At Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community, we believe in showing our team members as much appreciation as possible. Twice a year, team members can apply for a scholarship to assist with education, or debt from previous education opportunities. This scholarship is known as the Strongheart Scholarship. Named by the anonymous donor who has a love for German Shepherds, the scholarship got its moniker from one of the first known dogs to appear in film. Established in 2016, this fund is open to staff and residents to donate to, if they feel lead to do so.
How does the scholarship work?
The Strongheart Scholarship benefits team members in two different ways. Team members have the option to put the scholarship toward current or future education efforts or to relieve debt of student loans. No matter what level of education is the goal, the scholarship is eligible. This applies to certificates, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees and beyond.
In addition to using the scholarship for current or future educational goals, team members can use the scholarship to help relieve student loan debt. We all know what pain student loans cause once it comes time to pay. Similar to if a team member was using the scholarship for current education; the level of degree obtained is of no matter.
How has it helped team members?
Education is important to many of us, but is not always obtainable due to financial obligations. This is why Bishop Gadsden feels it is important to invest in their team members. Since 2016, 97 team members have been awarded the Strongheart Scholarship. Not only do team members have the opportunity to receive financial assistance, they can also apply for the scholarship year after year. Each semester requires another round of tuition, so we award the scholarship in spring and fall, and encourage recipients to apply again.
Every year, Bishop Gadsden’s goal is to help team members reach their education goals. Stephanie Payne, one of our incredible nurses in Read Cloister, discussed how receiving the scholarship helped her. “I am a proud recipient of the Strongheart Scholarship. This award has helped me pay down my student debt for obtaining my nursing degree from Trident Tech,” said Stephanie. “My husband and I have a 5-year plan to be debt free, and winning this scholarship is helping us reach that goal faster.”
As you can see, this scholarship is near and dear to all of us at Bishop Gadsden. We want to “live an extraordinary life,” as we like to say, and giving this scholarship continues to reinforce that message.