School is back in session, and thanks to the generosity of Eagle's Trace community members, eight students are getting a hand with the costs of higher education.
Each year, Eagle's Trace residents raise money for the Scholars' Fund, which provides scholarships for student waitstaff who work in the community's on-site restaurants. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must work a minimum of 1,000 hours at Eagle's Trace and maintain good academic and professional standing.
The value of each scholarship is $10,000, paid directly to the student's institution for higher education. Scholarships are paid over four years, $1,000 per semester during a student's freshman and sophomore years and $1,500 per semester during the junior and senior years.
Investing in young people
"Every day, I see how much our residents care about our student waitstaff," says Nicholas Tondeur, general manager of dining at Eagle's Trace. "In sharing their wisdom and experience, the residents encourage the students as if they were their own grandchildren. The relationships formed are priceless."
This year, community members donated $74,000 during the Scholars' Fund drive, a $10,000 increase over last year's contributions.
Janet Marvin, a retired nurse, currently chairs the scholarship committee. Debby Cate previously served as chairperson from 2014 through 2016.
"The scholarship committee has worked hard over the past few years to promote the Scholars' Fund and to mentor our scholarship candidates," says Stephen Aigner, executive director of Eagle's Trace. "There are dozens of reasons why I'm proud to work at Eagle's Trace, and this is one of them."
Bill King serves as the current vice chairman of the scholarship committee. He says this year's group of student scholars shines in the classroom and at Eagle's Trace.
"Each member of the committee has the opportunity to mentor one of our student scholars," says Bill. "We meet with them to offer encouragement and to help with any challenges they may be facing. It's a joy to serve on the committee because I enjoy seeing our young people achieve."
Scholarship recipient Melida Velasquez graduated from Mayde Creek High School in the Katy Independent School District. She'll be taking allied health classes at Lone Star College this fall.
"Working at Eagle's Trace has taught me to make the most of every day," says Melida. "It's also helped me discover my passion to help others."