George and Shirley Torrey have been successful in business, life and family. Their hard work has reaped rewards that they wanted to return to the community that supported them.
With the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, the Torreys researched the specific needs of the community and found that they would need to be a bit unconventional to address them.
Shirley, a former nurse, wanted to support Minnesota students applying to a Minnesota nursing school. She learned that very few scholarships were available to students in their junior year of college, when most begin applying for a nursing program.
That led the Torreys established a nursing scholarship that is available after two years of post-secondary education to support and reflect the reality of when students are deciding on a nursing career.
The Torreys also created four $1,000 annual scholarships awarded to St. Cloud Technical High School students in honor of their son, David, who passed away at age 21. But it’s not the typical scholarship: The funds are awarded to boys whose grades are not high enough for most traditional scholarships.
“I want to give those students – the ones who don’t think they can go to college – an extra push,” explained George. “And it’s only for boys because I have a real concern that young men aren’t as aggressive in furthering their education as the girls are.”
The Torreys have created many other scholarships and support many other charitable organizations across the community – so many, in fact, that giving has nearly become a full-time job. But they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“They say that people who give generously are happier and live longer,” said George. “So I’m shooting for 100!”