Fourteen Wilkes Community College health sciences students are being honored as recipients of the Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship for the 2023-2024 school year. The scholarship is open to all health sciences students; awards range from $500 to $1,000.

Recipients include nursing students Olivia Ballinger, Wilkesboro; Jennifer Flipping, Sparta; Alani Helms, Wilkesboro; Lane Holbrook, Wilkesboro; Maryory Reyes, Moravian Falls; Madison Ward, Hays; Courtney Wood, Thurmond; dental assisting student Jade Gardner, Ronda; medical assisting students Nicole Coffield, Traphill; Erika Ruvolis, Moravian Falls; human services student Sonja Lindsay, North Wilkesboro; and respiratory therapy students Meagan Eldridge, Hamptonville; Brandi Shea, Yadkinville; and radiography student Caroline Watkins, North Wilkesboro.

The Gertrude Elliott Health Sciences Scholarship was established by Dr. Karolen Bowman and her late husband, Dr. Tom Bowman over 30 years ago. Initially, the scholarship was intended to provide financial assistance for nursing students. However, in 2013-2014, the program expanded to include any health sciences program.

Dr. Karolen Bowman stated, “WCC and its programs have always had a positive impact on Wilkes County and the surrounding areas. In these difficult financial times, it is crucial to support WCC and its initiatives for the betterment of the people of Wilkes County.”

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.

“As the healthcare industry continues to grow, the need for qualified professionals is on the rise. Our health science graduates can anticipate earning a living wage, with the potential for higher wages. We are very appreciative of donors such as Drs. Tom and Karolen Bowman for their support, playing a vital role in ensuring our students obtain a college education and a rewarding career in healthcare,” stated WCC Interim President, Morgan Francis.

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.

l-r: Allison Phillips, vice president of Institutional Advancement, Alani Helms, Olivia Ballinger, Maryory Reyes, Nicole Coffield, Jade Gardner, and Caroline Watkins.
Not pictured: Meagan Eldridge, Jennifer Flippin, Lane Holbrook, Erika Ruvolis, Courtney Wood, Madison Ward, Sonja Lindsay, and Brandi Shea