Meadow Lakes Education Award Fund Honors 22 Employees with Over $80,000 in Tuition Grants
Residents and friends of Meadow Lakes, a Springpoint Life Plan Community, donated over $80,000 to help employees and their families lessen the burden of high tuition costs and educational debt.
At a recent awards ceremony held at Meadow Lakes, 22 employees received up to $4,000 each in tuition grants from the Meadow Lakes Education Award Fund, 14 of which have received funding in years past.
Now in its 22nd year, the Meadow Lake Education Award Fund was initiated by residents and is fully supported through their generous donations. The 2023 fund recipients are enrolled in over 10 higher education institutions from throughout the East Coast including Mercer County Community College, Rutgers University, and Elon University among others. Degree programs of participating students include nursing, communications, public health, criminology, business, plus several more. Employees have used the tuition grants to add an occasional work-related course to their employment credentials or to complete an entire educational program, from college through the award of doctorates and master’s degrees.
Recipients for the grants were selected through an application process that included meeting with the selection committee, completing an application form, providing an academic transcript of past work, and submitting an essay describing their proposed future career and the influences leading to their choice. All recipients are upstanding employees at Meadow Lakes and remain committed to the mission and values of Springpoint while furthering their studies.
Rev. Dr. Byron Shafer, Chair of the Education Award Fund committee, led the ceremony and was joined by two other speakers, fellow Meadow Lakes resident Betsy Ashton and former award recipient, Juan Cobos.
Cobos acted as Meadow Lakes’ Medical Line Supervisor from 2008-2020. With support from the Education Award Fund, he attended Mercer County Community College and later Brigham Young University – Idaho. He is now the Outreach Coordinator and Food Pantry Director at Rise, a community service partnership.
“Before leaving Meadow Lakes I made a promise to give back what was provided to me,” Cobos said. “[This community] is my big family and I appreciate everything done for me, and what this scholarship will do for you.”
Cobos’ daughter Carole was recognized as a first-time recipient at this year’s ceremony and will be attending Rider University.
According to Rev. Dr. Shafer, the Meadow Lakes community is repeatedly recognized and applauded for both the size and scope of funds raised every year. After 10 years of service on the committee, Rev. Dr. Shafer announced his retirement during the ceremony. Fellow residents Mary Benton and Richard Cayea will now co-chair the five-person committee.
The Meadow Lakes Education Award Fund was launched in 2002 as a way for residents to recognize outstanding staff service and to help both full- and part-time employees further their educational goals. In that inaugural year, seven employees were awarded an approximate $14,000.