Five aspiring nurses are the latest to learn that their journeys through Yavapai College’s acclaimed Nursing Program will be tuition-free, thanks to a now 12-year-old community healthcare funding partnership.

YC Nursing students Johnathon Damschroder, Lacy Davenport, Cameron Murphy, Zoey Rawlings and Megan Young are the latest recipients of the Community Healthcare Scholarship, funded by a group of local philanthropic and healthcare organizations in partnership with the Yavapai College Foundation. The program helps deserving YC nursing students achieve their dreams of joining the healthcare industry in their home communities.

Along with the YCF, the scholarship program partners are the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, the Margaret T. Morris Foundation, Dignity Health/Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the Harold James Family Trust, Prescott Radiology Group, and Fain Signature Group.

The spring 2024 Community Healthcare Scholars cohort --  the program’s 19th cohort -- celebrated their awards Jan. 24 during a reception in the YCF offices on the college’s Prescott campus. Among those cheering the latest winners of the generous scholarship were YCF Executive Director Mary Talosi; YC Associate Vice President of Health Sciences, Dr. Marylou Mercado; YC Nursing Program Director, Dr. Barbara Durham and Dr. Matt Dicker, representing the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott and the Prescott Radiology Group.

Dr. Dicker shared with the scholars that the catalyst for the Community Healthcare Scholarship was a generous donor “whose life was changed by nurses.” With Dr. David Hess and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott as the “conduit,” the scholarship program has grown over the years and plans to add partners and increase scholarship funding in its next phase, Dr. Dicker said.

“You guys are here because you deserve this,” Dr. Dicker told the scholars as he was departing the reception. “We all believe in you, and I know I’m going to be seeing you in the future.”

Talosi shared with the scholars that the “bar has been set” by their nearly 200 predecessors who have recorded a 92-percent nursing program completion rate and a 100-percent passing rate on their licensing exam. “Most importantly, 90-percent are practicing locally,” she said, adding, “there have been three rounds of funding with $1.1 million total pledged by the partners for your success.”

The scholarship award for the five newest recipients was accompanied by a special gift – a stethoscope engraved with their name. The tuition money and the gift moved some of the scholars to tears and expressions of profound gratitude.

Megan described feeling “grateful and blessed” to receive the scholarship after deciding to switch  careers and enroll in nursing school after her father fell ill and passed away from cancer. With three people in her family currently in college, she said, “the financial struggle was real, but my husband and my kids knew I wanted to do this, and they wanted to support me. This is a huge help for me and will allow me to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse and making a difference for patients and their families who are facing hard times.”

Cameron, who is pursuing nursing after working in hospitality most of his adult life, said the Community Healthcare Scholarship will enable him to “give back to the community that has supported me and shown me kindness when I wasn’t always able to reciprocate. It has given me the opportunity to give the attention, the time and rigor to my courses as they demand. That wouldn’t have been possible if I was working a full-time job to cover the expenses of school.”

For information about scholarship giving opportunities through the Yavapai College Foundation, visit

For information about the YC nursing program, which now offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing, visit

Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates, two baccalaureate degrees, student and community services, and cultural events and activities.

To learn more about YC, visit