Sharyn Zunz Donates $100,000 to the Scholarships for Student Employees Program

Sharyn Zunz with five student employee scholarship recipients


RiverWoods Durham Resident Sharyn Zunz donated $100,000 to the scholarships for student employees program for the next five years.  

On Tuesday, August 2, a total of $25,000 in scholarships was awarded to twelve student employees in RiverWoods Durham’s first scholarship ceremony. The program was fully funded by Sharyn Zunz, a RiverWoods Durham Resident. 

Zunz retired from her position as Associate Professor Emerita from the Health and Human Service School at the University of New Hampshire. With a family history that prized and supported higher education, Zunz’s background in non-profit management and child welfare gave her a unique perspective on the challenges many young people face when trying to further their education.  

Zunz has funded two student employee scholarship programs for RiverWoods Durham: the Senior Celebration Fund, for graduating high school seniors who have worked at RiverWoods Durham, and the Zunz Family Education Fund, for any RiverWoods Durham employee looking to further their education. 

The Senior Celebration Fund is a unique program, providing these high school graduates with $1,000-$2,000 (depending on the duration of their employment), to be used in any way that’s needed covering the expenses of higher education.  “Sometimes it’s not just about tuition. There can be other factors, other expenses that make it challenging for someone to gain additional education or training,” said Zunz.

“My goal with the Senior Celebration Fund is to provide these young people with a cash scholarship they can use in whatever way is needed as they embark on the next step of their careers.” 

The nine graduates who received awards from the Senior Celebration Fund were Alex Closson, Nicolas Colarusso, Nicholas Goodman, Dylan Greenlaw, Amy Janscy, Hannah Knightly, Jami Nicols, Josh Nicols, and Zach Proto.  

Sharyn Zunz with three student employee scholarship recipients


Scholarships from The Zunz Family Education Fund were awarded to three RiverWoods Durham employees; Jen Ouellette (LPN), EJ Murphy (Household Support Partner), and Lindsey Bland (LPN)

“Sharyn’s vision is that anyone with an interest in career growth should have the chance.”

“This scholarship program is a wonderful fulfillment of the RiverWoods mission. We are thrilled that Sharyn has generously provided this opportunity for our employees and look forward to seeing their future unfold,” said Natalee D’Antoni, Associate Executive Director of RiverWoods Durham.