Orchard Cove Scholarships.jpgThere is one event every year at HSL’s Orchard Cove senior living community that brings together our residents and employees in a unique and meaningful multigenerational exchange of friendship and support. That event is the annual Orchard Cove Scholarship Awards ceremony which took place this year on August 11 in Canton.

Sixteen employees received academic scholarships funded directly by the philanthropy and genuine caring of Orchard Cove’s residents who attend and contribute to fundraising events held throughout the year. Scholarships will support the employees' education at all levels of their health care, nursing, culinary and other general studies. Few senior living communities in the country undertake such an effort on behalf of their employees. Orchard Cove has continued this effort for 15 years, awarding over $170,000 over that time.

As they continue to pursue their education in an atmosphere of mutual support, student employees at Orchard Cove share warm relationships with residents over several years. The application process and meetings also reveal a more personal story of each employee and a deeper understanding the applicant’s life and personal challenges. Scholarship recipient Wilfrix Cherazard and his heartfelt story exemplify the true definition of determination and the positive impact these scholarships have in these employees’ lives.

Wilfrix moved to Boston from Haiti almost two years ago and has been an exemplary employee at Orchard Cove for the last eighteen months. He began as a dishwasher and is currently a chef in the culinary department. Having delayed his education in Haiti to support his family, Wilfrix's ultimate goal is to complete his education in the United States and become an educator or social worker in the community.

Now fluent in English, Wilfrix is an English as Second Language (EASL) teacher who spoke before hundreds on Immigrant’s Day at the State House. He is currently completing his bachelor’s degree at the Urban College of Boston. “Orchard Cove has become my second family. I love each one of you because even though we come from different countries, we work together to take care of people,” said Wilfrix upon receiving his scholarship.

“Wilfrix epitomizes the perseverance, challenges and contributions of many immigrants striving to achieve better lives by advancing their education,” said Orchard Cove resident and scholarship committee chair Deb Sherman. “Orchard Cove residents are proud to support the goals of all of our scholarship recipients, including Wilfrix, and wish them all much success in their educational journey.”