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Investing in the future

Brooksby Village residents award scholarships to student employees

Created date

August 29th, 2017
Luciano Cuevas (left) and Ashley Royer work in Windsor Restaurant at Brooksby Village and received collegiate scholarships thanks to the generosity of residents at the Peabody, Mass., Erickson Living community.

Luciano Cuevas (left) and Ashley Royer work in Windsor Restaurant at Brooksby Village and received collegiate scholarships thanks to the generosity of residents at the Peabody, Mass., Erickson Living community.


School is back in session, and thanks to the generosity of people who live at Brooksby, 45 students are getting a hand with the costs of higher education.

Each year, Brooksby residents raise money for the community’s Scholars’ Fund, which provides scholarships to the student wait staff who work in the five on-site restaurants. To be eligible, students must work a minimum of 1,000 hours at the Peabody, Mass., community over a consecutive two-year period.

This year, the amount of the scholarship increased from $5,000 to $6,000 over four years, paid directly to the student’s institution for higher education. Since the Scholars’ Fund’s inception in 2002, Brooksby community members have awarded scholarships to more than 400 students.

“The future is bright for students working at Brooksby Village due to the generosity of our residents,” says Philanthropy Manager Elizabeth Macomber. 

During the 2017 Scholarship Fund drive, 57% of Brooksby community members contributed a total of more than $170,000. In addition, the Scholarship Fund received two endowed gifts from residents to further the mission of helping young people.

Life lessons

Ashley Royer has worked at Brooksby for over two years in the Windsor Restaurant. She graduated from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School and attends Emmanuel College to study elementary education and psychology with financial assistance from the Brooksby scholarship.

“Without Brooksby, I would still be a quiet, shy girl,” says Ashley. “I’ve become more confident meeting people and training new staff.”

Luciano Cuevas has worked at the community for two years. He attends University of Massachusetts Boston to study biochemistry with the hopes of becoming a surgeon. He, too, received a scholarship from Brooksby. 

“I’ve learned the value of spending time with those older than me,” says Luciano. “They’ve taught me that happiness comes from spending time with those you love.”

Looking back, paying it forward

As a financial supporter of the Scholars’ Fund, Brooksby resident John Murphy is committed to helping today’s high school students find their way to college.

“A scholarship changed my own life,” says John, who can still recall a pivotal moment from his senior year at Medford High School.

“I was called to the headmaster’s office,” says John. “Coach Zunic, the men’s basketball coach at Boston University, was waiting there for me.”

The previous night, Coach Zunic had been in the stands for the game between Medford High School and Lynn English High School.

“We were playing in the Tech Tournament, the tournament series for the greater Boston region,” says John, who clocks in at 6 feet 6 inches tall. “We lost to Lynn English that night, but I still had a pretty good game. I had no idea that college coaches were in the stands.”

Following introductions in the headmaster’s office, Coach Zunic told John he’d learned that John was a coachable young man with a good academic record, and he was offering him a scholarship to Boston University.

“I was flabbergasted,” says John. “My father had just passed away a few months earlier, and I didn’t have any money to go to college. We had a small family business manufacturing floor waxes, and I was going to work there after high school. Now I had this golden opportunity.”

John went on to play basketball for Coach Zunic at Boston University through his junior year. He graduated with a degree in history and government and returned to Medford to work for the family business, eventually manufacturing detergents and disinfectants.

“Boston University opened up a whole new world to me,” says John. “The scholarship opportunity changed my life, and I want that for our students who work at Brooksby.”