ASHBURN, VIRGINIA – At Ashby Ponds, there are over 90 high school students from Loudoun County and Fairfax County working for the community’s dining services department, with 150 more on the waiting list. The students work in a variety of capacities including as servers, restaurant assistants, services coaches, and utility workers, among others. In addition to gaining valuable work experience, the students work toward eligibility for a scholarship from Ashby Ponds. Students who work a total of 1000 hours during their junior and senior years of high school, have no adverse disciplinary actions on their record, have at least a “C” average, and complete all application materials, are eligible for a $1000 scholarship paid per year directly to the college or professional school of their choice.
This year, there are ten scholars who will receive the $1000 yearly scholarship from the community. One of those scholars, Joey Longo, feels that his decision to work at Ashby Ponds was the right choice for him; so much so that he wrote an article about his experience in his Dominion High School newsletter, The Torch. “I've made a ton of friends over the last two years working at Ashby Ponds,” said Longo. “I share connections with the residents and I bond with other co-workers. That to me is the best part of the job.”
Funding for the scholarships is raised from a number of events held at Ashby Ponds including the 2nd Annual Duck Derby held in March 2011. Residents bought rubber ducks for $5 each and raced them through the indoor pool at Ashby Ponds for prizes donated by local businesses and the various departments at the community.
The relationships created and cultivated between the student workers and the residents of Ashby Ponds are very meaningful to both parties. “The relationships that I have made with residents over the last two years have been extremely special,” said Longo. “The stories I have heard and the advice I have been given has been life changing. Ashby Ponds changed me as a person for the better, and I owe it all to my relationships with different residents.” Longo will be attending Radford University in the fall and plans to major in broadcast journalism.
Longo will also be one of four scholars who will speak about his experiences at the Scholars Award Ceremony held at Ashby Ponds on Sunday, July 31 at 1:30 pm. The 2011 Ashby Ponds Scholars are:
Daniel Capretti—Broad Run High School
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to approximately 600 residents and is filled with fascinating people and fantastic opportunities. Life at Ashby Ponds offers a true sense of community and is exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at: www.ericksonliving.com.
Karen Cedillos—Heritage High School
Mitchell Covey—Dominion High School
Stephanie Covey—Dominion High School
Rebecca Demafeliz—Park View High School
Paulo Escobar—Broad Run High School
Noelia Garcia—Broad Run High School
Kevin Gonzalez—Potomac Falls High School
Joey Longo—Dominion High School
Elisa Reiner—Stone Bridge High School