at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. Learn about Stormy's journey to a degree

OSU-OKC Drive-Through Graduation 2020

Drive-through graduate celebration

At OSU-OKC, we go the extra mile for our students. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of our graduation ceremony, we opened our campus for a drive-through graduate celebration. Check out the photos from this exciting event.

Katherine BurchKatherine Burch

OSU-OKC graduate, addiction counseling

"It was a long road getting here, but I made it and there is no stopping me. There’s another chapter about to begin."

Katherine Burch spent 30 years addicted to drugs and half that time in prison. Since 2008, however, she has taken one big step after another to reclaim her life. She calls it “cleaning up the wreckage of my past.” Her latest accomplishment is becoming a college graduate at age 57. Burch earned an associate degree in addiction counseling from Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. Read Katherine's story of redemption

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