How Canteen Partnered with Mooseheart to Award Scholarships to Five Teens
Our Midwest Canteen Team recently awarded scholarships to five Mooseheart graduates! Mooseheart is a residential childcare facility providing children with a wholesome home-like environment and the best possible training and education. Each year, our team holds a fundraiser for The Heidi Schuerstedt Scholarship, and this year, they sold a cookbook with a collection of the team’s favorite recipes to fund the scholarship.
Tajudeen, “TJ,” is a second-generation American in his family. His family is Nigerian, and his mother is quite a famous Nigerian singer. He and his sister have been at Mooseheart since 2015. They lived with his grandmother so his mother could travel for her singing career in Nigeria. Grandma could not continue to care for them, and Mooseheart was happy to help. TJ plans to stay in the area and attend Waubonsee College for his associate degree in General Studies. Then, he will choose the path that comes next. TJ has accrued the most volunteer hours for this semester by completing 57 hours of volunteering in various ways.
Alisae has lived at Mooseheart since 2014. She has three sisters and a brother who live here as well. They are from Texas and came their mother lived at Mooseheart for a short time while in grade school. So, when things got messy in a bad divorce, she felt the children were safer at Mooseheart. Alisae has always been a quiet and well-behaved student who was always timid about a career choice. During her senior year, she connected with nursing and now plans to attend the University of Texas/Rio Grande Valley to major in Nursing. Alisae showed her spirit for helping others by logging 48 hours of volunteering this year.
Paulino has lived at Mooseheart since 2013. He was one of two siblings who were homeless due to divorce, and their mother needed the help of Mooseheart! Paulino has been a typical boy during his campus life, and having Senior Year in sight, plus maturity kicking in, made some remarkable changes in him. One year ago, he was totally against going to college and wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. 365 days later, he has been accepted at Harry Truman College in Chicago and plans to major in Business. He has blossomed into adulthood this senior year, and his progress makes us ALL smile! Paulino worked hard to accrue 47 hours of volunteering, knowing that the top 5 students would receive extra scholarship funds. He has a goal and plans for his future, and we are happy to see him preparing for it!
Joshua came to Mooseheart in 2019 – just before the pandemic began to wreak havoc everywhere! He came with younger siblings, who eventually returned home to his mother and grandmother. Joshua wanted to stay – he saw all the opportunities offered to students who try hard, and he knew he had the work ethic to be successful here. Joshua came with the dream of winning a state wrestling title. After qualifying for the sectional meet as a sophomore but failing to advance in 2020, Joshua set a firm goal to make it to the state meet in 2021. No one could have known that in March of 2020, the effects of the pandemic would cancel the 2021 wrestling program. Joshua was patient and again set his sights on the 2022 season. The sectionals were tough. Joshua would win a few matches before falling (to the eventual state champion) but still qualifying for his high school dream of wrestling at the state meet. Joshua performed incredibly well in the IHSA championship in Champaign, IL in February 2022. After winning his first match and moving into the top bracket, he would eventually finish in 4th place (the highest ever Wrestler finish in Mooseheart history). His story even appeared in an online wrestling magazine called Illinois Matmen. A plaque recognizing Joshua’s achievement sits beside the other state title winners for Mooseheart. Despite his wrestling dedication, Joshua still completed 45.5 volunteer hours during his senior year. He will attend Indian Hills Community College and major in Pre-Law.
Jamison came about eight months before Paulino in 2013. They are the two seniors who have lived at Mooseheart for the longest time. Jamison’s guardian is his elderly grandmother, who lives in OH. She knows that Mooseheart has helped Jamison to overcome many learning challenges and is proud of his decision for his future. Jamison loved his NJROTC Class and decided early in the year that he wished to enlist in the Navy immediately after High School. He had already signed his enlistment papers by graduation and reported to boot camp in late June. Jamison also has a volunteering heart and accrued 45 hours during his senior year. Jamison will take advantage of the Navy Scholarship Program, and at the end of his enlistment, he hopes to have decided on a major. He will use his three scholarships from Mooseheart, Canteen, and the Navy at that time.
Canteen is proud of the work we do in our communities. Click here to learn more about some of the organizations our local teams support.