Tribune Print Share Text

Coming full circle

Scholarship recipient returns to Greenspring as new philanthropy coordinator

Created date

May 12th, 2016
Greenspring Scholars’ Fund 2011 winner Molly Everett

Greenspring Scholars’ Fund 2011 winner Molly Everett returns to the Springfield, Va., community as the new philanthropy coordinator.

This month, for the eighteenth consecutive year, generous members of Greenspring will recognize the higher educational pursuits of their student employees through the award of Scholars’ Fund scholarships. 

In 2011, Molly Everett graduated from West Springfield High School and was awarded a scholarship toward her studies in higher education from Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va. 

Molly and her twin sister Amy, who worked in dining services, were among 21 local high school students to receive scholarships from Greenspring’s Scholars’ Fund that year.  The scholarships helped Molly and Amy with student expenses at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.  

Recently, Molly returned to Greenspring as the community’s new philanthropy coordinator, helping future student scholars realize their potential. 

“I decided to return to Greenspring because it is a community that I know promotes values and ideals that I firmly believe in,” says Molly. “I made connections with so many wonderful people and had such positive experiences in the nearly five years I spent working in dining services as a student. I am so grateful to Greenspring and all the residents for the scholarship. My new position provides a great opportunity to give back to the community.”

Solid support system

Molly is one of more than 200 students who have received scholarships from Greenspring since 1999, when the Scholars’ Fund was established. 

The fund provides scholarships to local high school students who have worked in various dining services capacities at Greenspring. 

In addition to receiving a wage, students can apply 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. 

To date, more than $2 million in scholarships have been awarded thanks to the residents, staff, and community partners who have donated funds over the years.

As a high school student, Molly worked as a server in Greenspring’s Jefferson Restaurant. 

“My favorite aspect of the job was engaging in conversations with the residents,” she says. “I had countless discussions and made so many good friends, all while learning how to serve professionally and compassionately. I always looked forward to coming to work.”

Life-changing gift

Receiving a Greenspring Scholars’ Fund scholarship helped Molly considerably during her college years and provided opportunities she may otherwise have missed.

“The scholarship primarily relieved me of the financial stresses of textbook costs,” she says. “I was unaware of how expensive reading materials for college courses were until I began my studies.

“The scholarship also gave me financial support that made me feel secure enough to take out a small loan and complete a six-week summer study abroad course in the Amazon. As a part of this course, I conducted independent field research while living in an indigenous Amazonian village in Guyana, South America. This trip offered me unparalleled life experience that other college courses in a classroom setting never could have, and I will always be grateful that I was given the opportunity to go on that journey.” 

Giving back

Now, in her new role as philanthropy coordinator, Molly hopes to help provide Greenspring’s current high school employees with new opportunities and experiences through the Scholars’ Fund.

“I want our student employees to know that it is a worthy investment to prioritize their job at Greenspring amongst all the other fun things that may be going on with school or with their social lives,” she says. “The opportunity to become a Greenspring scholar is an unbelievable gift. Maintaining good grades and building a strong reputation for service in this community allows for an extremely rewarding and exciting way to begin life after high school.”