Front row seated L-R: Dr. Karolen Bowman, Vanessa Castillo, Lydia Araujo, Macy Coffey, Keelee McGlamery, Payton York, Marlise Green, and Dr. Tom Bowman.
Second row L-R: Brittany Rutherford, Lola Griffith, Mary Hannewald, Yuliana Alfaro, Fabiola Perez, Haley Duffield, Savannah Shoemaker, and Presley Church.
Third row L-R: Dr. Jeff Cox, Staley Parks, Jaci Alexander, Darian Grimm, Sonya Lovette, Makayla Sloop, Samantha Smargina, and Kassey Casstevens.

Twenty-four Wilkes Community College health sciences students are being honored as recipients of the Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year. The scholarship is open to all health sciences students.

Recipients include first-year nursing students Presley Church, North Wilkesboro; Marlise Greene, Deep Gap; Darian Grimm, Hamptonville; Abbie Kenley, West Jefferson; Sonya Billings Lovette, Hamptonville; Cassie Marvel, Lansing; Fabiola Perez, Sparta; Brooklyn Roten, Lansing; Yuliana Alfaro, Wilkesboro; Makayla Sloop, Moravian Falls; second-year nursing students Jayci Alexander, North Wilkesboro; Payton York, Olin; Lydia Swaim Araujo, Ronda; Vanessa Castillo, Wilkesboro; Savanah Shoemaker, Statesville;  first-year dental assisting student Kassey Casstevens, Hamptonville; Macy Coffey, Moravian Falls; Brittany Rutherford, Wilkesboro; first-year radiography students Keelee McGlamery, Hays; Mary Hannewald, Grassy Creek; second-year radiography student Haley Duffield, Millers Creek; first-year respiratory therapy students Lola Griffith, Ferguson; Staley Parks, Wilkesboro; and second-year medical assisting student Samantha Smargian, Boomer.

The Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship was established at Wilkes Community College by Drs. Tom and Karolen Bowman. They said, “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. 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.”

Drs. 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 231 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.

“I am so thankful for the Gertrude Elliot Scholarship! It is so amazing that others care enough for my education that they would grant me this gift to ease my financial burden,” stated recipient Keelee McGlamery.

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.

Scholarship recipient Staley Elizabeth Parks stated, “I am sincerely honored to be one of the many recipients of the Gertrude Elliott Scholarship for 2018-2019. The generosity of Drs. Tom and Karolen Bowman has allowed me to further my education without financial uncertainty.”

“The healthcare industry continues to grow and expand as our population ages and needs more healthcare services. 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. It is not uncommon for our graduates in the health sciences programs to be making $40,000-$70,000 a year. The Gertrude Elliott Scholarship makes completing an associate degree possible for many of our students by providing scholarships to deserving health sciences students,” says Dr. Jeff Cox, president of Wilkes Community College. “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.”

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