2022 Scholarship Recipients

Florence Golda Scholarship Winner

Shanell Brown, RN

After working for several years as a nurse home visitor with Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and an Equity Lead for Pierce County, Shanell is now working as a nurse consultant for the Department of Health Office of Family and Community Health where she is working at a state level to reduce maternal health disparities.

To enhance her effectiveness as a community health leader, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Nursing at the University of Washington- Bothell. Shanell’s interest in nursing and public health stems from the excellent care she received after her Acute Cerebral Venous Thrombosis diagnosis. After graduating with her BSN from Seattle University (cum laude) she became involved in the community, focusing on preventative care and health equity. She realized how flawed the healthcare system is and took action to create change.  Shanell states, “I want to promote awareness that many health disparities that the African American/Black community face are due to racism.” Her work is focused on the disproportionate high mortality rates in Black women. She works on reducing barriers to access to healthcare and preventative care in our community.

Shanell is a member of several nursing organizations and is a Rainier Olympic Nurses Association board member. Her work has awarded her the Nurse Home Visitor Award (2021). Shanell mentors new nurses and is active in community outreach; she leads the Pierce County Perinatal Collaborative ‘Lunch and Learns and is a member of DCYF’s Near Child Fatality review team which promotes healthcare equity and reduces barriers. With her passion for promoting health and health equity in BIPOC communities, she plans to become a project manager for an organization that promotes health equity. Her goal is to implement such programs in the birthing centers in Washington State to reduce maternal health disparities in Black women through cultural competency training and practices.

Shanell’s hard work and community outreach speaks to her passion and work ethic. Congratulations Shanell on being our 2022 Florence Golda Scholarship recipient. We are excited to see what the future holds for you as you enter the next phase in your career.

LPN to RN Scholarship Winners

Fernando Libor

Fernando starts his BSN program at University of Washington – Tacoma this Fall 2022. Fernando’s call to nursing came when he was at his lowest point. After the death of his father, he ended up in a self- destructive path, fell ill, and was eventually admitted to the ER for a severe form of pneumonia. The nurses at Bremerton Harrison Hospital took great care of him without any discrimination nor judgement. The appreciation and gratitude he felt inspired him to change his life and pursue nursing. He began volunteer work for the Salvation Army.  

Volunteering  has been his way to reach out and help and at the present time, he is an active volunteer for the American Red Cross serving Kitsap and Pierce County communities.  

Fernando started off as a CNA in 2009. He continued to further his studies while working. Despite failing and having multiple obstacles, he persevered and never gave up. In 2020, 11 years later, he finally became an LPN. His dedication to the profession grew as he started taking on travel nursing during the pandemic. 

Fernando starts his BSN program in the Fall and hopes to do community outreach, especially  the underserved populations. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, he is passionate about helping at-risk populations such as the LGBTQ+, the homeless population, and  especially those living with HIV. He wants to inspire people to see that education makes a difference and you should not let yourself be defined by your status- whatever that is.

Kimberly Melton

Kimberly is a LPN at a pediatric clinic where she has worked for over 13 years. As a nursing manager, she helped train new licensed practical nurses and medical assistants. Kimberly clearly remembers the first time she wanted to be a nurse. She was 5 years old and needed stitches. It was the nurse who kept her calm by distracting her with the fun disneyland pins that adorned her uniform. She knew then that she wanted to “help heal and help others.” 

As a mother, the need to provide excellent care for children motivates her. She has worked with children from birth to 21, supporting them and educating them about their health.  For the last 13 years, she’s been a very active volunteer with Girls Scouts as a troop leader, empowering young girls to take on leadership roles, a camp nurse and, even when the need arose, a lifeguard. Kimberly takes great pleasure in watching young people flourish and have careers of their own. Kimberly is also a foster parent. Her passion for nursing has motivated her to continue her education despite her busy schedule. She is currently finishing her Associates in Pre-Nursing at Pierce College and will transfer to St Martin’s University for their BSN program this Fall. As she looks to the future, she plans to specialize in pediatrics, perhaps even pursuing an ARNP in General Pediatrics.

College Scholarship Winners

Moira Connor

Moira Connor is currently an honor roll student at Grays Harbor College nursing program. Moria discovered her passion for caring for older adults while working as the Activity Director at a skilled nursing facility. While there, she also became involved with the state professional association for activity professionals and started a local chapter. Moria is a strong leader throughout her Grays Harbor community serving as a board member for The Polson Museum, Grays Harbor County’s history museum, ambassador for Greater Grays Harbor and advisory board member for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program of Grays Harbor County. 

When she began nursing school in the Fall of 2021, she also joined Grays Harbor College’s Student Nurse Association. After first serving as a special events coordinator, she is now the Secretary.  Following graduation in 2023 and passing the NCLEX, Moria is dedicated to providing “excellent healthcare to the people of Grays Harbor”, whether that’s by opening an adult day health center, managing the Wellness Center of a memory care community or continuing her education to become a nurse practitioner. 

Deja French

Deja is a nursing student at Grays Harbor College. Deja’s desire to pursue a career in nursing comes from her personal experiences. Deja has witnessed through her own experiences and those of her loved ones, the vital importance of being a compassionate nurse who is also an advocate for her patients. Deja shared in her application that “when I am helping care for someone, I know this is who I am and what I am supposed to be. I want to be the one that others can feel comfortable with in their most vulnerable moments and know that I will be there through it all with them.”

Deja has been volunteering for Girl Scouts for 5 years including as a health aid at camp where she assisted a RN in the Health House. She has also volunteered for Connections, an organization that advocates for the safety of abused children for 7 years. Deja plans on getting her LPN license this summer in order to work as an LPN while finishing her ADN degree. After graduating from Grays Harbor College, she plans to pursue her BSN immediately. She wants to continue her advocacy work by specializing in communities that face healthcare disparities and have generational trauma.

Kallie King

Kallie is a nursing student at Arizona State University finishing her freshman year with a 4.08 GPA. She pursued nursing because she has a passion for caring for others. When she was a 9th grader, she volunteered to become a teacher’s assistant in the special education classroom for severely disabled students. This experience enriched her passion, and she chose nursing to continue caring for others. Despite having to make sacrifices and changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kallie made the most of her high school senior year. She volunteered to work with the Community Emergency Response Team to help in the event of natural disasters. She also helped care for animals by volunteering for the Harbor Animal Volunteer Association and volunteered to take graduation photos for low-income students who couldn’t afford it. 

Kallie has a strong passion and devotion to her community. Despite her young age, she is driven and motivated to make an impact in her community of Grays Harbor. Even though she is attending an out-of-state school, she plans to come back to Washington State. Her ultimate goal is to become a nurse practitioner and serve her beloved Grays Harbor community.

Karen Sanchez

For as long as she can remember, Karen has always wanted to become a nurse like her mother and grandmother. Her personal and volunteer experiences cemented her passion. When her mother fell ill, Karen accompanied her to her therapy sessions and witnessed the impact having an excellent nurse can make on a patient’s recovery. She volunteered at St Anne and Camp Oasis, which provides outdoor experiences for children suffering from Crohn’s and Colitis. She also worked as a CNA at Proliance Orthopedics surgery center. These experiences helped build her knowledge and skills to use for her future in nursing.

After completing her ADN program at Grays Harbor College and becoming a registered nurse, Karen plans to work for a non-profit organization. She hopes to pursue her Masters in nursing and specialize in clinical research to improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.

High School Level Winners

Brandon Baker

Brandon heads to Seattle University in the Fall to pursue his BS in Nursing. He was inspired to explore nursing after observing ICU nurses look after his father after he suffered in an accident. Brandon admired their professionalism and comforting demeanor. The nurses helped his father recover after being in a coma for 10 days.

From this initial inspiration, Brandon took advantage of a variety of opportunities in our community. He attended MultiCare’s M.A.S. H camp, formally known as Nurse Camp and took a Medical Careers class at Pierce County Skill Center. The exposure from these courses helped him cement his passion for nursing. 

Brandon also volunteers for the Agape Service Project, a non-profit organization that serves migrant families and at the community center through Key Club. As ASB President, he has developed his leadership skills, focusing on the importance of listening. 

After completing his BSN, Brandon plans to specialize in oncology or pediatrics and become a nurse that can support the patient and their families in the same way his family was supported.

Grace Haueisen

Ever since she was 12 years old, Grace has always wanted to become a midwife. A documentary she watched on midwives piqued her interest. After being diagnosed with endometriosis and having an unpleasant experience at the hospital, she realized that women’s health is often overlooked or dismissed. She wants to change that by becoming a nurse. 

To further explore a career in nursing, Grace attended MultiCare Nurse camp during the summer of 2020 and she volunteers as a COPE Junior Health Scholar at Swedish Medical Center. These experiences have solidified her calling to be a nurse.

Grace is completing her Associates in pre-nursing at Tacoma Community College while simultaneously finishing high school and has been accepted into the BSN program at Pacific Lutheran University this Fall. Her plan is to become a midwife and serve underrepresented communities such as undocumented immigrants and LGBTQ families, as they often go without adequate women’s health. She hopes to bridge the gap and “give everyone the care they deserve.”

Olivia Poyfair

Olivia has always found purpose in serving others in her community. She felt a particular calling to nursing while supporting her mom as she delivered her baby sister. She expressed, “I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere that [the nurses] brought and how patient and kind they were to my mother, baby sister and myself. Olivia has used volunteer service to prepare herself for a career in nursing. She is a swim instructor at the YMCA, a Youth Camp Leader at her church, and is a National Honor Society member. Taking part in these organizations helps her feel connected to her community.

She is currently working on getting her CNA certificate while waiting to begin the nursing program at Brigham Young University this fall. Olivia plans to get her BSN, then pursue a Master’s degree, specializing as a midwife.

Hayden Reskey

After undergoing surgery, Hayden received quality and compassionate care that made him want to pursue nursing. He recalls, “I had never imagined feeling so comfortable while recovering from surgery. My experience invoked a new appreciation for medicine and nursing in my life.” For Hayden, nursing is a way of serving his community and giving back through caring for the complete individual. He also wants to advocate for diversity and representation in society.

Along with his part-time job, Hayden volunteers at the Emergency Department at Good Samaritan Hospital. His leadership and communication skills have been strengthened by both his work and volunteer roles. Hayden’s long term goal is to open his own practice one day as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Hayden graduates from Bethel High School in June and starts his BSN program at Pacific Lutheran University this fall.

Emma Richards

Emma felt a special calling to healthcare because of the care she received from her primary physician. She states, “The care and dedication l received from my primary care doctor is one of the many reasons I want to be in the medical field.” After undergoing many tests to find a treatment for her migraines, Emma has a better appreciation for healthcare workers and plans to use her experience to help advocate for others. After researching several medical careers, she landed on nursing since nurses focus on the overall well-being of the patient. 

Emma has jumped at opportunities to serve her community by volunteering for food drives and at a women’s empowerment camp. She also earned her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate while in high school. Emma is a direct admit into the BSN program at Saint Martin’s University in the fall. Her long-term career goal is to become a nurse practitioner and work in pediatrics.