WCC scholarship recipients

Recipients of the 2019-2020 Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship at WCC. Pictured from left to right in the front row are Dr. Tom Bowman, Katrina Fletcher, Charity Visnic, Riley Hix, Jordan Campbell, Lola Griffith, Mackenzie Adkins and Dr. Karolen Bowman. In the back row, left to right, are Jonathan Koger, Mary Hannewald, Staley Parks, Presley Church, Sydney Culler, Kendra Carter, Amber Blackburn, Hailey Mastin, Dr. Jeff Cox and Toni Blake. Not pictured are Stephanie Church, Stephanie Abdelhamid and Nevaeh Hemric.

WILKESBORO — Twenty-two Wilkes Community College health sciences students are being honored as recipients of the Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year. The scholarship is open to all health sciences students.

Recipients include first-year nursing students Stephanie Church, North Wilkesboro; Stephanie Abdelhamid, North Wilkesboro; Sandra Anguiano Campos, North Wilkesboro; Toni Blake, Moravian Falls; Cody Call, North Wilkesboro; Jordan Campbell, Harmony; Jonathan Koger, Ronda; Lindsey Miller, Hays; Makenna Shumate, Hays; second-year nursing students Presley Church, North Wilkesboro; Sydney Culler, North Wilkesboro; RIBN program student Nevaeh Hemric, East Bend; first-year radiography students Mackenzie Adkins, Sparta; Katrina Fletcher, Purlear; Riley Hix, Statesville; Charity Visnic, Millers Creek; second year radiography students Mary Hannewald, Lansing; first-year respiratory therapy students Amber Blackburn, North Wilkesboro; Kendra Carter, Wilkesboro; second-year respiratory therapy students Lola Griffith, Ferguson; Hailey Mastin, Jonesville; Staley Parks, Wilkesboro.

The Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship was established at Wilkes Community College by Tom and Karolen Bowman.

“We are proud to help participate in making sure that anyone who wants to come to WCC for an Allied Health Program should be able to do so and not be barred for financial reasons,” the Bowmans said in a release. “Wilkes County and the surrounding area has always benefited from the influence of WCC and its programs, and in these troubling financial times, it is important to support WCC and what it does for the people of Wilkes County.”

Tom and Karolen Bowman are involved in the scholarship process and work with WCC officials to select the scholarship recipients each year. To date, the scholarship has been awarded to 254 health sciences students. Initially the scholarship was granted to nursing students; however, in 2013-2014 the scholarship was made available to students in any health sciences program.

“Thank you for choosing me to receive the Gertrude Elliott Scholarship for 2019-2020. The generosity of Drs. Tom and Karolen Bowman has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse,” recipient Makenna Shumate said.

Gertrude Webster Elliott graduated from Davis Hospital School of Nursing in 1954. She worked briefly at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem before returning to Wilkes County to work for Wilkes General Hospital in the Emergency Department until her death in 1988. Gertrude will always be remembered for her loving care of the many patients she served and her devotion to and love of the nursing profession.

“The healthcare industry continues to grow and expand as our population ages and needs more healthcare services,” the Bowmans said. “This continues to be a strong area for our students to get two-year associate degrees and then get good jobs making a living wage.”

WCC President Jeff Cox said it is not uncommon for graduates in the health sciences programs to be making $40,000-$70,000 a year. According to Cox, The Gertrude Elliott Scholarship makes completing an associate degree possible for many of WCC’s students by providing scholarships to deserving health sciences students.

“We sincerely appreciate the generous support from individuals like Drs. Tom and Karolen Bowman, which makes it possible for many of our students to realize their dreams of a college education and a rewarding career in a healthcare profession,” Cox said.

Contributions to the Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship can be sent to WCC Foundation/Gertrude Elliott Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC 28697.

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