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Problem solved: Metro woman keeps promise and Staley grads finally get scholarships

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some good news to report on a Problem Solvers story that’s now been solved.

Nearly two years ago, two Staley High School grads were awarded a special $500 college scholarship, but they never got the money. That is, until now.

Jillian Brauninger, one of the two recipients, planned to use the $500 to help pay for her first semester at Creighton University.

Jillian Brauninger

Jillian tried calling the woman in charge of the scholarship who promised her it was just an oversight and she’d soon receive a check in the mail. She never did.

Even Jillian’s parents tried contacting the woman, multiple times over the last two years, and couldn’t get answers.

“She doesn’t answer phones, doesn’t answer emails,” Mark Brauninger told FOX4 earlier this month. “Up to the point of us sitting here today, we never heard another word.”

That’s something that baffles the Brauningers because the scholarship had special meaning. It was in memory of Ashton L. O’Guinn, a Staley High School graduate murdered seven years ago.

Dewanna O’Guinn, Ashton’s mother, created the scholarship and is in charge of giving it out.

According to the scholarship’s Facebook page, it has been offered since 2013. The page includes the photos of multiple recipients from throughout the years, but no winners are shown for 2017 – the year Jillian and her classmate won.

“To have a memorial scholarship set up for your son and then to renege on the reward,” Mark said, shaking his head in disbelief.

But the Brauningers said they would have forgotten the whole episode if O’Guinn had just called them to let them know there was some type of problem and she wouldn’t be able to make good on the $500 promise.

“We would have been fine with that,” said Mark, though he and his wife had to scramble to make up for the missing funds.

The Brauningers, however, decided to share their story with FOX4 Problem Solvers after they noticed that O’Guinn was again offering the scholarship this year.

They didn’t want another family to have the same experience.

FOX4 Problem Solvers eventually reached O’Guinn by phone. She blamed the missing scholarship money on what she referred to as a “staffing issue.” She said the woman in charge of delivering the money no longer worked for her.

She promised FOX4 the two girls would have their money before the end of March — and she kept her promise. Both scholarship winners now have their money, and she delivered before the end of February.

Problem solved.

Previous coverage:

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