CAPITAL DISTRICT The waiters and waitresses at the Beverwyck are more than just servers; they’re friendly, familiar faces that residents of the Bethlehem retirement community look forward to seeing week after week, year after year.
The young workers, many of whom rely on the part-time job for pocket change or to build up a college fund, mean so much to the residents that they set up a scholarship fund eight years ago to help make the path to higher education a little easier.
“They see most of the applicants on a daily basis and these people are waiting on tables … they’re not unfamiliar figures,” said Bill Swire, a member of the scholarship committee. “They feel a special closeness to these young people at the other end of the age spectrum.”
Residents voluntarily contribute to the fund, so the number of scholarships awarded and the amount of each check varies from year to year. This year, the pot was more than $40,000 and nine students (Nikolas DelSignore, Ian Dembling, Kaleb Dubin, Michael Gouvakis, MacKenzie Honikel, Corey Nicklas, Drew Philipchik, Kelly Reynolds, Justine Salerno) received a $1,250 scholarship for each of four years of college. Recipients must maintain a B average every semester in order to keep their scholarships.
Employees must apply for the scholarships, and the applications — which ask questions about service to community, school activities and work performance at Beverywck — are reviewed by a committee. Swire, who lives in the cottage portion of the Beverwyck, has enjoyed getting to know the employees’ educational and personal interests through their applications.
“The interesting thing about the students is the variety of interests they have going into college. Many have been leaders in extracurricular activities, some in theater, some in sports,” said Swire. “The interesting point is they have participated in extracurricular activities and at the same time carrying on a part-time job, and how they find the time to do all this work is remarkable.”