ADA/HARDIN COUNTY/GRANVILLE — More than 60 students, including Justin Light and Lindsay Walden from Hardin County, have been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) and Foundation. OOGEEP awarded the scholarships to students pursuing degrees in the oil and gas industry.

“We were very impressed with the caliber of students that applied for this year’s oil and gas scholarships.  We are proud to be able to support these students as they continue their education,” said OOGEEP Scholarship Committee Chair Frank Gonzalez from GonzOil, Inc. (Canton, Ohio). “Since OOGEEP’s launch 20 years ago we have seen significant changes within our industry, including the substantial increase in the number of smart, ambitious, and hard-working women and men who are committing themselves to our industry’s success.” Gonzalez also noted, “Our decision to expand the fields of study for oil and gas scholarships to include trade and technical schools has already helped build the oil and gas pipelines crossing Ohio.”
This year, OOGEEP awarded 21 renewal and 41 new scholarships to students attending 27 institutions covering 17 majors. In addition to their studies, these students will engage in industry internships, co-ops and research studies throughout the year. The 62 scholarship winners may use the funds to attend an accredited college, university, technical or trade school of their choice. A list of winners can be found on the OOGEEP website at
Among this year’s scholarship recipients are these individuals:
Justin Light, from Ada, Ohio, plans on attending the University of Northwest Ohio to study diesel mechanics, with a focus on heavy equipment troubleshooting and repair. Light is a first-time OOGEEP scholarship winner.
Lindsay Walden, from Dunkirk, Ohio, attends Ohio Northern University and is majoring in business management. Walden is a two-time OOGEEP scholarship recipient and will be interning with the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance this summer.
In addition to the scholarship program, OOGEEP works with more than 90 Ohio colleges, universities, and career and technical schools that offer training for the 75 plus careers serving the natural gas and crude oil industry. Scholarship winners are engaged in a variety of studies including geology, engineering, welding, business management, chemistry, and energy resource management.
“Ohio’s natural gas and crude oil industry is helping to fuel our nation’s renewed energy independence,” said OOGEEP Executive Director Rhonda Reda. “OOGEEP’s scholarship winners have and will continue to become significant contributors to a local industry that will soon become among the world’s largest energy producers.”
To learn more about careers in Ohio’s oil and gas industry, including the list of local colleges, universities, career tech and vocational schools offering oil and natural gas specific degrees, certificates and training, visit Links to OOGEEP’s recently launched “Oil and Gas Careers in Ohio” video series can be viewed at This series of 28 modern career videos highlights more than 75 in-demand jobs within Ohio’s crude oil and natural gas industry.