NGA Foundation Awards 2022 Scholarships

18 students planning careers at independent grocers receive grants
NGA Scholarship Eli Samuels Wegmans
NGA scholarship recipient Eli Samuels, currently attending Syracuse University, hopes to pursue a career at Wegmans Food Markets.

The NGA Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the Washington, D.C.-based National Grocers Association (NGA), which represents the retail and wholesale community grocers comprising the independent sector of the food distribution industry, has revealed the recipients of its 2022 scholarship program. This year, 18 students planning careers with independent grocers received scholarships provided by donors and affiliate groups.  

“We are proud to ensure that our industry’s future will be in good hands by assisting these talented individuals in their pursuit of higher education and career goals,” said NGA Foundation Director Chelsea Matzen. “We also applaud our members for their ongoing investment in grocery’s next generation of leaders.” 

At the core of the NGA Foundation grants are Asparagus Club scholarships, offered by the club since 1967. The Asparagus Club Scholarship Fund has given more than $1 million to students pursuing careers in the independent grocery industry. Legacy scholarships are given in the name of an individual or individuals who contribute directly to the fund each year. 

Students may apply for scholarships from January until April. The scholarships are open to full-time enrolled college and post-graduate students with a minimum 2.5 GPA and plans to work in the independent grocery industry. NGA Foundation scholarships are based on merit, although financial need is taken into consideration.

The scholarships are managed by the foundation and selected by independent committees of reviewers. Winners are informed in August. 

The recipients of the NGA Foundation 2022 scholarships are as follows:

  • Asparagus Club ($2,000): Eli Samuels, Syracuse University (Wegmans Food Markets); Gregory Cooper, University of Tennessee at Martin; Nathan Frank, University of California-Berkeley; Zea Juarez-Safran, Penn State Altoona; Jack Wold, University of St. Thomas
  • Asparagus Club - Thomas K. Zaucha Award ($2,500): Adam Meier, Wisconsin Lutheran College 
  • Bob Richardson Legacy Scholarship ($1,000): Elizabeth Michelle Hart, Lakes Region Community College
  • Charlie and Becky Bray Legacy Scholarship ($2,500): Stephen Paul Stresow, Cornell University
  • Della Noce Family Diversity Scholarship ($1,500) and Mary Macey WGA Scholarship ($1,500): Karla Ash, Cal Poly at Humboldt 
  • Ecolab Women in Grocery ($2,000): Courtney Moore, University of Arkansas (H-E-B)
  • FMS Solutions Legacy Scholarships ($3,000): Hailey Granich, Western Michigan University; William Taylor, Baylor University
  • Kimberly-Clark Legacy Scholarship ($2,500): Brianna Smith, Pellissippi State Community College
  • Mondelēz International Legacy Scholarship ($2,500): Maggie Rose Flaherty, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Peter and Jody Larkin Legacy Scholarship ($2,500): Colby Osner, Kansas State University
  • Roger Collins Leadership Scholarship ($1,000): Nisha McDonald, Texas State University
  • Ronnie Horton Legacy Scholarship ($1,250): Drew Saluga, Youngstown State University  
  • Women Grocers of America ($2,500): Oforiwaa Pee Agyei-Boakye, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 

The Ronnie Horton and Ecolab scholarships were just introduced earlier this year

The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B, with more than 420 stores and 145,000 employees in Texas and Mexico, is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, a family-owned grocer with more than 100 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, is No. 34 on The PG 100. 

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