Several groups provide scholarships for waitresses to further their educations. The restaurant industry awards some scholarships for waitresses, but other industries and organizations also provide awards for higher education. Waitress scholarship sponsors include individual donors, corporate foundations, retirement communities, recreation camps, hospital aid societies, restaurant associations, and scholarship funds.
In 2011, the residents of Glenaire, a retirement community in Cary, North Carolina, awarded $10,000 in scholarships from the ongoing Glenaire Foundation’s Wait Staff Scholarship Fund, to five high school seniors heading for college. The awards went to four student waitresses and a student waiter who served as wait staff in the main dining room at Glenaire. Length of service and work ethic are among the considerations for awarding these scholarships.
Thomas DeLitto & Sons Scholarship Fund
The Thomas DeLitto & Sons Scholarship Fund provides awards to high school graduates of Mamaroneck, New York. Founded as a general contracting firm, the company’s principals were tradespeople, including carpenters, waitresses and truck drivers. The scholarship honors their work ethic and sacrifices in providing better opportunities for their children. Scholarship applicants must have parents or a parent in a trade or service. The scholarship is for undergraduate studies at an accredited university or to learn a professional trade. In 2010, $20,500 in scholarships went to students of Mamaroneck and Rye Neck High Schools, including $5,000 in awards to previous recipients with outstanding college results.
Annual Joe Henson Memorial Tiki Classic
The annual Joe Henson Memorial Tiki Classic golf tournament in Starkville, Mississippi, benefits the ongoing Matthew Gaskin Scholarship Fund, with the support and participation of the area’s restaurant industry. The fund awarded three $1,000 scholarships to students nominated by members of the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association in 2010. The tournament honors the late Joe Henson who was a supporter of Mississippi State University students and athletes. The late Matthew Gaskin was a student killed in a car accident in 2008.
New Jersey’s Camp Louemma offers camping sessions for boys and girls between 7 and 14 years old, and awards scholarships based on financial need. The Camper Worker Program awards a limited number of campers who are 15 years old with an unusual opportunity to participate in the activities of the camp. They work every other day in the kitchen and dining room as waitresses and waiters, putting in about six to eight hours per day. These camper workers receive no salaries but have special privileges that are not available to the other campers.
Ohio Restaurant Association
The Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation offers the Give Something Back Scholarship, sponsored by Bob Carr, founder and chief executive officer of Heartland Payment Systems. The scholarship honors his mother, who worked as a waitress for 35 years. The children of restaurant association members are eligible for the scholarship to cover post-secondary culinary learning. As of 2011, the value of the scholarship was $1,000.
Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.