Five children of Ferrara Candy Company employees in Bellwood have received $5,000 checks as part of the firm’s second annual Ferrara USA Scholarship Program, which awards 10 high school seniors, graduates or current post-secondary undergraduates money for college. Ferrara awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarship money.
Domenic Conversa, who attends York Community High School in Elmhurst, will use the $5,000 to attend Purdue University; Julio Gutierrez, who attends West Chicago Community High School will use the money to attend College of DuPage; Carolina Melgoza, who attends Morton West High School in Berwyn will use the money to attend Triton College; Wilfredo Najera, who attends Proviso Math and Science Academy in Forest Park, will use the money to attend Triton College; and Jianna Santello, who attends Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest will use the money to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mike Goldwasser, chief human resources officer at Ferrara, said more than 30 students applied this year, up from about 20 the year before. He said the company worked with Minneapolis-based Scholarship America to review each application, assessing students’ community and school involvement, academics, career goals and more. Goldwasser said the firm split scholarship recipients evenly among employees who work in corporate versus manufacturing plants.
“It’s a fantastic way to invest in the community’s development as well as their families,” he said. “The kids who apply for this are so deserving, it’s designed to help them maybe get a leg up and further their education.” VFP
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