In the auditorium of Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, several hundred students and families gather to anxiously await the outcome of the Peninsula Hawks Scholarship awards. It is May 14th, and graduation is right around the corner. Some students sit with their friends, fidgeting with their ties or dresses, laughing nervously, and hoping for the best. Others sit with their parents and younger siblings, exchanging worried glances.
The stakes are high in this room. For some of these kids, a scholarship will be the only chance they have to attend college.
On stage, several rows of folding chairs are filled with the very people providing the scholarship money to these hopeful high school seniors. Hayley Nichols, Founder and Principal of Allovus, and Operations Manager, Shannon Lee, are among them. Allovus has awarded four lucky and deserving seniors with a total of $10,000 in scholarship money.
Why would Allovus donate such a large sum of money? Both Hayley and Shannon were recipients of the Peninsula Scholarship fund—it’s a way the company Hayley founded can pay it forward to future generations.
To be in the running for a scholarship, a Peninsula High School student has to create a “Scholarship Notebook.” The notebook basically profiles the student, outlining who they are, what they’ve accomplished during their high school years, and what they want to do with their lives. The donors look through the notebooks and pick the recipients they wish to give to.
“I really feel like this is something worthwhile,” Hayley says. “It’s investing in individual kids.”
Allovus is the largest individual donor at this presentation. Hayley is excited to give the scholarships to her chosen recipients. “If you tell a kid that you believe in them, sometimes that’s all they need. It just takes one person,” she said.
The ceremony begins, and Hayley, who normally doesn’t get nervous, starts to get the jitters. “I think it’s because this is so important to me,” she says.
Finally, it’s her turn. She and Shannon approach the podium, and the names are called. Hayley had specific reasons why she chose each student.
- Kaitlyn Harrison: $1,000. Kaitlyn caught Hayley’s eye because she possesses a true creative mind. Her passion for photography and her desire to pursue a career in the creative field was something that Hayley wanted to support.
- Samantha Brendel: $1,000. Samantha received this award because of her amazing work ethic. Not only does she display a commitment to family, community, and academics, but she also manifests a clear understanding of her connection to a larger world and her role in making it a better place.
- Tyler Kreis: $3,000. Tyler met all of Hayley’s criteria for receiving this award, having attended the same elementary school, middle school, and high school as Hayley. He exhibits an incredible passion for life, and the determination to pursue his dream career in sustainable agriculture.
- Brendan Greetham: Brendan is a gifted student, and Hayley knew she wanted to award him because of his determination and drive. Brendan took 16 AP classes throughout his high school career, and volunteered many hours of his time in community service programs. With his drive for academic excellence, his innate curiosity, and his dedication to helping others, Brendan will no doubt work to make the world a better place. For the immediate future, he will be pursuing a degree in Computer Science.
Allovus encourages creativity, determination, and giving back in any way you can.
The company is dedicated to helping others, but also helping those who are part of the organization. “When I created Allovus, it was me creating the family I never had. To be able to say we can create an environment like that for others, is amazing. A company can have more to give than just a paycheck,” Hayley says.
Perhaps when those scholarship recipients have graduated from college, they too can give a helping hand to their community. Congratulations to high school and college graduates everywhere. Pay it forward!
© MARTINA DALTON, Designer, Allovus Design