Sarah Chidgey of Prescott was inspired to be a nurse by her late grandmother and the Yavapai College Nursing student intends to shine in her memory, as well as make her family and her college proud.

William Cooper, a Chino Valley father of two and an emergency medical technician, can’t wait to be a nurse saving lives in a hospital emergency room.

cmu-health-scholars-fall-21-2.jpgThe two first-semester nursing students are among 12 YC nursing and radiologic technology students awarded Community Healthcare Scholarships – a prestigious scholarship aimed at ensuring aspiring nurses and “rad techs” are able to make good on their intentions and put their skills to work in the community.

“I couldn’t make it through working and school without this scholarship,” William said. “This means a lot to me and my family. “I’m very appreciative of this opportunity,” said Sara.

Also awarded Community Healthcare Scholarships this academic year are nursing students Elizabeth Adame of Prescott; Cassandra Bailey of Cottonwood; Cheyene Gabbard of Prescott Valley; Hailey Hanson of Prescott; Sandra Hauptman of Prescott Valley; Guadalupe Ocampo of Paulden; Megan Palmer of Camp Verde; and Nicole Welker of Prescott; and radiology students Rachael Guidetti of Prescott and Kara Yazzie of Prescott Valley.

Since its inception in 2012, the Community Healthcare Scholarship Program has awarded more than $1 million to 153 YC students. The vast majority of recipients graduate and pass their professional exams. “So the bar has been set,” YC Foundation Executive Director Mary Talosi told the fall 2021 recipients during a celebration in their honor. “When I say we believe in you, I mean we really believe in you.”

The YC Foundation is a partner in the Community Healthcare Scholarship program. The partnership also comprises these generous donors: The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, Yavapai Regional Medical Center - Dignity Health, Margaret T. Morris Foundation, the Harold James Family Trust, Prescott Radiology and Fain Signature Group.

In remarks during the scholarship award celebration, YC Nursing Program Director Dr. Marylou Mercado told the newest recipients: “I can hardly stop smiling when I look at you. You really are the heartbeat of the program.”

Dr. David Hess, president of the Jewish Community Foundation, shared the story of the scholarship’s origin – the generosity of a now 96-year-old philanthropist named Jacob who wanted to do something for his community.

“You’re here because of that kindness. You’re here for a good reason and you’re going to be good,” he said.