By Sarah Richards
Pensacola State College (PSC) students Wei Anderson and Jessica Helloms-Poindester, and several other students majoring in the healthcare programs, were awarded scholarships on August 29th, for their study and service, courtesy of the Florida College System Chancellor and the Florida College System Foundation, Florida Blue, Helios Education First Generation scholars and Dream Makers First Generation scholars.
The check, $27,220, was matched by private donors, the final amount totaling $39,980. More of these funds will be awarded after the fall semester.
Anderson chose nursing and will specialize in anesthesiology, after witnessing the pain her mother went through before she passed away from cancer. Anderson emigrated from China three years ago, with just the knowledge of the English alphabet.
“God blessed me and everybody helped me,” Anderson said. “This country’s education system helped me” mirrored what Andrea Kreiger, Executive Director of the Pensacola State College foundation, who gave the opening remarks, expressed her appreciation for the students who took time off from their students to attend the presentation, “We appreciate that we get to be a part of your journey.”
Helloms-Poindester works in an oncology wing. She said of the scholarship, “It alleviates some of the stress,” as coming up with money for nursing school can be challenging.
For many who teach, preach, or go into healing arts, it’s not just a career, but a calling, which calls for compassion. “I think I have the heart of a servant,” Helloms-Poindester said. She described her experience of working at Sacred Heart as a “humbling” one.
Doug Bates, President of the Foundation Board, said it was an honor to be able to serve alongside local businesses and leaders.
Last year, 82 students were awarded scholarships. “It doesn’t just touch one person, but it touches generations of people,” he said [on community college], echoing the theme of service and community—the hallmark of PSC.
“PSC,” said Meadows, “has been called the backbone and the engine of the workforce of Pensacola.”
Escambia and Santa Rosa counties “are the champions of Pensacola State College,” he said, as he introduced all the members of the Foundation Board, who were present not just to see the return on their investments, but to share in their successes.
For Madeline Pumariega, Florida College System Chancellor, Florida colleges are “dream factories” that serve Floridians.
Nine out of ten of the 800,000 students who graduate from Florida colleges remain in Florida, giving back to their local communities, working at the jobs their schools trained them to do.
Pensacola State College has a 100% acceptance rate—part of its inclusivity—offering generous scholarships and affordable, quality tuition. With one application, students are applied to over 240 scholarships. Apply here: https://foundation.pensacolastate.edu/scholarships/