Twenty Local High School Seniors Recognized as Candidates for $10,000 Scholarships from Greenspring Retirement Community

May 28, 2013

Annual Scholars Awards Ceremony was held at Greenspring on Wednesday, May 29 

(Springfield, Va.) - On Wednesday, May 29, a packed house of family, friends, residents, and staff attended the annual Scholars Awards Ceremony at Greenspring.  At the event this year, twenty seniors from local high schools were recognized as 2013 candidates for $10,000 scholarships from the community. 
In 1999, Greenspring established a Scholars' Fund which provides scholarships to local high school students who have worked in various dining services capacities at the retirement community; in addition to receiving a wage, students may be eligible for scholarships paid directly to the college or professional school of each student's choice.  The scholarships are presented in an effort to reward exemplary students who have shown a commitment to serving the Greenspring community and its residents.
"When I was asked to speak tonight, I couldn't believe the number of students being honored and the amount they were being honored with," said Mark Greenfelder, Principal at West Springfield High School, who was one of the many guest speakers during the ceremony.  Also on hand to congratulate the students at the ceremony was Delegate Vivian Watts (D-39th).  "The reason [the residents] have given is because of the lives they have lived," said Watts.  "They know from life experience what is there when you open the college door."  Watts also expressed appreciation to those who have made the scholarships possible.  "Thank you to all who have generously supported this program," said Watts.  "It is most impressive."
This year, $200,000 was donated to the Scholars' Fund by residents, resident clubs, and staff members at Greenspring. Due to these generous voluntary donations, this is the first year that students were eligible for $10,000 scholarships; four years ago, the scholarship amount was increased from $4000 to $6000 per student.  Since the establishment of the Scholars' Fund at Greenspring, the community has come together to raise nearly $1.5 million for student scholarships.  
Students who are eligible for the scholarship must have worked at least 1000 hours at the community during their junior and senior years of high school.  They must have achieved satisfactory grades and have maintained a disciplinary record free of adverse actions at their high school.  Eligible students must be planning to attend college or trade school full time in the fall of 2013.  If a student still meets the criteria for the scholarship after final grades are submitted, Greenspring will send the scholarship funds directly to each college or professional school each semester.
Additionally this year, a new scholarship was presented separately of the twenty student scholarships.  Greenspring resident Steve Guback donated $100,000 for the establishment of the community's first endowed scholarship: The Steve and Renie Guback Scholarship.  The $100,000 endowed scholarship will result in a $5,000 scholarship annually and was presented for the first time at the awards ceremony on May 29.  Guback, who is a former award-winning sportswriter with The Washington Evening Star, has lived at Greenspring since 2009.  He was awarded Ernie Pyle Scholarship when he attended Indiana University at Bloomington and has vowed to pay it forward to help others.
"The scholarship at Indiana helped to launch my career as a sportswriter," said Guback.  "I realize how much that helped me so I've always been trying to repay that back as much as I can."
The Steve and Renie Guback Scholarship is intended for a student in a field of study focusing on a major or minor in communications including, but not limited to, the fields of journalism and public relations.  Each year, the $5000 scholarship will be presented to a full time student who is a rising college freshman, an undergraduate, or a graduate student with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  The recipient will be required to perform 150 hours of volunteer service at Greenspring's Channel 6 television studio learning a variety of skills including manning a video camera, hosting and narrating programs, learning how to edit, and gaining experience being on camera. 
This year, Matthew Kaufax received The Steve and Renie Guback Scholarship.  He is a graduating senior of the Thomas A. Edison High School Class of 2013.  Kaufax recently accepted his offer of admission to attend the SI Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University and hopes to follow in the footsteps of alumni like Bob Costas, Steve Kroft, and Dick Clark.  "He is going to set bar awfully high and will carry on the name extremely well," said Guback.
2013 Greenspring Scholars: 
Junaid Ahmed:   Robert E. Lee High School Mariam Bayat:   Robert E. Lee High School Valeria Barco Saenz:   Woodbridge Senior High School Heran Beniam:   Hayfield Secondary School Shaniqua Burhans:   West Springfield High School Jesle Choi:   South County High School Mayra Cruz:   Robert E. Lee High School Michelle Jose:   Robert E. Lee High School Brett Nelson:   Robert E. Lee High School Jessica Oo:   Lake Braddock High School Sudhanshu Patyal:   Hayfield Secondary School Alex Pinto:   South County High School Kenneth Roland:   Robert E. Lee High School Salem Solomon:   Robert E. Lee High School Meronne Teklu:   West Springfield High School Tracy Tranchi:   West Springfield High School Saurabh Verma:   Hayfield Secondary School Meley Woldetatios:   Robert E. Lee High School Mercedes Zettlemayer:   West Springfield High School Zhou Zhou:   Lake Braddock High School
About Greenspring: Greenspring is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia.  The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of which reside in over 1400 independent living apartment homes.  At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  Additional information about Greenspring can be found at