It’s Never Too Late Scholarship

The It’s Never Too Late Scholarship was established in 2007 by Rose Mary Stirn to provide scholarships to Franklin County residents who are at least 25 years old and are wishing to continue their education or change careers by taking classes to be used as credit toward a degree or program certificate.

On May 12, 2006, Rose Mary Stirn received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Indiana University East. She was not the traditional college graduate. In fact, she was 51 years old.

Rose Mary grew up in the small community of St. Peters. She graduated from Brookville High School in 1973. Since jobs were plentiful, college was not a necessity at that time. After high school, most girls either got married or went to work. Rose Mary worked at Jay Garment in Brookville for a short time before beginning what would be a 28 year career at Sperry Rubber and Plastics in 1973. In 1980, Rose Mary married Doug Stirn. Five years later, Doug was diagnosed with diabetes. When his kidneys began to fail, it was determined that both the diabetes and the kidney failure were a result of Agent Orange, a herbicide that he had been exposed to in the Vietnam War. During Doug’s illness, he encouraged his wife to some day pursue her education. Rose Mary had been taking classes prior to his diagnosis, but had quit school to care for him.

After Doug passed away in 2001, Rose Mary began taking pre-college classes part-time while still working at Sperry Rubber and Plastics. She then made the decision in January, 2002 to quit her job and finance her own full-time college education. Five months later, she was blessed with the news that the Veterans Administration would reimburse her college tuition because Agent Orange had caused Doug’s diabetes and kidney problems.

With contributions from Rose Mary and communtiy members, Rose Mary is fulfilling a dream. She has established a fund in the Franklin County Community Foundation to help non-traditional college students.

View More Funds

Cultivating Donor Development Endowment

An anonymous donor established this endowment in the Franklin County Community Foundation to support the operations of the Foundation in the creation and cultivation of