Established in 2016, the River Landing Employee Scholarship Fund provides monetary educational scholarship awards to employees of River Landing. The scholarship was Inspired by the memory of Mary Walter-Shafer, our former Director of Marketing and Sales, and the fund is administered by The Presbyterian Homes Foundation, Inc. This year’s recipients were recently announced, and we thought you would like to meet some of them.

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Destiny Bach is currently a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at River Landing and has been here for little over a year. Destiny had wanted to go back to school for a while but didn’t have the money, so the scholarship is making that dream possible. Destiny will be attending Randolph Community College to earn her degree in Massage Therapy.

Once Destiny has earned her degree and become a certified massage therapist, she hopes to use her skills at River Landing. “Working with the geriatric community is my passion and touch is really important for geriatric patients,” she says. “Some people, if you just give them a hug it makes their day. So not only would massages help them physically, but also emotionally. It’s someone to talk to and to touch them, so they receive two kinds of care.”

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Germina Elungu has been at River Landing for seven and a half years. For the first two, she worked in the café. She then got CNA training at Guilford Technical Community College and moved into our health care area. Currently she is working in Memory Care.

Originally from Namibia in southern Africa, Germina has been in the U.S. for about 10 years. When she started at River Landing, she was a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in international relations, along with a minor in Women’s Studies with a concentration on health care. “My dream was to work on international relations and health care at the UN,” she says, “but at River Landing I learned so much about health care that I saw I can pursue a position in health care administration here.”

With that goal in mind, Germina is now in the Health Care Administration Master’s program at Winston-Salem State University. She hopes to stay at River Landing once she earns her MA degree. “I like working with the elders at River Landing, and the trust they bestow in me. Because they know me, and I know them from when they were in the independent residence, I see them as the same person. I can work with them and help them just as I help my own grandmother.”

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Denia Carpenter and Crystal Carpenter are mother-daughter scholarship winners!

Denia has been at River Landing since 2003, when she started as a CNA. She was encouraged, however, to work toward the next career step – Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). “My nurse mentor, Chris Padgett, was my cheerleader on getting my LPN certificate,” she says, “so I got that in 2013.” She now works in the Assisted Living area and will use her scholarship to get her Associate’s degree in Registered Nursing at one of the nearby community colleges. Once she is an RN, she plans to stay on at River Landing. “I feel like the residents are part of my family now. It’s a real community, everybody smiles, the employees are great, and it’s the best!”

Her daughter Crystal, who works at River Landing in the kitchen part-time, will use her scholarship to help pay for her studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University where she is earning a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. Denia is grateful that she and her daughter are part of an organization that offers employees the opportunity to get more education. “Everybody has a chance. If they want to further themselves, they can apply for the scholarship. So, it’s really a good benefit to the employees. It’s nice to work in a place that you feel appreciated.”

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In addition to Destiny, Germina, Denia and Crystal, 2018 River Landing Employee Scholarships were awarded to Hillary Kindley, Gloria Purvis and Jordan Wilson. Congratulations to all the recipients!

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