Pictured are Joe Ferrantelli, Joan Bertucci, Jayme Kenny, Joe Labriola, Nicole Travis and Harvey Leffring. | Supplied photo
Updated: October 1, 2014 6:02AM
When Joe Labriola, then at Sandburg High School in Orland Park, saw signs promoting $2,500 scholarships for employees posted in the kitchens of Peace Village in Palos Park, he knew it was an opportunity too good to pass up, according to a recent press release about the scholarship program.
Labriola planned to enroll at the University of Illinois and could use help with his tuition fund, the release said.
He planned to major in mechanical engineering to design and build affordable performance cars, so he got together the scholarship application, including his grade-point average, ACT score, three recommendations and a personal essay, according to the release. His application, and nine others, were then “blinded” and submitted to the Resident Scholarship Committee, it said.
“The applications have no indication of who the students are,” Gerry Delves, chairman of the scholarship committee, said in the release. “The scholarships are open to all graduating seniors who work for us, about 30 kids.”
The scholarships have been awarded for about 15 years, first as two $1,000 awards. Those have been increased to $2,500, and this year, an anonymous resident donated an additional $2,500, the release said.
The blinded essays were distributed to the committee members, along with a ranking system to help them decide the top three applications, the release said.
When the final decisions were made, Labriola, Oak Forest High School’s Nicole Travis and Sandburg’s Jayme Kenny received official letters of notification and an invitation to a special awards dinner, the release said.
Kenny, described as “a woman with potential,” planned to attend the University of Illinois to major in biology with plans to become a physician’s assistant, the release said. She worked in the Menker dining room at Peace Village’s assisted-living residence, it said.
Travis planned to go to Augustana College in Rock Island, to pursue her interest in global economics, the release said.
The winners and their families recently enjoyed a special meal surrounded by committee members and residents in the Peace Village dining room, the release said.