When Freedom Plaza Scholarship Fund resident-board members speak about awarding 30 $2,000 scholarships, one might think they are referring to the number given over a period of years. Not so. They are proclaiming, with a well-earned sense of gratification, that they’re awarding those 30 scholarships this year alone.
This is a record number for one year, topping the previous record of 26 given in 2013. These grants are valid for both traditional college and nontraditional professional training pursuits.
Money for these awards comes directly from the residents of Freedom Plaza, gleaned partially through various fundraising projects, which includes trips and cruises, plus events such as the annual Freedom Frolics stage show and Oktoberfest celebration. Freedom Plaza’s several special interest groups also contribute from their own fundraising efforts.
A sizable portion of the money for grants comes from the personal donations and bequests of generous Freedom Plaza residents. While Freedom Plaza management and parent company, Brookdale Senior Living, support the fund in numerous ways, neither underwrites the fund’s expenses.
The recipients of these educational grants are Freedom Plaza employees who have met a number of specific qualifications, including the submission of a paper outlining their educational goals, written recommendation from their work supervisor and the logging of a specific number of work hours. Scholarships are available to hourly employees only; salaried employees are not eligible.
Applicants must also be interviewed by the fund’s selection committee, a group drawn from members of the Scholarship Fund Board of Directors.
In a ceremony slated for Thursday evening, 30 deserving Freedom Plaza employees will be called to the stage in the auditorium to receive their certificates and congratulations. Participating in the program and watching from the sidelines will be members of board, who will be justly proud of their own efforts and those of Freedom Plaza residents to make life better, through education, for the people who make their lives better every day.
Peggy Burgess is an associate of Freedom Plaza and a columnist for The Sun.