Stephanie Parent

Long before Stephanie and Mel Parent moved to Covenant Village, it was a familiar destination for visiting dear friends and staying in touch with Gastonia colleagues who now lived there – for 15 years! But Covenant Village wasn’t on Stephanie’s radar until they began to make life plans for themselves. So, they joined the legendary Covenant Village WaitList, and decided to shop around for the right community.

“We visited several communities in both Carolinas, joining one waitlist and making a deposit at another. When it came time to move, Covenant Village ‘scored’ highest in areas that were most important to us,” says Stephanie.

First, they wanted to be challenged, physically. Both Stephanie and Mel love to exercise. You could see them three to five days a week at the new YMCA. They were attracted to the Wellness Center, fitness programs, state-of-the-art equipment and personal training opportunities that Covenant Village provides.

“If I miss a class, I’m sick,” says Stephanie.

So, when COVID prevented residents from working out in the fitness center with the personal trainer or attending classes, the Wellness Center staff created online classes and workout routines that were available, upon demand, through the resident portal, called Wellzesta.

“Mel cleared the coffee table in our apartment, set up the weights and the mats. We continued right through the pandemic.”

The Parents also wanted to remain active in the community. Stephanie, a retired educator and principal in Gaston County schools, and Mel, an HR professional with Celanese Chemical Company, wanted to remain connected to their favorite organizations. Stephanie volunteers with the Helping Hands at Covenant Village, serves at their church, Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church in Belmont, participates in book clubs and prayer groups and meets with retired teachers from Robinson Elementary. Mel, past chair of the Gaston Hospice Board of Directors, the CaroMont Health Board, and Gaston School of the Arts, currently works with the school BackPack Weekend Food Program and serves as chair of the Board of Directors of Kintegra, the largest Federal health clinic in North Carolina.

At Covenant Village, not only is it convenient to attend off-campus meetings and gatherings, but Covenant encourages community involvement and service as many of Stephanie and Mel’s resident neighbors serve and volunteer too, often at the same organizations.

Other check-boxes for Stephanie and Mel included dining, social activities, a commitment to diversity among residents and leadership, and a vision for the future.

“I’m very curious about the future plans for Covenant Village, especially the new strategic vision. In its promise to help us live longer better, Covenant Village is doing just that by encouraging us to keep looking forward as we grow older the way we should. We are lucky to be here,” says Stephanie.

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