Each year since 2015, the SSM Health St. Clare Foundation grants $15,000 in scholarships to SSM Health St. Clare Campus employees for clinical loan forgiveness or tuition reimbursement. To date, 13 individuals from departments across the St. Clare Campus, have received scholarships. Here’s two stories on how their lives have been irrevocably changed.
“Receiving a scholarship has literally meant the world to me. If it was not for the scholarship program, and the people who organize it, I wouldn't be where I am today.”
In 2013, Trista found the career path she was looking for when job shadowing the surgical technologists at St. Clare Hospital and she enrolled in classes. The Saturday following her orientation to class, she gave birth to a baby boy with Hirschsprungs Disease. Trista put her son’s health needs and her family first and made a tough decision to defer school. Life and finances were a barrier to her return to school, so in 2015 when the Foundation announced the new scholarship program, Trista knew it was her time.
As she shared in her scholarship essay, “This scholarship is more than money to me. It is my dream to show my kids through hard work you can accomplish anything.” The scholarship from SSM Health St. Clare Foundation covered all of her tuition costs and while raising her kids and working part-time, she achieved a 4.0 GPA in her surgical technologist program. Trista is now employed with SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Baraboo as a surgical technician. As she states “ It must have been God, or someone who really likes me up there, planning it all out. I have found the job of my dreams and don't consider it work because I love it so much.”
At age 19, Allison was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The diagnosis impacted her health, and her career path, as it delayed starting her advanced degree school and a financial hardship. But it also inspired her to become a nurse; as she frequently reflects, she has “no regrets” regarding her path in life as it taught her “strength, compassion, hard work and persistence.”
Those values and Allison’s commitment to make education a top priority made her an excellent candidate for a tuition reimbursement scholarship. The Foundation funded her two year program with scholarships in 2015 and 2016. Allison graduated this May with her Associates Degree in Nursing and achieved high honors while working full time in the St. Clare registration department.
Allison shares that it’s long been her dream to finish nursing school. “Through the scholarships, I was able to focus on my studies and not worry so much about the financial burden. I was very grateful to receive the funding and set a high standard of achievement for myself.”
For information on the Foundation Scholarship Program call (608) 356-1449.