One of the things we’re most excited about this year is that we’ve reached a $1,000,000 threshold for granting scholarships to local nursing students.Cindy Bernard, Board President, ACH Foundation
As you may have heard, the Evans Nursing Scholarship reached an important milestone in its twentieth year. At a special celebration, we premiered a video about this milestone and the impact of the scholarship program.
We hope you will take a few moments to watch; it is a wonderful tribute to the Evans family, our scholarship recipients, and to all generous supporters of our scholarship programs.
You can find out more about the Evans Nursing Scholarship or make a gift here.
(Margaret Evans) Our parents have always been interested in philanthropy and have wanted to make a difference in whatever community they have lived in. Our dad died in 2002 and shortly thereafter mom decided that she’d like to do something to commemorate him, to honor him, and it just happened that I saw a news program in which they mentioned that the nursing profession in the Rogue Valley was very lacking in nurses and that’s when I suggested to her that she might like to establish a scholarship.
(Margie Lininger) When you think about the fact that the endowment is now $3.5 million dollars, that’s hard to believe for a family that simply moved from Pennsylvania to Ashland, Oregon. I want people to know that the Evans Family nursing scholarship is really quite amazing. It started out with three scholarships in 2002 and has grown to 247 scholarships for 177 students. The first year of scholarships was only for $6,000.
(Cindy Bernard) One of the things we’re most excited about this year is that we’ve reached a $1,000,000 threshold for granting scholarships to local nursing students.
(Margie Lininger) The first year only three people received scholarships. This year there will be 17 scholarships for registered nursing students and 17 scholarships for licensed practical nursing students. It’s really quite a community miracle.
(Janet Troy) For me it’s very heartwarming to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Evans nursing scholarship; it directly benefits our community. We focus our scholarship awards on local students who intend to stay in the Rogue Valley after graduation. Those students often end up in local hospitals or local medical offices or long-term care facilities, so it really benefits the community itself.
(Margie Lininger) The Evans family is very clear about what kind of student they want to receive the scholarship. First of all, they want them to be exceptionally bright, talented, and committed to the nursing field – that’s the most important thing they look for. But right behind that is the fact that they want caring nursing staff who will be responsive to families and to patients because nurses spend an awful lot of time with their patients.
(Karen Drescher) The selection process is very rigorous and difficult. All the students are really so deserving. It’s so important that we try to find the students that really have a passion for nursing and helping others. Some of these students already are having families, they’re working in the medical profession, and they’re volunteering. They’re really excellent and deserving students.
(Michelle Benitez) I graduated from the OHSU program that’s here on the SOU campus in Ashland. It’s a three-year BSN program and I graduated back in 2019. When I first got the first acceptance letter and I’m sorry but I just I started crying from emotion that I still remember this vividly and it’s just it’s was such an amazing news that I got that I had been selected as one of the recipients because I was actually able to breathe and knowing that I wouldn’t have to work as much or even at all so that I could be a mom and just go to school and be able to be present for my daughter and also not have to be stressed or worried about if I was going to be able to pay for my first year of my tuition.
(Roger Reeves) It felt almost unreal because this is only I believe the second time I’ve received a scholarship and it is a significant amount so it was unexpected and more than I could have asked for and it certainly made me feel very grateful. So having this scholarship is again really making a difference in terms of making sure that I can really focus on the work I’m doing with the program.
(Amy Hickey) When I received the letter that I was awarded this scholarship for the second year in a row and I was so excited.
(Michelle Benitez) The Ashland Community Health Foundation has helped so many students that I know about even in my cohort, the cohorts behind me, and it’s even helped friends at work that I know that have been in my similar situation, people that have are undocumented and don’t qualify for loans and just people that have gone or are going through very hard circumstances and barriers.
(Janet Troy) If you can imagine how many people a nurse touches through their career, it’s really hard to even quantify how many folks have been cared for by a nurse in our community.
(Heather Voss) And since 2009, I can say that I recognize every one of the recipients of the scholarship and I can tell you that they are either all still in Oregon or in southern Oregon as nurse leaders. They are ICU nurses and med surg nurses and community health nurses, they’re educators and family nurse practitioners, and a majority of them did go on to get their masters and doctoral degrees.
(Margaret Evans) But anyone can contribute. And I would love to see more community people support it because we all need more nurses in the Rogue Valley.
(Michelle Benitez) And I cannot be more thankful or more grateful that I had been selected all three years for my nursing degree that I didn’t have to worry about going that much more into debt.
(Roger Reeves) Just wanted to say thank you again to the ACH Foundation for selecting me. This scholarship is going to make a big difference in my career trajectory and make sure that you know we have more nurses in the area and that’s fantastic thank you again.
(Amy Hickey) I felt honored and just thankful that there’s such gracious people in this community. For Ruth Evans to create the fund and for the family and the Foundation to continue it on is very admirable and I hope that I one day can give back to the Foundation and to help another nursing student that needs it.