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Community Healthcare Scholarship Eases Financial Burden for Six Nursing Students

Published in Signals | February 9th, 2021

A group of healthcare professionals and philanthropists have been helping ease the financial burdens of Yavapai College nursing students for a decade. That help, in the form of a lucrative scholarship for YC’s acclaimed two-year nursing program, was bestowed on six more future nurses earlier this year.

The six recipients of the prestigious Community Healthcare Scholarship award are Makenzie Baker of Prescott; Shayla Corkery of Prescott Valley; Jania Hughbanks of Chino Valley; Danielle Hineman of Chino Valley; Destiney Lewis of Mayer; and Derek Thron of Prescott.

The needs-based scholarship program is made possible by the generous contributions of Community Healthcare Scholarship partners, The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, the Yavapai College Foundation, Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the Margaret T. Morris Foundation, the Harold James Family Trust, the Fain Signature Group and the Prescott Radiology Group.

The partnership was launched after an anonymous donor sponsored nursing scholarships in 2011, said Dr. David Hess of the Jewish Foundation “When that program ended, the community responded to my request to continue this important scholarship fund.”

To date the Community Healthcare Scholarship has benefited 147 men and women, 92 percent of whom earned their nursing or radiology technology degrees. Of the degree earners, 99 percent passed their state exams and many were the recipients of class leadership, academic, and spirit awards, Hess told the newest scholars during a virtual celebration. “So you are part of an elite group”.

YC Nursing Program Director Dr. Marylou Mercado told the latest scholarship cohort, “We are very proud of you. You have been given a great honor and I look forward to working with you in the future.”

Asked during the celebration what inspired her to become a nurse, Makenzie said a personal experience with a chronic health condition sealed her career goal. “I fell in love with the nurses in the hospital and the impact they made on my health journey.”

Other recipients later talked about what the scholarship means for them personally.

“Receiving this scholarship has been a blessing to myself, as well as my family, and has allowed me to pursue a degree in nursing without the financial burden. I am eternally grateful and look forward to serving our community in the future,” Shayla said.

The scholarship is helping Danielle better balance school and family responsibilities. “I made the decision to quit my job to focus on my studies and this scholarship saved us from having to navigate my husband picking up a second job. I’m able to have the full support of my husband and kids through this process, and that’s the most valuable thing I could ever ask for,” she said.

The Community Healthcare Scholarship comes with a special gift: A top-of-the-line stethoscope engraved with the recipient’s name.

Hess said the stethoscope symbolizes the Community Healthcare partners’ strong support for their scholarship recipients. “Every time you use it, I want you to remember there are a group of people in this community who believe in you. When you get discouraged, just remember your community is behind you. We want you to excel. We want you to reach for your dreams.”

For information about YC’s Nursing Program, visit