Kya McFadden: "If I had an opportunity to meet with the Thornton's or members from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, I would tell them thank you for all they're doing for students like myself and thank you for the opportunities they're providing, because if it had not been for them, I don't know if I would be where I am right now."
Video: Kya McFadden walking on campus; Kya McFadden Interview
Voice: Lifetime Mid-Del residents Roy and Darlene Thornton wanted to give back to their community by helping local students get to college.
Video: Roy and Darlene Thornton walking in their neighborhood; daily activities
Voice: So together with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, they established the Roy Edward Thornton & Darlene Young Thornton Scholarship, given to local students committed to community service.
Video: Drone shot of Oklahoma City Community Foundation building; Roy and Darlene Thornton visiting OCCF
Jessica Schwager: "Roy has been a part of the Kiwanis Club for many, many years. And so, he has always really focused on giving back to the community."
Video: Roy and Darlene Thornton meeting with Jessica Schwager; Jessica Schwager Interview
Voice: Today, the fund they started in 2013 has grown from $1000 per recipient to more than $2000 awarded to each recipient every year. And it all started because people like Roy understand that no matter what size donation you make, you can always make a difference.
Video: Kya McFadden meeting Roy and Darlene Thornton
Roy Thornton: "So we're thinking, 'if these were our children, what can we do?' Well, we can do a lot. And we're not rich or anything like that, but we can get things done ..."
Video: Roy Thornton Interview; Roy and Darlene Thornton at home
Voice: And for local students like Kya McFadden, that difference meant a better chance at fulfilling her dreams.
Video: Kya McFadden walking on campus
Voice: At the suggestion of a guidance counselor, Kya and her mom found several scholarship opportunities on the Oklahoma City Community Foundation website. A Mid-Del student active in community service, it was obvious the Thornton's scholarship was a great fit.
Video: Kya McFadden meeting with Lora Souza; walking down school hallway; reviewing OCCF website for scholarships; Kya McFadden in high school
Kya McFadden: "…I just love community service. And it's always been a part of my life."
Video: Kya McFadden Interview
Jessica Schwager: "… I think that a lot of times when parents and students are thinking about applying for scholarships, they think a lot of times of the colleges that they're going to. So, if they're going to Oklahoma State, they might think I can only qualify for scholarships at Oklahoma State. What makes us unique is that we have scholarships for students throughout the entire state of Oklahoma."
Video: Jessica Schwager and Wanda Minter reviewing OCCF scholarship recipients; Jessica Schwager Interview
Voice: Today, Kya is excelling in school and well on her way to her goal of giving back to other students through a career in education.
Video: Kya McFadden studying in library
Lora Souza: "I think it's rewarding to see that in Kya's situation, that she's able to continue on with education and not have the stress of finances. Where she's able to put all of her focus on her education and reap the benefits of the scholarship through that way."
Video: Lora Souza Interview; Lora Souza and Kya McFadden meeting over scholarships
Darlene Thornton: "They'll never be able to thank us, we'll never know who they are, but their whole lives will be changed, hopefully, because of something that we've done."
Video: Darlene Thornton Interview
Voice: If you have a desire to make a difference in your community, we can help you make it happen.
Video: Roy & Darlene Thornton
Voice: The Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Simple. Effective. Forever.
Video: OCCF Logo