Darton Health Professions Foundation Awards $61,000 in Scholarships

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

Many of the recent nursing graduates at the Darton College of Health Professionals at Albany State University received scholarship help from the Darton Health Professions Foundation, which recently announced more than $61,000 in scholarship awards to students for the fall 2022 semester.

The Darton Health Professions Foundation recently announced more than $61,000 in scholarship awards to students for the fall 2022 semester.

“This round, we received excellent applications from students who were academically astute and presented a wide range of financial needs,” Randae Davis, executive director of the Darton Foundation, said in a news release. “More than 165 applicants applied for our named, endowed and need-based scholarships, and we switched to a new application portal that reduced the duplication of applying for multiple scholarships. This new system made it easier to upload supporting documentation, and it was a great process.”

Pam Simmons, the chairwoman of the foundation said, “We certainly must be prudent in our selections process, as so many students have a need. I am so proud that we can invest in the lives of students that will impact our SWGA community, today and into the future. We would love to do more scholarships in our next cycle.

This fall, more than 30 recipients were chosen by the foundation’s committee to receive scholarships that ranged from $680 to more than $6,800.

“There were still awards we were not able to make this semester due to a lack of applicants or applications that did not meet the specific criteria,” Davis said. “Some of the applicants’ essays were so compelling, we wanted to do more. We had a couple who are raising a special needs child and caring for their parents while attending college. Students, who without our help would not have been able to finish their last semester, and students who are working adults making a career transition and trying to obtain a degree.”

Board member, Tina Hardin, said she was thrilled to read each essay.

“These funds that we have inherited, have meaning and represent a legacy and the future,” Hardin said. “The essays made me feel like I know these students, their accomplishments, and their hardships, and trust me, there were some hardships. Some students are working multiple jobs and raising a family, and finances should not be a concern.

“I loved getting to know these students, and we need to know them. They represent the future, and we are investing in people that are getting a degree to serve our community.”

Southwest Georgia continues to show a need for health care workers. Board member Albert Etheridge recounted that a community member told him, “I have been in the hospital five times in the last year and did not have one local nurse tend to me. That needs to change.”

“We should change that,” Etheridge said.

The Darton Health Professions Foundation is dedicated to being a part of that change.

“The majority of students that received a scholarship this semester was from SWGA and have a desire to stay and work in SWGA,” Etheridge said. “They want to make an impact in their community, and that is something we want to be a part of.”

“We are so excited when we have the ability to help students and even more thrilled when we can follow them through their academic career and into their profession,” Frances Carr said. “This semester we had the ability to scholarship a student who was graduating with their RN degree and will start their BSN degree in the fall, and a student who travels and stays in a hotel two days a week to go to school. That is dedication to their education and their profession, and we want to help alleviate the financial burden of education.”

“One applicant stood out to me,” Davis added. “He had some extreme hardships in his life and is seeking a degree. The recipient sent a thank you letter to the board and commented that he has spent most of his life with feelings of inadequacy and felt as if he was not worthy of success. This scholarship alleviated the financial difficulties but also validated him.

“It is an awesome feeling that we cannot only celebrate someone’s academic and professional success but also their personal journey and evolution as a person. These students will one day become our neighbors, caregivers, and in some cases, our friends.”

The foundation will continue to endeavor to help the students of today and the health care professionals of tomorrow in SWGA and thank those who financially help us provide these scholarships. The next opportunity to submit an application is Jan. 1. For more information on available scholarships or to help financially support student scholarships, visit www.dartonfoundaiton.org.