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New Sinclair Community College Scholarship Empowers Sign Language Interpreter Students

Sinclair Community College, the Sinclair Foundation, and the family of Lima resident Teddy Sharik have established a scholarship to honor Teddy’s memory and to support American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter students.

Teddy lived in Lima for five years before his passing on February 4, 2023, following a 2-month battle with cancer.  He was profoundly Deaf his entire life and was a strong advocate for creating a more inclusive world for individuals with hearing impairments. During the final seven weeks of his life at St. Rita’s Hospice in Lima, Teddy and his family utilized ASL interpreters, who were Sinclair Community College graduates, to bridge communication gaps.   

“There is so much I could say about these interpreters. They were a phenomenal group, and they were Teddy’s voice. They traveled the two hours each way from Dayton to Lima and sometimes slept overnight at the hospital to provide 24/7 interpreting between Teddy, our family, and the hospice staff,” said Scott Sharik, Teddy’s brother. “It struck me so much as to the value of these bridge building interpreters and the importance of interpreting that my sister and I decided we wanted to set up a scholarship fund to help ASL interpreter students get into school and to manage the finances for their education.”

The Teddy Sharik Memorial Scholarship, established through the Sinclair Foundation, will provide financial assistance for tuition, fees, and books for students enrolled in the Interpreter Education associate degree program at Sinclair Community College in Dayton.

"The Teddy Sharik Memorial Scholarship embodies the values that the Sinclair Foundation holds dear – empathy, inclusivity, and the power of education to transform lives. We are proud to be able to honor Teddy Sharik's legacy and support students," added Dr. Zachary Beck, Chief Development Officer – Sinclair Community College Advancement Division.

The Sinclair Community College Associate of Applied Science Interpreter Education (ASL) degree prepares students with the skills necessary to successfully function as an interpreter for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind individuals in a variety of educational and community settings. 

“Sinclair Community College is incredibly proud of the Interpreter Education Program graduates who make such a meaningful impact in the lives of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. The Teddy Sharik Memorial Scholarship is an incredible way to support students who have chosen a career path that creates a more inclusive world,” said Dr. Jessica Minor, Chair – Sinclair Community College Education Department. 

Over the past five years, more than 50 Sinclair students have graduated with an Interpreter Education (ASL) associate degree. 

“My brother's life was a testament to resilience and the power of communication. He showed me the importance of bridging the gap between the hearing and Deaf communities. I want to honor his memory by supporting students who share his passion for sign language interpretation and are committed to breaking down communication barriers. There is a mission here and there is a purpose that is deep and impactful on lives," added Scott Sharik.

To support the Teddy Sharik Memorial Scholarship, visit or contact the Sinclair Foundation at or call 937-512-2510.