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Four nursing students from area colleges receive scholarships to help them prepare for nursing careers
March, 25th 2013 in Press Releases

White Plains, NY March 25, 2013 – Four deserving nursing students from local colleges were the beneficiaries of scholarships totaling $17,500 awarded by VNS Westchester (VNSW), a nonprofit Medicare-certified home healthcare agency based in White Plains.  The funds, earmarked by the agency’s Board of Trustee Scholarship Committee, are designed to help outstanding nursing students facing financial hardship complete their studies and prepare for careers in nursing. The scholarships were awarded at the March 8th Women’s Hall of Fame luncheon sponsored by the Women’s Research & Education Fund.

According to VNSW President & CEO, Lou Nemnom, “In today’s healthcare climate, skilled nurses are in high demand, especially in the home healthcare field which is growing in leaps and bounds. We think it’s important to invest in nurses to ensure that community needs continue to be met. Through our Nurses of the Future Program, scholarships are awarded to promising students who, without financial support, would be unable to complete their nursing studies.  Each of our scholarship recipients have records of outstanding academic achievement and, at the same time, have volunteered their time to community service.  We are proud to help these students fulfill their dreams of embarking on careers in nursing.”

2013 Scholarship Recipients include:

Dorothy Bayor, a resident of New Rochelle, was born and raised in Ghana West Africa where she had to overcome many obstacles, having lost both parents at an early age and even having to drop out of high school at one point. Today, just four years after emigrating from Ghana, Dorothy has completed her first semester at the Dorothea Hopfer School of Nursing. An excellent student, Dorothy is also a wife and mother of three young children who finds the time to volunteer at her school and at senior care facilities. Her dream is become a community health nurse.

Michelle Magaletti of Thornwood had to overcome both learning and reading comprehension disabilities to succeed in her studies. Today she is working diligently to obtain her nursing degree at Pace University.  Becoming a nurse is a natural path for Michele, she noted, as she cared for both of her grandparents as their health declined and enjoys helping people through her volunteer work as a member of the junior ambulance corps in Pleasantville.  Despite serious financial hardships, Michele also works part time to support herself and her dream of having an impact on people’s health and well-being.

After serving as a “stay at home” Mom for several years, Karen O’Connor decided to go back to school not just to support her family – but also to have a meaningful career that drew on her natural skills and love of being a caregiver. “I want to be a role model for my kids so they know if they want something and work hard at it, no matter how old they are, they can accomplish their goals.” Today Karen is a model student at the Cochran School of Nursing, and an active volunteer fundraiser, Girl Scout and PTA leader who is determined to graduate at the top of her class, “knowing that I did everything I could to learn and prepare for a career in nursing.”

From an early age, Paola Zavala’s life has been characterized by self-sacrifice, compassion and determination in the wake of severe financial and personal hardships.  She helped her mother care for her father who was afflicted with serious illness and says that her mother’s resolve and her father’s struggle helped inspire her to a career in nursing where she can help others.   She has also been a tireless volunteer helping members of her community cope with illness, while also serving an internship as a Patient Care Associate at a local hospital. VNSW has helped support Paola’s nursing studies at Pace University over the past three years; with this final scholarship award, she is poised to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing this May.



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