CHAPEL HILL, NC – Carolina Meadows, a premier employer in Chapel Hill dedicated to developing the full potential of its employees, is excited to announce the Carolina Meadows Scholars Program, a new tuition assistance plan kicking off this fall.
“We believe that it’s important for staff members to continuously learn in order to grow and develop as individuals,” said Cheryl Kelly, Carolina Meadows’ vice president of human resources. “We have employees who would love to go to school, who would love to better themselves, but for financial or family reasons, they can’t.”
Full-time employees working a minimum of 30 hours per week are eligible for reimbursement. The program will reimburse students up to $2,500 a year for courses, continuing education units, certifications, seminars and licensing tests at any approved and accredited educational institutions, providing the course of study is related to the employee’s current position or probable future assignment.
“It gives our team the opportunity to talk to students about school and their future and even act as mentors to help guide them along a path of personal and professional development,” Kelly added.
Kelly says residents also form a special bond with the staff and value them as complete individuals with their own lives and feelings. “And, in turn, the employees really love the residents and learn a lot from them. The residents act as mentors without even meaning to,” Kelly said.
It’s a bond that resident Charlie Lehmann says improves the lives of the entire Carolina Meadows community.
“Carolina Meadows staff make a huge contribution to the quality of life that we experience here and one of the reasons we’re interested in the tuition reimbursement program is to help our staff continue to improve, to become better citizens, and to fully realize the abilities that they have,” Lehmann said.
It’s a program that’s been brewing at Carolina Meadows for some time. Kelly and Lehmann spearheaded the effort that started off with discussions with Carlton Wilson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Carolina Central University.
“I was pleasantly surprised to learn that several of our students work at Carolina Meadows,” Wilson said. “As dean, I deal daily with students who have financial challenges, who have difficulties paying their tuition, who cannot continue from one semester to another because of tuition costs or the cost of textbooks.”
The idea to help these students and students across the Triangle quickly blossomed into the Carolina Meadows Scholars Program.
“Everyone today is aware of the challenges facing students in terms of the cost of higher education,” Wilson said. “We have a considerable number of students that have to work either to pay their tuition or living expenses, so I am ecstatic that this program can offer some relief.”
Carolina Meadows’s commitment to bettering its employees’ lives and minds goes beyond the new program. Carolina Meadows also offers the Carolina Meadows Residents Association Scholarship Program (CMRA Scholarship), which awards up to six $750 scholarships to pay for tuition, books and fees for Carolina Meadows employees for the 2015-16 school year.
“If we help build up our employees to be strong, educated, articulate individuals, they will improve our community,” Kelly said.