Ethnic Scholar appreciates World Communion Sunday

When Garett Ozmer was in fifth grade, he had a seizure at school. He was diagnosed with epilepsy.

"My biggest challenge," he recalled, "was overcoming the fear of never knowing if or when I was going to have a seizure. As a result of the seizures, I ended up with a stutter. Throughout middle school, I become very shy. It was not until high school that I learned to embrace the challenge I was given and realize the stutter just made me different.

"Because of my epilepsy and the amazing pediatric neurologist that I saw monthly, I decided to major in biochemistry with a minor in neuroscience. My goal is to attend medical school and become a pediatric neurologist."

Today Garett, the recipient of an Ethnic Scholarship, is a student at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma. His home congregation is Faith United Methodist Church, Denton, Texas.

Your gifts on World Communion Sunday, supports the Ethnic Scholarship which enables The United Methodist Church to equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be.

Garett Ozmer with Hearts for Homes Senior Citizen and his baseball teammates on the day they were hanging Christmas lights on his house. This is a program he started with his baseball team.

"My mother is American Indian and was raised in Wagoner, Oklahoma," he said. "My father is the son of a retired United Methodist minister and district superintendent in the North Texas Annual Conference. Both have always instilled in me the importance of doing your best in all you do, making good choices and being a good steward of the gifts God has given you."

Garett's parents emphasized the importance of reaching out to others, and the young man has long volunteered with Hearts for Homes, which repairs senior citizens' houses, allowing low-income homeowners to stay in their homes as long as possible.

His parents also taught him and his siblings that if they wanted something extra, they should earn the money to buy it. So it was that Garett and his younger brother began a lawn-service company. "We started with eight lawns per week," Garett said," and after just a few years, we maxed out all we could do at 26 lawns each week."

As a teenager, he participated in several mission trips with his church youth group. Along with learning valuable life skills, Garett knew, "I am blessed beyond my understanding and called to share my blessings."

Garett was grateful to receive the Ethnic Scholarship, made possible by generous gifts on World Communion Sunday. "This scholarship," he said, "has eased some of the financial stress and helped pay for the many fees and expensive books that colleges require. College is stressful enough. Scholarships can ease the big burden of finances."

When he is not studying, Garett works several hours a week in the biochemistry department and tutors classmates and fraternity brothers in biology and chemistry.

Becoming a pediatric neurologist will be a tough and exhausting journey, Garett admits. "I will need my faith because I cannot complete this on my own.," he said. "Being a doctor is not about the money for me; it's about healing children who are just as scared and confused as I once was."

Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.

When you give generously on World Communion Sunday, you equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be. Give now.