Village Project awards scholarships

Village Project (VP) was able to grant four $1,000 scholarships to Bay High School graduating seniors. “We’re so proud of all of our student volunteers and they are all so involved in the VP community and their academics and extracurricular activities, it really was a difficult choice,” says VP Executive Director Meredith La Vecchia.

The Harrell Family Village Project Scholarship - Charlotte Reising

The Harrell Family Scholarship honors the Harrell family for their support of VP and Bay Schools. Barb Harrell is the founder of VP and served as the first executive director from 2010-2021. Her husband, Jeff Harrell, a huge VP supporter, was president of Bay Booster Club from 2006-2009. Their sons Josh ’07 and Brian ‘09 were leaders at BHS in the classroom, playing fields and halls. 

“Charlotte’s drive, academics and attitude is just remarkable,” says Meredith. “Her disposition and compassion are admirable.” 

Charlotte said, “I absolutely loved working with the staff members and other students and adult volunteers knowing that I was helping people in my community. VP made me feel like I was part of a family and welcomed me into a warm environment.”

She is a true representation of the Harrell family and all that VP stands for in the community. 

Village Project Scholarship - Geoffrey Greunke and Elizabeth (Liz) Lis

This scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who takes time to build relationships, share of themselves and are resources to better our community. Additionally, this individual embodies all that Village Project represents and supports our mission of working together as a community to provide nourishing meals and extended support to families fighting cancer and has been a volunteer of VP. This year, there were two recipients. 

Meredith says, “It’s been so great seeing Geoffrey’s personal growth over the past two years. His selflessness, compassion and positivity even earned him the Student Volunteer of the Year award last year!” 

“It was truly eye-opening to see what I thought was such a small job of cooking some meals, could help thousands of people in a way I never could have imagined,” says Geoffrey. “VP has helped me become a more well-rounded individual. I am grateful to be a part of VP and for all that it does for the community.”

“Last year Liz jumped right in helping in the kitchen! She earned her Green Apron faster than any student I can recall and she was also 2023’s Student Volunteer of the Year,” said Meredith.

“VP helps cancer patients and their families, but it has also helped me. Not only did I love the cause and what I was doing, but I liked the fact that I was doing it on my own. I’ve also learned many life lessons I can use in the future,” says Liz.

The Mary Lou Calhoun Village Project Scholarship - Frank Bird

This scholarship is given in honor and memory of Mary Lou Calhoun, mother of previous VP board president Heather Ransom and a former VP client. She passed away from cancer in 2015. Mary Lou loved VP and truly enjoyed spending time with and encouraging youth. She had a love of gardening and instilled that love and a heart for service in her granddaughters as well, both of whom volunteer at VP. 

Frank has volunteered in the VP garden since he was in 7th grade. “Frank is an extraordinary young man and a role model for younger students. He showed up rain or shine in the summer and always with a pleasant attitude!” says former Volunteer Garden Leader Sherri Reilly. 

“VP makes me feel like I am a part of something greater and I am impacting someone else’s life. It’s important to the community because it helps empower those with cancer and lets them know the community is behind them. I consider myself lucky for being able to experience not one, but two joys in my life – gardening and baseball!” says Frank.

Congratulations to each of our outstanding student volunteers. We are so proud of you and are eager for you to continue to spread your wings and serve others in need!

Lisa McDanels

Executive Operations Director at Village Project

Read More on Community Service
Volume 15, Issue 14, Posted 8:50 AM, 08.01.2023