“Retirement community helps staffers with soaring college costs,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution Inspire Atlanta

Retirement community helps staffers with soaring college costs

“Retirement community helps staffers with soaring college costs,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution Inspire Atlanta

Retirement community helps staffers with soaring college costsThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution featured the Park Springs Foundation in an Inspire Atlanta story. The Park Springs Foundation was founded by residents eight years ago. Since then, it has given out more than $700,000 in scholarships and typically helps about 25 students a semester.

“The financial award is substantial, especially if there are multiple students in a family,” said Park Springs Senior Executive Director Jeff Helms. “But even more important is the sense of community it fosters when employees know they are valued and appreciated.”

The Foundation provides $3,500 per semester, plus up to $500 for computers and books. The money can be used for spring, summer and fall terms, totaling up to $12,000 a year per scholarship winner. Families can have multiple recipients at the same time.

For the 2023-24 school year, the nonprofit will give away $93,517 with no strings attached. Recipients don’t have to continue working at Park Springs after their studies – though they are encouraged to – or commit to a specific program of study. No income limit restricts who gets the money and no application is denied so long as the applicant, their parent or spouse, has been an employee of Park Springs for six months at the time of the award and is attending a not-for-profit educational institution.

Retirement community helps staffers with soaring college costs

Single mother Afi Jones is a server and bartender at Park Springs. Her son Joshua uses the scholarship to cover books, technology and summer semester tuition at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He is a student-athlete at Lehigh, but his football scholarship doesn’t cover these other expenses.

“With that Park Springs Scholarship, it takes a load off of us parents who are trying to get their kids off to college,” Afi Jones said. “I really appreciate the members there so much. It means a lot to us.”

Park Springs residents keep up with Joshua and other scholars like benevolent grandparents. Members provide an extra layer of support to help students navigate the academic world and to make sure they are fully taking advantage of the resources available to them.

“We are changing lives. It’s very fulfilling,” said Park Springs Foundation Board Chair Missy Vanderbilt. “It’s not just for one person, but for generations to come. Now, they are examples and mentors to their children and they are passing along the benefit of education.”

To access the online story, visit the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website here.



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