Non-Traditional Students Benefit From Scholarships, Other Support Through OASES

U.S. Coast Guard veteran Zach Bessant is achieving his goals through the James William Kirk Scholarship established by Kim Kirk Steffan.

Bessant, a junior physics major, was one of two speakers at the recent OASES scholarship luncheon. Toni Moss, a junior pre-communication studies major who also is a scholarship recipient, was the second speaker. Both have benefitted from life-changing opportunities presented through OASES.

After high school graduation in 2007, Bessant joined the Coast Guard and was stationed at various installations across the United States, concluding his service in Wilmington, N.C. He enrolled at Cape Fear Community College to study machining. He later transferred to Charlotte, following treatment for cancer. At Charlotte, he said he is inspired by the concepts of applied math and physics and the possibilities of working in the space industry or starting his own state-of-the-art machine shop.

Moss, a mother of two, would like to open her own business and establish a nonprofit mentorship program for underprivileged adults who aspire to work in human resources, public relations or a similar field. In 2020, she completed an associate degree in hospitality management from Central Piedmont Community College. Most recently, she worked as an HR coordinator for Raytheon Technologies through a staffing agency, and then enrolled at Charlotte, where she has received scholarships through the WINGS and ANSWER programs.

OASES, the Office of Adult Students and Extended Services, is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of nontraditional students. Each academic year, the office awards scholarships to deserving adult learners. Recently, OASES recognized scholarship recipients and donors who established the awards.

“Adult learners must juggle various commitments as they work toward completing their degrees,” Janet Daniel, OASES director, said. “This year, we were able to provide scholarship support to 89 nontraditional students through the 30 awards we administer.”

Read more about Bessant, Moss and OASES. Image: Zach Bessant (left) and Toni Moss speak at a recent OASES event.