John Young '54 Memorial Scholarship
The John Young '54 Memorial Scholarship honors the life work of John Young by providing funds to a Grinnell student to continue their education at Grinnell College. On August 3, 1990, two days after his 58th birthday, John was given the grim news that he had a brain tumor. He accepted the news, looking at it as an opportunity to work with and make the best of the situation given to him. He was never outwardly angry or scared. He underwent brain surgery three days later and spent the rest of his life trying to combat the tumor with radiation and other therapies. Even though the prognosis was not good, John returned to work in January, five months after surgery. Although it was probable that he only had a short time to live, he wanted to work. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. To him, his mission in life at that time was to lead others to opportunity.
John loved to help other people learn and realize their goals. John was forced to stop working in late April of 1991. The brain tumor was causing him to be very disoriented and confused. Although he experienced painful headaches, he didn't complain. Many times in his disoriented state, he talked about people he was helping with commercial brokerage or training sessions he needed to arrange. John continued to want to do the work he loved.
On July 25, 1991, John passed away in his home, one week before his 59th birthday. The John Young Memorial Scholarship was founded by John's three children; Sandy, Tom and Jane. They felt that John's mission in life was incomplete. If the brain tumor hadn't cut his life short, John would have had the opportunity to help give many other people what they needed to reach their potential and achieve their goals. The scholarship is established in that spirit. It is an award to a student of Grinnell College who is chosen by the students of Grinnell College. The award is intended to be given in the spirit that it will help the recipient achieve what s/he is capable of. It is one small way in which John can continue to positively affect the careers of other people and help them achieve their goals. In 2012-13, we expect to award a total of approximately $8,900, split among several students.
- There will be no restrictions with respect to the then current grade point average of the recipient.
- The recipient will have a financial need for the scholarship. The scholarship is intended for a person for whom the receipt of the scholarship will make a substantive difference in his/her ability to achieve her/his career goals.
- In the judgment of the selection committee, the recipient must be someone who emulates the teaching philosophy of John Young.
- The recipient must be returning to Grinnell College after at least one complete year of attendance at Grinnell with an academic status of sophomore, junior or senior.
- The recipient may be a descendant of John Young, but will not be given preferential treatment with respect to being selected.
Applications for the John Young '54 Memorial Scholarship are due on Monday, April 1, 2013 by 5:00pm in the Office of Social Commitment, 1233 Parl St. Because the CRSSJ (1233 Park St.), which houses the Office of Social Commitment, is inaccessible to students with mobility disabilities, please contact email@example.com if you would like to make alternative plans to submit your application materials. Completed applications will consist of the following elements:
- A completed Scholarship Nomination Permission Form and Waiver
- Two short essays, one each on the following topics: a) Describe an event in your life when you emulated the teaching philosophy of John Young; and b) What are your career goals, and how will receiving this scholarship make a substantive difference in your ability to achieve those goals?
- A description of your community service activities
- A completed, signed John Young Scholarship application form
Please ensure that all application materials conform with these submission guidelines. In particular, please be sure to print your application single-sided, and do not staple it.
All applicants are expected to adhere to these ethical guidelines.
History of John Young and Philosophy of the Scholarship
John Young was a man who was committed to helping others unlock their capabilities and achieve their goals. John graduated from Grinnell College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Since the time he graduated, he remained an active alumnus of the college. In 1957, after serving as an officer in the Air Force, John went into the family appliance business, Young's Appliance, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, near Chicago. While in the appliance business, he worked with non-college-bound students in the work/study program at the local high school, Glenbard West. John became a mentor and father figure to several of these people. He gave them the opportunity to help themselves and discover that they could fend for themselves in the working world. Twenty-five years later, one of these people spoke at John's funeral, acknowledging his personal loss of a great friend and father figure.
John changed careers from the appliance business to the real estate business in 1974. He worked for Thorsen Realtors, a residential real estate brokerage until 1978 when he struck out on his own and opened a Realty World real estate office. The mission of his business was to concentrate on brokerage of surplus properties help by developers, primarily townhomes. John was establishing himself as a pioneer and maverick in the real estate business. No other Realtor in the Chicago area had ever limited its business to this niche in the real estate market. While in his business at Realty World, he helped several people learn the residential real estate business. In addition to giving hands-on training to his employees, John also taught the Illinois State Real Estate License Course.
John's timing was unfortunate. In 1979 recession struck the United States economy. High interest rates brought the real estate business to its knees. Due to the lack of business, John had to close his Realty World office in 1981. John lost all of his assets when his business failed, but he refused to take the easy way out and claim bankruptcy. With earnings from future business and help from his parents, John repaid his debts, which were caused by the bad economy. In order to re-establish himself, John went to work for Coldwell Banker in a start up commercial real estate brokerage office. John quickly found his niche in commercial brokerage of apartment buildings. He was one of the first people in the Chicago area to accurately catalog all apartment buildings in the region, collecting information needed to provide brokerage services to individual owners and buyers of apartment buildings. At the same time, John became one of the first Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM) in the Chicago area and was given a position on the board of directors of the Northern Illinois Chapter of CCIM. John had, once again, taken pioneering steps in the real estate business.
Because of his unique knowledge, other professionals wanting to get into the commercial real estate brokerage business went to John so they could learn from him. John shared what he knew, including the data he had spent years collecting, with all of the people he took under his wing to train. These people were known as "runners." John trained most of the runners at that Coldwell Banker office during the seven years he was there. John became a mentor for these people. He even gave presentations to college students who were interested in learning about commercial real estate brokerage. Because of John's knowledge, experience and ever increasing love of his business, he was able to touch more and more people with this positive attitude towards giving others the opportunity to achieve their goals.
In 1988 John changed positions and accepted an offer from Prudential Real Estate Affiliates to help pioneer yet another aspect of the real estate business. He was given the responsibility for helping Prudential's residential Realtors develop commercial real estate capabilities within their residential real estate offices. This was John's greatest opportunity to do what he loved most. It was his responsibility to teach others the commercial real estate business: to help them get started in a business that John knew from the ground up. He was a person more concerned with sharing his knowledge with other people than making the next real estate deal. At Prudential, in three short years, he affected the careers of hundreds of people.
He loved to give other people what they needed to achieve their goals. At one point, John had the opportunity to administer Prudential Real Estate Affiliate's commercial brokerage business for many areas of the country. John declined that offer. The work he was currently doing as a teacher and mentor is what made him happy. That opportunity may have also required a move to Prudential's home office in California, away from his family, which was not acceptable to him. John had the same philosophy with his children that he had with the people whom he guided professionally. He would try to give his children unconditional support for what was important to them. He knew that if a person does what he or she loves to do professionally, he or she will be successful. In the words of John's favorite philosopher, Kahlil Gibran, "Work is love made visible." At every opportunity, John tried to provide his children with whatever might be needed to help them achieve their goals. His support was carefully given, so his children could find a way to make their "love visible."
For more information
Director of Social Commitment
1233 Park St.