Community Stories

Lucas Pagel wins $1,500 Heart2Heart scholarship 

August 11, 2022

Lucas Pagal wins $1,500 Heart2Heart scholarship

Deadline for the final two scholarships is Aug. 31

Lucas Pagel is the sophomore winner of the Heart2Heart High School C.A.R.E. Scholarship, winning $1,500 toward his higher education!

Lucas, 16, found out he was a winner earlier this summer. Heart2Heart CEO Juan Gallo and Kim Kent, representing The Dr. Bill Kent Family Foundation, presented his award on July 20.

“I was really surprised,” Lucas said. “I thought it was like a lottery, and you never win lotteries.”

In his submitted essay, Lucas wrote about visiting a care center to see his grandmother, who died when he was 12. 

“Although the center was very nice, clean, and staffed with compassionate, friendly employees, Nana would whisper in my ear, ‘Get me out of here!’” Lucas wrote. “Although she had family visitors almost daily, she felt frightened, lonely and isolated. 

“I also noticed that many of her fellow residents did not have any visitors; maybe they were abandoned, or outlived their family. They would always be excited to see me and tell me wonderful stories of when they were my age.”

Lucas also talked about the wisdom he received from his older neighbor, whom he helped with chores around the house and outside. 

“My elderly neighbor always warned me to be cautious of what she called the shiny new signs that we pass throughout our lives. She said not to follow those objects that promise instant gratification, popularity or an easy path to success,” Lucas wrote.

When COVID-19 hit, Lucas kept up with his neighbor with phone calls and watering her outside plants to maintain social distance. 

During the pandemic, Lucas started creating cards to be delivered to seniors in care centers on holidays.

“Although COVID restricted visitation, I felt these wonderful people still needed to be reminded that they are special and loved,” Lucas wrote in his essay. “My hope is that just a little letter might bring them a moment of happiness.”

It was tricky to think of messages to people he didn’t know, Lucas later explained. 

“I had to think of something that would make them happy without being too personal,” he said. 

His cards said things like: “I hope you’re having a wonderful day this Mother’s Day, and thank you for everything you did as a mother.”

Lucas will attend Pompano Beach High School as a junior this year. He wants to study aviation and possibly attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University after high school. He already is working on his private pilot license. 

The Heart2Heart High School C.A.R.E. Scholarship is open for a second round of applicants! An award of $2,000 will go to a student in their junior year, and $2,750 will go to a senior. 

Applicants must live in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach County. 

Submissions are due on Wednesday, Aug. 31. For more information, apply here.

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

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