l-r: Mark Cook, J.F. Cook Foundation representative, Melissa Pennell, Kimberly Kovach, and Allison Phillips, VP of Institutional Advancement; Executive Director, WCC Foundation.

Melissa Pennell, a first-year nursing student who graduated from West Wilkes High School and Kimberly Kovach, a first-year nursing student who graduated from Wilkes Central High School have been named recipients of the 2019-2020 Adrienne Necessary Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to students who are residents of Wilkes County, enrolled full-time, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, and plan to enter a nursing career. “I am very grateful for this scholarship. It has helped to relieve the financial stress as I work toward my goal of becoming a nurse,” stated Melissa Pennell.

“The labor market in healthcare occupations continues to expand as our aging population increases. The baby boomers are retiring out of the jobs, which is creating a demand to refill them. They are also needing more healthcare themselves, which further drives up the demand for healthcare services. This provides an ideal opportunity for our students looking for jobs in the healthcare industry. The Adrienne Necessary Scholarship provides critical financial support for deserving nursing students,” says Dr. Jeff Cox, president of Wilkes Community College. “We count on the generous support from individuals and groups like the Cook Foundation to make it possible for many of our students to realize their dreams of a college education and to achieve their career aspirations.”

The Adrienne Necessary Scholarship was established at WCC in 2008 by the J.F. Cook Foundation to honor Adrienne Necessary, who was a long-term employee at Cook’s, Inc. Adrienne Necessary graduated from WCC in 2001 with a degree in nursing and was later employed by Wilkes Regional Medical Center. Her family and friends remember Adrienne as a bright young woman who always wore a smile and brought joy to others.

The Cook family knew Adrienne for many years, and it was their privilege to love and know her. Adrienne Necessary was a very loving and caring young woman, so it was not surprising that she chose a career that calls for those qualities. She was an outstanding person, full of the qualities that make a wonderful nurse. The establishment of the nursing scholarship at Wilkes Community College in her name was their way of honoring her and giving back to the community.

“It takes a special person to enter the nursing profession. Nurses work long hours and go above and beyond the call of duty. They are unique individuals that pass through their patients’ lives for a moment but leave a lasting impact. I feel that the impact of the scholarship has come full circle as our family has received treatment in the past at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Wilkes Medical Center by former scholarship recipients. It is very gratifying to know that recipients are

giving back to the community. We are pleased to offer this scholarship in honor of Adrienne Louise Necessary,” stated Mark Cook, member of the J.F. Cook Foundation.

For more information on scholarships, call Stacee Whitley at 336-838-6158.