The Gardiner Association of Businesses (GAB) awarded its first scholarships in June—of $500 each—to Michael Nelson and Joseph “Joey” Ridgeway, two Gardiner residents who graduated high school.
Nelson, a graduate of Wallkill Senior High School, will use the money toward continuing education at Universal Technical Institute, an automotive, motorcycle, and marine technical school in Exton, PA, that trains students for careers as automotive, diesel or collision repair technicians. Ridgeway, from New Paltz High school, has already landed a job as a welder at Amthor’s.
The scholarships were awarded for demonstrating “an entrepreneurial spirit, a naturally inquisitive disposition, strong leadership skills, and active community involvement,” said GAB President Leitha Ortiz-Lesh. “I am glad we were able to do it.”
As part of its mission, GAB raises money each year to help fund scholarships through community and business-related events like the Art in Gardiner “plein air paint out” and auction usually held in the fall. This year, the event moves to the spring.