This spring, Youngstown State University’s Student Social Work Association is contributing to the creation of the Art Canning Memorial Scholarship, which will give financial support to graduate social work students.
Art Canning was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma during his senior year of college at the University of Pennsylvania. During his battle with cancer, Canning received financial and moral support from two social workers. Canning passed away on Feb. 24, 2004.
To establish the scholarship, the Art Canning fund must raise $10,000. The account holds $6,000 to date. SSWA members hope to raise the rest of the money to award to full-time graduate students.
The SSWA will raise money for the Art Canning Memorial Scholarship on Social Work Day, April 5. The group will sell T-shirts and hold basket raffles in Kilcawley Center’s Chestnut Room.
Joline Renner, a YSU senior majoring in social work and president of the SSWA, said the organization’s goal is to allocate money to the community to enrich the lives of others.
“School is expensive, especially graduate school, where you no longer can receive grants,” Renner said. “Once this scholarship reaches $10,000, a burden will be taken off of students in the [Master of Social Work] program.”
Renner said the SSWA became involved with the Art Canning Memorial Scholarship through the YSU Department of Social Work.
“The SSWA works under the department of social work at YSU, and through our dedication to the social work department, we want to be able to do our part by helping to raise funds for this scholarship,” she said.
Sarah Joyce, a senior majoring in social work and vice president of the SSWA, said she is confident that the SSWA will meet its fundraising goals.
“I have no doubt we will succeed in raising the money needed for it to be an official scholarship,” she said.
Shirley Keller, a professor of social work and adviser to the SSWA, said Social Work Day is a good time to honor social workers.
“[Social Work Day] is a celebration of social work. It is a feel-good day about the profession,” Keller said.