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 realized 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."
|"Hearts for Home" project with Garret Ozmer on the far right and the recipient in center. Courtesy photo.|
Today Garett, the recipient of an Ethnic Scholarship supported by the World Communion Sunday offering, 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 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. Many students either want to go to college and just financially cannot [do so] or are already in college and struggling to pay their bills. College is stressful enough. Scholarships can ease the big burden of finances."
"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."
When he is not studying, Garett works several hours a week in the biochemistry department, tutors classmates and fraternity brothers in biology and chemistry, and maintains his role on the Hearts for Homes homeowners committee.
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. My faith has always challenged me to give back in service. I will spend a good part of my life making sure kids feel safe and know everything is going to be OK.
excerpt from a story by 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.