Senior citizens support senior high school students with college scholarships

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 5:18 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Senior citizens at Brandon Oaks Life Plan Community are supporting high school seniors heading off to college. This is the first year scholarships have been awarded to the serving student staff to continue their education.

The scholarship committee chair explained there is a special relationship between the senior residents and the senior servers.

“The servers, in particular the servers in the dining area and in the kitchen area, are so much a part of making contributions to our quality of life,” Janet Johnson said. “We wanted to do something in return.”

Brandon Oaks seniors raised enough money to give four graduating high school seniors scholarships ranging from $500 - $1,000. Johnson explained it’s one way residents are able to thank the staff in a memorable way.

“We have special feelings toward these people that make our life really special here at Brandon Oaks and we wanted to do something and do something more than just smiling and saying thank you,” Johnson said.

Three of the four scholarship recipients started classes at Virginia Western Community College Monday. One recipient explained how she’s planning on using some of the scholarship money.

“I can depend on the scholarship to get my supplies, like a laptop or something that I desperately need,” Chelsey Sheets said.

Sheets works full time as a Brandon Oaks server and is getting a degree in Information Technology. She explained her relationship with residents is what makes the busy days worth it.

“They give me a reason to come to work every day because I can see their smiling faces,” Sheets said. “Ever since my maw-maw passed, it’s just been very hard and then working for elderly it just reminds me how much joy they give everyone.”

The senior citizens plan to continue serving the senior students to help with the cost of college. Brandon Oaks seniors will be working toward raising money for an annual scholarship for student servers.