Trent Baker: Taking his legacy to heart
When Trent Baker took a part-time job as a debt collector, he learned just how fortunate he was to have the opportunity to pursue a college education. He drove around various areas of Columbus and went door-to-door collecting bill payments. Through the experience, he became aware of the challenging economic conditions that existed so close to home.
Trent's experiences as a bill collector inspired him to provide scholarships for students who may not have the opportunity to attend college. “When our parents died unexpectedly, my brother, Todd, and I wanted to do something significant to honor their memory,” said Trent. “Since they always placed a strong emphasis on education, we knew a scholarship fund would be the ultimate tribute.”
As a third-generation Buckeye, Trent received a scholarship to attend Ohio State. He is truly grateful for the memories he created while at Ohio State, including attending the 1980 Rose Bowl and camping overnight for tickets to basketball games. Since graduation, Trent has maintained a loyal relationship with the university as a member of the Alumni Association and President's Club recognition.
An education from Ohio State opened the door to a thriving career in financial services. Trent currently works as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, a position he describes as a perfect fit. “I take great pride in helping people achieve their goals by taking the mystery out of intimidating financial topics,” he said.
The scholarship, established in their parents' honor and housed in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, gives priority to students in Columbus City Schools and preference to students in the Urban Concern and Upward Bound programs. Since 1965, The Ohio State University Upward Bound Program has been instrumental in helping Columbus City high school students achieve their goals. Upward Bound instills and fosters the necessary skills, talents, and motivation needed for each participant to successfully graduate from high school, and enroll in and complete their post-secondary education. As a member of the Upward Bound advisory board, Trent helps academically promising middle and high school students stay on a strong academic path for college. This includes outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
Trent and his brother, Todd, connected over Ohio State and it was a significant part of their lives. When Todd passed away, Trent knew it was important to continue their commitment to the scholarship they created together. “I hope the students who receive the scholarships succeed in life, achieve economically, and pay forward the gift,” said Trent.
Creating a legacy of helping others is how Trent wishes to be remembered. When he and his wife, Beverly, were thinking about their will and determining the best approach for their assets, it was clear that they wanted to include Ohio State. “But for Ohio State, there would be a large void in my life,” said Trent. “I would not have nearly the opportunities I have been offered.”