Women’s History Month Employee Spotlight: Meet Stephanie Bunsey


Stephanie Bunsey’s story poses as an attestation to the story of underdogs. Born to a fifteen-year-old mother in Huntington, West Virginia, Stephanie’s early years were marked by financial hardship as her parents, who hadn’t graduated from high school, struggled to make ends meet. However, despite the challenges, Stephanie’s mother eventually pursued her GED and secured a stable job, setting an example of perseverance and determination that would shape Stephanie’s own path.


Stephanie’s passion for writing led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University, where she graduated as a first-generation college student. Inspired by a high school English teacher’s encouragement, Stephanie delved into journalism, finding solace and purpose in words. “Writing is very cathartic for me in a lot of ways,” she says. Her transition into grant writing, which she describes as “dumb luck,” seamlessly merged her journalistic skills with a newfound passion for supporting nonprofits and community organizations.

In her role as a grant writer, Stephanie navigates the intricacies of grant applications with finesse, understanding the importance of comprehensive data and strong relationships with funders. Her best piece of advice, to nurture relationships both within and outside the organization, underscores the importance of collaboration and connection in driving positive change.  

Throughout her personal and professional journey, Stephanie’s proudest achievements are her two children and her impactful work at College Now. Over her 13-year tenure at the organization, she has helped its growth from a $5 million to a close to $40 million organization, driven by a mission to support students statewide in their pursuit of postsecondary education. 

Drawing inspiration from underdogs who overcome adversity, Stephanie finds fulfillment in helping others navigate their own journeys to success. “People who start disadvantaged and work really hard to overcome it really inspire me and being able to help people in that journey is simply amazing,” she says.  At College Now, she values the opportunity to be entrepreneurial in decision-making and the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  

In celebrating Women’s History Month, Stephanie’s journey illuminates the transformative power of determination and education. From her roots in  West Virginia to her crucial role at College Now, her story reminds us that anyone can make a difference if they tap into the passion and drive that sits well within us all.