Three children of Ferrara Candy Company employees in Forest Park have received $5,000 checks as part of the firm’s second annual Ferrara USA Scholarship Program, which awards 10 high school seniors, graduates or current post-secondary undergraduates money for college.

Adan Martinez, who attends Colegio de Nivel Medio Superior in Mexico, will use the $5,000 to attend Morton College; Emma Tencate, who attends Oak Park and River Forest High School, will use it for St. Norbert College; and Marissa Nevarez, who attends Trinity High School in River Forest, plans to use the scholarship to attend Marquette University. Parents or guardians of the seven other students who received scholarships work in Ferrara’s Bellwood, Oakbrook Terrace and Richmond, Virginia facilities. Ferrara awarded $50,000 total.

Mike Goldwasser, chief human resources officer at Ferrara, said more than 30 students applied this year, up from about 20 the year before. He said the company worked with Minneapolis-based Scholarship America to review each application, assessing students’ community and school involvement, academics, career goals and more. Goldwasser said the firm split scholarship recipients evenly among employees who work in corporate versus manufacturing plants.

“It’s a fantastic way to invest in the community’s development as well as their families,” he said. “The kids who apply for this are so deserving, it’s designed to help them maybe get a leg up and further their education.”

Nona Tepper