Students in the East Valley and across the country saw COVID-19 cancel graduations and well-earned celebrations. And while the pandemic also transformed the workplace, particularly within the senior living industry, Friendship Village Tempe is pressing on with a special recognition for employees pursuing higher education.
The retirement community will be awarding approximately $60,000 in educational grants to its team members in 2020, with the first group of recipients receiving grants in mid-June.
“The pandemic has brought about so much uncertainty for students, and we’re honored to provide some consolation to many of them who work at our community,” said Sharla Hampton, human resources director at Friendship Village Tempe. “We believe their hard work and efforts deserve to be rewarded.”
The educational grants, facilitated by the Friendship Village Tempe Foundation, have been tradition for more than 20 years. Both part-time and full-time team members are eligible for up to $2,000 a semester. Up to $500 is also available to team members earning GEDs. Largely funded by residents, the initiative illustrates the bond they have with team members and a desire to help them achieve goals in life.
“The long-lasting nature of this program speaks to the generosity and thoughtfulness of our residents, who care deeply about the well-being of our team members,” said Hampton, who expects two dozen associates to benefit from the grants this year. “The vibrant lifestyle we offer wouldn’t be possible without our staff.”
Hampton explained that Friendship Village Tempe is a firm believer in education as a critical key to success, empowering team members both professionally and personally. The educational grants also serve as a token of appreciation for team members’ contributions, which are more vital than ever during the pandemic.
“Team members have stepped up in a big way to keep residents healthy and safe during this challenging time,” noted Hampton. “It’s impossible to put a value on their dedication, but these educational grants are part of our way of saying ‘thank you’ for their commitment not only now, but during normal circumstances as well.”