July 10, 2023 —Kennett Square: Two years ago, Kendal~Crosslands Communities created a new and innovative staff benefit – – a tuition assistance program exclusively for their high school student culinary staff members. In the second year, they are happy to report that most of their twelve graduating high school staff members received $1,000 to $2,200 towards their future college or trade school education.
“As a prominent employer in Chester County for the last 50 years, Kendal~Crosslands Communities is honored to employ thousands of area high school students, says Lisa Marsilio, Chief Executive Officer. “With our new program, the graduating high school staff member can use their job experience to springboard their careers, and we are happy to help them do that with a unique education assistance program just for them,” says Marsilio. Some staff members attended area high schools such as Kennett, Unionville, Avon Grove, Technical College High School, Oxford, and Henderson and worked in the senior community.
“We have many high school students who work in our Culinary Department,” says John Platt, Director of Culinary Services. “This new program allows for every month a high student works, earning one credit, and each credit is worth $100. We put aside the money towards their future college and trade school education and award it at the end of their high school years”, says Platt. The community pays directly to the institution of the student’s choice. In the Fall, some staff will attend nearby West Chester University or St. Joseph’s University, and some will attend Penn State University.
“When I got the notice I would receive $2,200 towards my future education, I was so happy and since I love working at Kendal, I’ll be back to work when home on break”, says a graduating high school senior.
“In addition to free meals and uniforms, flexible schedules that work around school and extracurricular activities, our high school student staff members make lifelong friends and enjoy the welcoming work environment,” says Platt.
Some staff members use their experience to begin their careers in the Culinary field, remain within the department after high school, and work their way to other positions. Others start their career in Culinary, and after high school, they attend a nursing school to enhance their career within their Health Services Department. Whatever the aspiration, Kendal~Crosslands Communities can meet the career needs of their staff members with various career types.