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In Their Own Words: The Bates Twins Reflect on the Impact of Their FAO Scholarships


FAO is pleased to announce our 2019 scholarship recipients! Because the most exciting part about these scholarship awards is what they will make possible for recipients far into the future, we decided to take a look back with two scholarship recipients who graduated just this year – and who also happen to be twins. 

Kristi Bates graduated from Ohio University in 2019 with a degree in nursing after receiving three FAO scholarships, and Nickolas Bates graduated from Marietta College in 2019 with a degree in petroleum engineering after receiving five FAO scholarships. 

To view the list of FAO’s 2019 scholarship recipients, which will be updated as more recipients are announced, click here.

What did your scholarship awards from FAO mean to you?

KB: They meant so much to me, and receiving those awards was the best blessing I could have asked for. I was worried about going to school and being able to afford it, but these awards paid for a lot of my schooling and they’re the reason I don’t have to worry about paying off any student loans today.
NB: These scholarships made my college life a lot easier. Because I didn’t have to worry as much about where the money would come from, I had more time to focus on my schooling and was able to graduate with very high honors. FAO’s scholarship awards also helped lessen the amount of money I had to take out in loans, which was truly a blessing.

Tell us a little bit about your academic journey during school – what did you end up studying and why?

KB: My scholarships from FAO supported me both as I got my licensed practical nurse (LPN) to registered nurse (RN) degree at Belmont College, and as I got my bachelor’s in nursing at Ohio University. My main goal was to help people for the rest of my life, and my education has allowed me to do that.

NB: I always loved math and science, so I attended Marietta College to study engineering, and my internship experiences led me to focus on petroleum engineering specifically. I had lots of great experiences during school, and I had classes with great professors and many opportunities to meet with industry professionals who all taught me so much.

What are you doing now, and what do you hope to be doing in five years?

KB: I’m now working at Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia, where I am a pediatric nurse and work with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit – and I love it. I love the patient care aspect, and seeing the amazing journey that patients go through, where these kids come in really sick and then get better. To be a part of that just makes me feel needed in the world. So I see myself staying here for a long time.

NB: Right now I’m working for a small oil field supply company so I can get experience and make my start in the industry. Down the road, I hope to be a field engineer for a service company, so I can gain knowledge and learn more about the industry.

What do you see as the importance of scholarship awards like the ones you received, and of philanthropy in general?

NB: My sister and I are both first-generation college students, and we both graduated thanks in part to scholarships that helped us reach for our dreams and go through college with less debt. So philanthropy can really help under-privileged students go to college and be able to succeed.

KB: Scholarships are able to help so many kids, especially those who would otherwise be unable to afford college. And once kids get scholarships, those awards can propel them forward to get degrees which can better their lives. It’s so important to have those resources available for people.