Sun Health Foundation Invests $30,000 in Future Nurses

Sun Health Foundation 2014 $30,000 Scholarship Recipients

Nursing students and faculty from Grand Canyon University and employees from Sun Health celebrate the awarding of 10 nursing scholarships.

As any college student or their parents can attest, higher education costs are much higher these days. That’s why Grand Canyon University nursing students Mariah White and Christine Throckmorton are so thankful for their $3,000 nursing scholarships from Sun Health Foundation. GCU’s annual tuition, excluding room and board, costs around $8,000.

“It’s a huge blessing,” says White who is paying for her education with loans and scholarships. “This really takes some of the burden off,” the Goodyear resident said.

In late May, Sun Health Foundation’s Development Director Bonnie Olsen and Chief Development Officer Penny Cowden presented ten scholarships worth $3,000 each to White, Throckmorton and eight of their classmates at GCU’s Banner Boswell Medical Center campus, a 21,000-square-foot facility located on the banks of Viewpoint Lake in Sun City.

“These students are dynamic,” said Olsen, who serves on the scholarship selection committee. “As a committee, we thought, ‘How could we eliminate any of them? If you talk to every student in this group, you’ll find that they are classy, intelligent and have goals for their future.”

(L-R) GCU nursing students Christine Throckmorton and Mariah White are two the 10 nurses who received a scholarship from Sun Health Foundation.

(L-R) GCU nursing students Christine Throckmorton and Mariah White are two the 10 nurses who received a scholarship from Sun Health Foundation.

Throckmorton dreams of working as a critical care or neurology nurse. The Surprise resident was working full-time and wrapping up community college when she learned–sooner than expected–that she had been accepted into the GCU nursing program. She moved back home, cut back on work hours and immersed herself in nursing classes full time. “I didn’t have much saved,” she said. “This scholarship will definitely help.”

Foundation donors have funded scholarships for nursing students since 1980 when Mesa Community College established a nursing education program on the Boswell hospital campus. Mesa closed its program at Boswell in 2013 and GCU moved in last August.

Most of the students who received this year’s scholarships are on track to graduate in December as part of a class of 34 students. The GCU/Banner Boswell program currently has 120 students and three full-time faculty members.

Olsen said she’s encouraged by the students’ ambitions and people in the community who want to support them. “The people of this community are the ones whose generous philanthropy makes these scholarships possible,” Olsen said. “It’s nice to be able to say to them, ‘These are the future healthcare professionals who will take care of you.’”

In addition to Throckmorton and White, scholarship winners include Rachel Bell, Raynie Fike, Jeff Miller, Lexi Obrigewitch, Anna Pondela, Josh Ryan, Shawna Snyder and Alicia Steehler.

We congratulate them and are proud to fuel their dreams while supporting a healthier community!