A reminder to pay it forward


This weekend, former Warwick resident Joseph Healey was inducted into the Bishop Hendricken High School Hall of Fame and the entire audience was reminded of the generosity that can exist in humanity.

Healey grew up in the Greenwood area in a single-parent home. He was able to go to Hendricken solely because of a full scholarship from the Knights of Columbus. Now he pays it forward … literally.

Through the Healey Scholarship Program, he pays the full tuitions for 18 current Bishop Hendricken High School students. With this year’s tuition set at $12,750, that’s a total of almost $230,000 just this year.

His total donation amount to Hendricken over the years just surpassed $1 million.

How amazing to think that one person has given back more money then some may ever see in a lifetime to the institution that helped him get where he is.

Of course Healey has also worked hard to become a senior managing director with one of New York City’s biggest hedge funds. Not only does he want to give back, but also he is lucky enough to have the means to change the lives of young men by helping them attend Hendricken and get opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t.

While people give to charities or scholarship funds like this all the time, hearing a story about one individual who has been able to give so much really reminds us about the notion of paying it forward.

During Sunday’s ceremony, Healey was introduced to Romario Rouseau, a graduate of Hendricken from the Class of 2013 and one of the many to receive a Healey Scholarship. Rouseau and his mother genuinely thanked Healey for giving him the opportunity to attend the school. Rouseau is now a freshman at the University of Rhode Island studying kinesiology, something he doesn’t believe would have been possible without Hendricken or Healey.

Healey’s story should inspire all of us to find a way to pay it forward. While we cannot afford to pay the tuition for 18 students, maybe we can find other ways, monetary or not.

Donate your $5 to a charity instead of buying your morning coffee. Donate your time to volunteer for a non-profit. Maybe just help your neighbor clear their yard of leaves.

Although we may forget sometimes with all of the conflicts going on around us, the human spirit does have an incredible capacity for compassion and generosity. Sometimes we just need one amazing story to remind us of it.

We all have personal connections to people and places like Healey does to Hendricken; we just have to figure out how to honor those that helped us get where we are today and help future generations get where they need to be.


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