For more than a dozen years, the APRO Charitable Foundation has annually provided scholarships to rent-to-own professionals and their families. APRO members have contributed generously to the APRO Scholarship Fund – awarding 447 scholarships totaling $ 1,001,750 to date – empowering students connected with RTO to pursue higher education and successful futures.
Ohio native Alexandria Pontius – one of this year’s 29 deserving APRO scholarship recipients – fittingly received her funding thanks to the generous support of the Ohio Rental Dealers Association.
Alex, 18, is enjoying her freshman year at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, majoring in Game and Simulation Arts; she’s aiming to become a professional videogame designer.
“I’ve played video games since I was very young, and I’ve always known I wanted to go into an artistic field,” Alex says. “So I just put two and two together. Shawnee’s game-design program is nationally known, so it was an easy choice. ”
And Alex definitely had her choice among colleges; she’s not the stereotypical videogame-playing zombie, sitting in a darkened room plugged into a screen 24/7 – not even close. This well-rounded, high-achieving young woman not only graduated from Westfall High School with a 4.004 GPA while taking college-credit and college-prep courses, but also was:
- a member of the National Honor Society;
- a band leader – field commander during marching season and principal flutist during competition season;
- a member of the swim team;
- Co-Captain of the varsity esports team;
- involved in 4-H for nine years – winning the 4-H Achievement Award for horses, and serving as vice president of her 4-H Club and as a member of the Junior Fair Board; and
- a camp counselor for Pickaway County YMCA.
Alex has been around RTO her entire life, as her mom, Amy Troxel, has worked in RTO for almost 25 years. Today, Amy balances being a divorced mom with managing Countryside Rentals Inc., dba Rent-2-Own‘s Circleville, Ohio, store. Alex’s dad suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), so her mom pays for almost everything on her own – including medical bills for a serious accident Alex had with her horse last year.
“We’re extremely grateful for rent-to-own,” affirms Alex. “It provides for us – we even got my gaming computer from Rent-2-Own (R2O). It helps people – offering opportunities for people to get important items they can’t afford otherwise. And now, it’s helping us handle my college expenses. ”
It also helped a close friend of Alex’s: Robert G., 20, lives with his grandparents and has been saving money to move out on his own. But after an unexpected job loss, Rob was devastated.
“He was just lost and had no idea what to do,” remembers Alex. “So I suggested he work for Rent-2-Own. The Circleville store had no openings, but my mom recommended him for tech-related projects at the R2O home office. Nothing came of that, but then one of my mom’s delivery guys quit, and she hired Rob.
“Once he got the hang of RTO, he was on a roll,” Alex continues. “Rob’s a hard worker and will do great things for the company – and eventually, he’ll be able to move out on his own, which makes me happy for him.”
No doubt, Alex Pontius – compassionate, conscientious, and super-capable – will touch many more lives as she works her way toward her dream of designing for a major gaming company, like Riot Games or Nintendo. APRO is proud to be part of her journey – ’cause this gamer’s got game!
Alex’s is one of the dozens of positive stories that generous donations from the RTO community make happen each year. Click here to learn more and contribute to this invaluable industry effort.