Campus News | Friday, May 14, 2021
Lamar Graham was searching to expand his knowledge and his career opportunities in winter 2020. In the midst of a global pandemic, the options might typically have been limited for the 35-year-old Columbus resident. However, Columbus State had recently announced it retooled a scholarship program directed toward adults whose income was affected by a number of COVID related events, have been in foster care, suffered a job loss or furlough or meet requirements related to income.
The Short-Term Certificate Program, funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Education, provides $2,000 in individual scholarship funds for tuition and fees in a variety of short-term certificates in fields where there are career paths with well-paying jobs.
Talk about perfect timing. When Graham found out about the program, he wasted no time applying. In January 2021, he enrolled in Columbus State’s Supply Chain Management certificate program. Graham is now exploring a career connected to the import of coffee and tea. That’s a big business. The U.S. Department of Labor reports the United States is the leading importer of coffee, accounting for 18% of total coffee imports globally. Graham’s goal is to own his own business as a distributor of coffee and tea to Central Ohio shops and businesses.
Graham’s Supply Chain Management certificate will be a big step toward transitioning into that career. “This certificate will provide a level of knowledge of the information needed to import coffee and tea,” says Graham. “I will also gain an understanding of creating business opportunities for my family and friends.”
Working on a global scale is nothing new for Graham. Through AmeriCorps, he is a Peer Mentor for current and former foster youth. He is also an Ambassador for The Global Orphan Project which assists churches involved in the lives of foster youth. In his current professional career, Graham trains caseworkers, parents and caregivers on issues surrounding foster youth.
Graham’s courses will continue throughout the calendar year. He expects to earn his Supply Chain Management certificate at the end of Autumn Semester in December 2021.