OOIDA Foundation selects 2003 scholarship winners

The OOIDA Foundation recently awarded $6,000 in scholarships to five college-bound children of OOIDA members. The scholarships were awarded in memory of Robert Driscoll, OOIDA’s longtime general vice president, who passed away earlier this year.

The association will accept donations in Driscoll’s honor as well as any other memorial donations for truckers.

“We’ve had a number of requests regarding memorial funding for the scholarship program,” Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president and scholarship committee chairman, said. “The requests have been made not only in memory of Bob Driscoll, but other truckers who are no longer with us but cared very deeply about the process of not only encouraging but enabling our young people to be the best they can be.”

The scholarship committee selected these five scholars among applicants from across the country. Each applicant wrote a 500-word essay discussing the pros and cons of the topic, “The Impact of the Trucking Industry on My Life and Academic Career.”

Here are the OOIDA scholars for the 2003 school year:

Darren Stafford is the son of member Lewis H. Stafford Sr., Cambridge, MD. Darren is enrolled at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, where he plans to major in criminal justice/business management. He received a $2,000 scholarship award. His winning essay is published at right.
James Scott is the son of member Kenneth Scott, Rushville, OH. James is enrolled at Ohio State University in Columbus, where he plans to major in microbiology. He received a $1,000 scholarship award.
Rebecca Levine is the daughter of member Jerry Levine, Downingtown, PA. Rebecca is enrolled at Smith College in Northampton, MA, and plans to major in art history. She received a $1,000 scholarship award.
Trisha Crutchfield is the daughter of member William Crutchfield, Drexel, NC. Trisha is enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and plans to major in information science. She received a $1,000 scholarship award.
Rebecca Vogel is the daughter of member William Vogel, Downingtown, PA. Rebecca is enrolled at West Chester University in West Chester, PA, where she plans to major in criminal justice. She received a $1,000 scholarship award.

The OOIDA Scholarship Program was established to aid the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members. Awarded scholarships are renewable for three additional years. Tax-deductible donations to the OOIDA Scholarship Program can be sent to: OOIDA Foundation Inc., 1 NW OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029.

—by Keith Goble, staff writer

Keith Goble can be reached at kgoble@landlinemag.com.


The Impact of the Trucking Industry on My Life and Academic Career

— by Darren Stafford

The trucking industry has and continues to be a major impact on my life. As far as I can remember, my life has been impacted by the trucking industry. My father has been an over the road trucker for 33 years currently leased to Lydall Transportation. My two brothers are also employed in the trucking industry as company drivers for Cannon Express and Swift Transport.

The trucking industry has impacted my life in positive and negative ways. Fortunately the positives outweigh the negatives. How many African-American males can say they have traveled the 48 states, eating breakfast in one state and dinner in another. Another great positive is having the opportunity to witness the relationship that truckers around the country share on the road. Finally the industry has provided members of my family a means to earn a good living. Although as an owner-operator, in 2001 my father had a $4,000 loss and in 2002 his adjusted gross income was less than $10,000.

As a young child, my father was away from home weeks at a time and my mother had to take on additional responsibility. This sometimes caused conflict in our home. However, when important things were happening in my life my father was always there. My parents have managed to get beyond the negatives and create a nurturing home environment despite the demands of the trucking industry. Riding with my father has allowed me to experience firsthand problems and rewards of being a trucker.

Some of those problems are the Department of Transportation regulations, high fuel prices, failing companies (Chapter 11), low rates, and larger company takeovers. As an owner-operator in addition you face equipment break downs, high cost of fees, insurance and staying healthy. As you know, if the wheels are not rolling truckers are not making any money. When large companies underbid freight rates, they create a big threat to the trucking industry. High fuel prices have forced many owner-operators out of business. Another major issue for this industry is the “hours-of- service rules.”

The trucking industry has been a major impact on my career choice. Having the exposure to this industry has made me keenly aware of the importance of education. Reading, mathematics skills, and good decision making skills are essential to being both successful and profitable in the trucking industry. This has inspired me to be committed and dedicated to getting good grades in school. My future plans are to pursue a business/accounting degree. With this degree, I can start my own small trucking business as well as provide sound guidance to my father, brothers, and other operators. It is often difficult to find an accountant who truly understands the industry. In conclusion, I would greatly benefit from this scholarship as it would assist me in reaching my personal goal and in turn give back to those who have most influenced my life.