On April 16th, we highlighted a heart-wrenching New York Times story about Tiffany Clay, high school senior and talented violinist from the financially depressed town of Newark, Ohio. Tiffany, the story reported, lived with her boyfriend, a high school dropout, and was working 35-40 hours a week at Sonic, the drive-through chain that is headquartered in—take note—Oklahoma City. Due to financial hardship, Tiffany planned to abandon a promising career in music to pursue the safer path of nursing.
Well, the story subsequently took on a life of its own. According to the Newark Advocate, Tiffany’s school orchestra leader received more than 400 e-mails, including some offering scholarships. And in an editorial in today’s Daily Oklahoman, the paper announced that Sonic and Oklahoma City University have joined to offer Tiffany a full scholarship worth about $100,000. OCU has both a renowned music school (having produced Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth) and a nursing program.
Tiffany has accepted the scholarship and will visit the school on May 4th with her mother and boyfriend. In an interview with the Newark Advocate, she told the paper, “I’m excited. They have wonderful programs in both subjects I want to study.”