Since 1960, the Rotary Club of the University Area has awarded scholarships to nursing students, and this year, the tradition continued.  The 2011 scholarship recipients are Natalie Lewis, Bianca Darrington and Sheila Esparza.  All three recipients are currently attending Prairie View University, where they maintain excellent grade point averages.  Each has expressed an interest in giving back to the community by helping others.
 
Natalie’s career goal is to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.  Her letter of reference from Prairie View College of Nursing sums up her commitment to nursing, “In the clinical setting, Natalie exhibits a quiet calmness in the care she provides.  She was able to utilize the experience she has being a monitor technician at Ben Taub General Hospital into her new role as professional student nurse.”

Bianca’s career goal is to become an Intensive Care Nurse.  “My mom was in the ICU for 11 months before she passed.  I feel that from my time there each day, I learned a lot…  I am a single parent and full-time student trying to achieve my childhood dream of becoming an RN and helping families…  I am destined to be an RN!”

Sheila’s career goal is to work in a community health setting.  As part of her application, Shelia said “I think working with the underserved is vital to the art of nursing.  Because I want to make a difference in people’s lives, I think this is my best setting.”  In her community, Sheila has been a math and science tutor for elementary students and non-profits.  

Each of these recipients received a $2,000 scholarship from the University Area Rotary Club.  

These scholarships are awarded annually to full-time students.  Candidates must be enrolled in a program leading to a BS or BSN degree and must have completed at least one semester in nursing school.  Additionally recipients are asked to report their progress to the club, and to volunteer for any of the many club activities.

Over 200 scholarships have been awarded to date, amounting to over $200,000.
 
In the group photo from the left are Dick Ferley-Chair of the Scholarship Committee, Cindy Murphy Co-Chair, recipients Natalie Lewis, Bianca Darrington, Sheila Esparza and President Lucy Tausend.