Concordia senior is USF Pay it Forward scholarship finalist

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  A Concordia high school senior is one of three finalists for the University of St. Francis Pay it Forward Scholarship.

Two incoming freshmen will each receive a scholarship for half tuition and one will get a scholarship for full tuition, renewable for four years.

Crystal Grunawalt volunteers every Thursday morning at Central Lutheran School in New Haven.

“I love coming back here and helping all the teachers or Miss Bell in the cafeteria and all the students. Being able to do anything and everything I can to help because they did so much for me and I just really want to give that back to them or pay it forward. And that’s why I come back here all the time because I really love what they did for me and I want to try to give that back to them,” said Crystal.

She play games with the kids, helps them with homework, and shares her strong faith and positive attitude.

“I like just being able to connect with them because I remember being that age and not really having someone I could look up to. So I really like just being here and helping them ’cause I feel like it’s really gonna impact them in the future.”

It’s also why she dedicates two weeks of every summer to Camp Lutherhaven, where she’s a Junior Servant. The work she does there and at Central Lutheran is inspired by her eagerness to spread joy.

“I like being able to give them a positive attitude and start their day off right because that really can affect your whole day,” Crystal said with a smile. “My mom’s saying is, ‘Make it a great day and make somebody smile.’ So I love being able to tell the kids when they leave, ‘Make sure to make somebody new smile today.’ It’s just like a circle. The love just gotta keep going around. I just really feel like nothing belongs to us in this world and we need to give everything we can to other individuals to to help them out.”