The retirees who live at The Holmstad, a faith-based, nonprofit, continuing care retirement community operated by Covenant Retirement Communities, are investing in the future by awarding $9,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors who work in dining services at the retirement community.
Nine students received $1,000 each.
Five Batavia High School winners and their college plans are: Delaney Corbitt, veterinary medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Joseph Doyle, engineering, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, Wis.; Jeffrey Heise, nursing, Hope College, Holland, Mich.; Mitchell Kavalec, marketing, Northern Illinois University; and Gabriel Monarrez, marketing, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Three Geneva High School winners and their college plans are: Benjamin Borowiak, control systems engineering, Waubonsee Community College; Stephanie Condon, nursing, Waubonsee Community College; and Alice Paul, psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Francisco Gama, who will study nursing and art at Millikin University, Decatur, Ill., is graduating from West Aurora High School.
In addition to the scholarships, Holmstad residents gave each of the 18 graduating seniors who worked in dining services $50.
Residents' Association Scholarship Committee chairwoman Linnea Root says the awards recognize the students' outstanding characteristics and are an investment in the future.
"The students who work here are very kind and considerate," Root said. "They are people who go out of their way to help someone else. We're delighted to be able to help them as they start their college careers."
To select the winners, the committee reviews each student's transcript, autobiography and recommendations from two teachers, a counselor and their Holmstad supervisor. The funds come from several sources of resident activities including The Home Store, which sells gently used furniture and household items, and the annual holiday bazaar, which features a wide variety of crafts, homemade baked goods and more.
All Holmstad residents were invited to meet the winners and their invited guests at a hospitality hour preceding an awards dinner. "We introduce each winner individually during dinner," explains Root. "That way the students can be recognized by the students they've worked with as well as their guests and Holmstad residents."
To ensure that the winners are recognized before their entire class, a representative of the Residents' Association Scholarship Committee will attend each school's awards night.
Holmstad residents began the scholarship program in 1992. Since then, the residents have awarded $93,100 to graduating high school seniors who have worked in the community's dining services department for at least six months.
The Holmstad is a faith-based, nonprofit continuing care retirement community located at 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia. It is administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, which is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church and one of the nation's largest nonprofit senior services organizations. For more information on The Holmstad, call (877) 226-7310 or visit www.TheHolmstad.org.