SILVER CITY >> The Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation has awarded approximately $20,000 in medical scholarships to area students. In all, 16 students received an award, 15 of them in Grant County. The Foundation gave awards between $1,000 to $3,000.
Two of the awards given out went to a mother and daughter pair of nursing students. The mother, Candace Davidson, 44, received $2,000 to put toward her studies. She is currently a part-time labor and delivery nurse. Davidson is already an RN and decided to go back to Western New Mexico University to get her bachelor's of science in nursing.
"It's great," Candace said. "I probably wouldn't have been able to go to school without (the scholarship)."
Candace's daughter, Kristen, is also attending WNMU. She received a $1,000 scholarship from Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation. Kristen, 20, is in her first year of nursing studies. She is expecting to get her bachelor of science in nursing degree as well.
"It really helped me because I don't have to stress about financial problem," Kristen said of the award. "I can use the money to buy books with."
Sharye Hardesty, chair of the Scholarship Committee for GRMC Foundation, said the organization doesn't put restrictions on the award. She added that many of the applicants are nontraditional students.
"We know a lot of these students are working, they need money to live on," Hardesty said.
According to Hardesty, the one student not in Grant County who received a scholarship from the GRMC Foundation lives in Deming. Most of the students are attending nursing school either at WNMU or New Mexico State University. One of the scholarship recipients is getting her nursing degree online.
Candace said going back to school to get her bachelor's degree would enable her to consider a variety of career options later on. She is considering going into administration, being a travel nurse or medical missionary work.
"I don't know yet," Candace said. "I wanted to get my bachelor's now so I can make sure I'll have opportunities later."
Kristen, who accelerated her studies while she was in high school, is also excited about what the scholarship provides her.
"It enables me to keep focused on school," she said.
Susan Dunlap can be reached at 575-538-5893 ext. 5803.