Making the Dream of College a Reality: MacLellan Scholarship

November 15, 2020Education, Impact Stories

Baylee Oldham thought her dream of getting a college education would always be just that — a dream.

“I could never have gone to college without the MacLellan Scholarship,” said Baylee Oldham, who graduated cum laude with a GPA of 3.7 from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in business management and a certification in human resources.

When Baylee was a freshman in high school, her family lost their home to foreclosure and had to split up to find shelter wherever they could. Not surprisingly, her grades suffered.

At the beginning of her senior year, Baylee’s father joined MacLellan Integrated Services. Not only did employment at MacLellan help the family get back into their own home, it made Baylee eligible to apply for the competitive MacLellan Scholarship for children and stepchildren of employees with financial need.

Baylee almost didn’t apply. She didn’t think she had a chance–until she saw the application’s essay question: Write about a time when you faced a challenge, setback or failure. How did it affect you and what did you learn from the experience?

MacLellan Integrated Services provides facilities maintenance and industrial services to manufacturing industry leaders and employs over 850 people in the U.S. and Canada. Since 2004, the MacLellan Scholarship has made it possible for 13 students to realize their dream of getting a college degree.

“MacLellan prides itself on the people who work here,” said Bill Wilkins, director of human resources & corporate development. “We are fully committed to the future and prosperity of our employees and their families. We believe that education is a key factor to personal and professional success.”

College was not without its challenges for Baylee. During her sophomore year, Baylee gave birth to her daughter, Lydia. It was a difficult pregnancy, and Baylee was hospitalized with pre-term labor at 27 weeks. She completed her accounting exam from a hospital bed and finished that semester with a GPA of 3.9.

In addition to caring for a child and attending college full time, Baylee worked 40 hours a week. On occasion, she admits, she was tempted to give up on college.

“And then I remembered my scholarship from MacLellan and their faith in me,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t let them down.”

Baylee’s goal is to be a human resources manager. She’s already been offered several positions.

“Thanks to the MacLellan Scholarship, I graduated college 100% debt free,” Baylee said. “I’ll never be able to say thank you enough.”

The MacLellan Integrated Scholarship Fund is one of 50 scholarship funds administered by BGCF. BGCF designs applications and appoints and oversees independent committees to review applications and make awards.

To learn how you can partner with BGCF to make a real difference in the life of a young person, contact Halee Cunningham.