Fourth Annual Senior Care Scholarship Recipients

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Joan Lunden

Joan's Blog /


"The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person." -- Andy Rooney 

Every year I have the pleasure of helping A Place for Mom decide the winner of their Senior Care Scholarship Award.  Contestants write a brief essay answering a prompt. I absolutely love reading these—they are so creative and insightful!

The prompt for this year was:

What is the one most important life lesson that you have learned from a grandparent or other senior in your life? Who was or is the senior in your life who inspires you? How will you use the lesson learned from them in your future career working with seniors?

There were FIVE extraordinary winners. I want to share the piece of each of their essays that I found so fantastic:

Joshua Olson, University of Minnesota Medical School - “While in the mind of my family, our storied grandfather was dearly beloved and the source of our familial pride. However, in the mind of the medical staff , was he anything more than the jolly old man in room 4 with the failing heart?” He goes on to say that it is important to treat the whole patient, both personally and medically.


Rachael Greene, Jefferson College of Health Sciences – “Then [my grandfather] taught me something that has stuck with me to this day, he said ‘everyone grows old sugar, and unfortunately as that happens people can begin to feel less important, but no matter what age or condition you are in, everyone deserves to feel meaningful.’” Since this conversation, she shares that she has been inspired by countless seniors she has worked with because she has taken the time to make them feel meaningful.


Sara Post, Ivy Tech Community College – “A poster in my classroom reads, ‘If you don’t have time to do it right, you must have time to do it again.’ I never heard my grandmother, Mom-Mom, say those words exactly, but it could have easily been her catch-phrase.” She reflects saying that she eventually learned that she could save a lot of time and frustration if she slowed down and focused the first time doing something.


Dakota Brand, University of St. Francis – “My grandfather taught me so much about life, about how to live it, but the most impactful lesson he taught me was how he handled the end of his life.” She most admires his strength and grace, which has impacted how she focuses on providing quality of care to those nearing the end of their lives.  


Cory Carr, West Virginia University at Parkersburg – In preparation for a school project on family crests and mottos, Cory asked his grandfather if their family had a motto. He replied, stewardship. “Don’t take more than you need, and take care of what you have. We are the stewards of the earth and like the stewards of a king’s estate we are to watch over and utilize the world until the king returns. No king wants to return to a ruined estate so we must be ‘good stewards.’”

Congratulations to these well deserving winners! I think we can all learn something from their stories.

To read the full essays, check out A Place for Mom’s blog!


Categories: Joan's Blog
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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