SCES Awards John O’Neill Scholarships for Local Students

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) has awarded a pair of John O’Neill Scholarships to help support the higher education of local students this fall.

The following students will receive $1,000 to support their pursuit of higher education:

Brittney Gedeon A Somerville High School graduate, Brittney has a strong interest in biology and cancer research. She previously worked as a research trainee alongside an epidemiologist, doing prostate cancer research, and is looking forward to learning more as an undergraduate biology major at Boston College this fall.

Evelyn Hartenstein A graduate of Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Evelyn enjoys caring for others through healthcare. She is a certified nurse assistant, and found that she liked working with older adults while pursuing that certification at Sancta Maria Nursing Facility in Cambridge. She will start working toward a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at UMass Boston this fall.

The inaugural round of John O’Neill Scholarships was recently awarded to Evelyn Hartenstein (second from left) & Brittney Gedeon (second from right). Also in the photo are SCES Board President Susann Wilkinson (left) & SCES Clinical Director Annie Fowler.

The scholarship was recently established by the SCES board of directors to honor John O’Neill, who retired in October after 38 years as Executive Director at SCES.

Available to one student from both Cambridge and Somerville each year, the John O’Neill scholarship supports outstanding students who plan to pursue higher education in the areas of elder services, health care, advocacy, or policy work.
A central goal of the scholarship is to help meet the growing need for advocates and leaders in fields that serve older adults. SCES Board President Susann Wilkinson said the 2018 O’Neill Scholarship recipients fit that bill nicely.

“We had a lot of really good candidates, but Brittany and Evelyn both stood out as people who had already demonstrated a lot of interest in the field and a capacity for doing more,” said Wilkinson.

As part of the scholarship, both students will participate in a month-long internship at SCES. That course of study was developed by SCES Clinical Director Annie Fowler, who is looking forward to working with the new interns.

“We really wanted to give them a little bit of working experience and also introduce them to the many programs we offer that help people live in the setting of their choice,” said Fowler.

The O’Neill Scholarship is a donation-driven effort. To learn more about supporting this effort, visit the O’Neill Scholarship section of the SCES Donations page, call 617‐628-2601 or email

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 for free advice and guidance.