2023 Scholarship Recipients

College Level Recipients

Emily Fry

Emily’s desire to be in the healthcare field started from a very young age. Her interest to pursue medicine grew as she grew older and excelled in sciences throughout high school and college.

While the route she initially took led her to a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a pre physician assistant emphasis, her determination and goal in life to love and care for others drove her to go back to school to pursue a degree in Nursing. She is currently attending Grays Harbor College as a nursing student. 

Emily’s passion to help and love others influences her to engage in giving back to her community. She volunteers at her local church helping organize activities from hosting bible studies to cooking and delivering meals to those in need during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently serving as the vice president of the Student Nurses Association at Grays Harbor College.

 Upon graduating from Grays Harbor College, Emily plans to gain experience in a hospital setting and hopes to work at Harbor Regional Hospital in Aberdeen. In the long term, Emily is open to exploring options to continue her education and is passionate about serving in her rural community.

Matthew Gante

Matthew’s interest in nursing stems from a very young age when he volunteered at the activity center in his mother’s nursing home. Being surrounded by CNA’s, RN’s, and LPN’s, he observed his mother and her coworkers providing care to patients and he deeply enjoyed his interactions with the residents. In his application he states “Through these early experiences in a nursing-esque environment, I’ve been inspired to pursue a career in this fulfilling field.”

Matthew is a first generation college student currently enrolled as a nursing student at Pacific Lutheran University. He recently earned his student nurse tech certification and is now working at Good Samaritan Hospital. While this will be his first job in a hospital, Matthew has been working since he was 16 years old. He has an extensive background in the food industry and has worked while in nursing school to help cover living expenses. 

In addition to work, Matthew is active in the PLU community. He is member and mentee of PLU’s student nurses association, serves as a Luau Chairperson for Na Hoaloha O Hawaii and is a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Association. 

Upon completion of his Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, Matthew plans to work in a hospital to gain clinical experience. Long term, his plan is to pursue a Master of Health Administration with the goal of working as a Director of Nursing

Karli Kooi

Karli developed an aptitude for nursing at a very young age – from caring for her grandparents to following her mother’s role as a physician. She recognized her dedication to this field at 16 and began chaperoning at a fertility clinic before eventually becoming a Registered Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing Assistant at 17.

While doing all that as a high-school student, she also received her Associate’s Degree in Pre-Nursing in 2022 through the Running Start program. She is currently enrolled at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) as a Junior level Nursing student.

Karli places a strong emphasis on her desire to support equity and inclusion. She has taken on various roles as a volunteer at a local food-bank and a volunteer at the Tacoma based immigrant support organization AIDNW. In her application she stated “My work and volunteer encounters have taught me the significance of giving back to my community, which motivates my career.” In addition to serving the community, she also takes on leadership roles. She is the Vice President of Nursing Students of Washington State (NSWS) for 2023-2024. Additionally, since 2021, she’s advocated for reproductive health policy by participating in the annual lobbying day with the WA state chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Once completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University, Karli’s foremost educational goal is to pursue graduate school education in nursing education, clinical practice, or public policy.

Stephanie Savage

Stephanie comes from a family line of nurses dating back to the 1930’s, including her mother, two aunts, great aunts, and her maternal grandfather who served as a medic in the Korean war. She states “nursing runs through my veins”.

Nursing wasn’t the initial path she took but after serving in the military for 10 years including three deployments, she decided to transition to the Air Force reserves to pursue a career in Nursing.

In her application, Stephanie shared how her experiences surrounding her father’s death and the care that her father and her family received from the nurses influenced her decision to pursue nursing. “Those ten days I experienced the drive and passion of nursing that is different from other medical fields.”

Stephanie worked as a CNA in the ER at Evergreen Hospital Emergency Department for the last seven years, caring for some of the first patients during COVID pandemic. During this time, she also continued serving in the Air Force Reserves; she served in the military for 19 years. In her application, she stated, “I have seen myself grow from a small voiced girl from Renton, Washington to a military leader in charge of shaping the next generation. I take pride in what I do, and I measure my success by the people that will lead after I am gone. All this time I have dedicated, and all the experiences have helped prepare me for future nursing roles.”

Stephanie is currently enrolled in the Nursing Program at Grays Harbor where she is a member of the Grays Harbor College Student Nurses Association. After graduation, she plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in nursing while working at St Joseph’s Hospital.

Emily Tuck

Emily’s interest in pursuing nursing occurred shortly after she became a mother. The quality comfort and care she received from her labor and delivery nurse during this very physically and mentally draining experience sparked a strong passion in women’s health care inspiring her to pursue a career in nursing.

In her application she described her postpartum experience as it being “one of the moments I carry with me when I reflect on who I want to be in this life: someone who remains by the side of people in their most vulnerable states and treats them with honor and dignity.”

Emily graduated with her associate degree in pre-nursing in 2021 with the highest honors – maintaining an impressive 3.97 GPA. Despite Emily’s academic accomplishments, she’s overcome obstacles to reach her goals. Emily suffered from depression which led to substance abuse to relieve her pain. In July 2020, she discovered a Buddhist-inspired recovery program and entered recovery. She served as Refuge Recovery group secretary for the Olympia meeting and shared that the program shaped her into the woman she is today. She’s learned valuable skills in active listening, responsibility, accountability, and leadership which she believes transfer seamlessly to a career in nursing. 

She completed a DONA doula training where she gained more knowledge and experience on maternal care and is a certified nursing assistant. She plans to work as a CNA during the summers. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Saint Martin’s University. Her long term goal is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. 

High School Level Recipients

Jaeda De Leon

Jaeda’s passion for nursing was sparked by watching medical themed TV series. She described her heart feeling warm watching how nurses and physicians healed those in pain and made a difference in their patients lives. She became further intrigued in nursing as she began her own research into medical issues and healthcare providers.

Jaeda decided to explore a career in nursing and enrolled in a 6-week program to become a CNA her junior year of high school. Jaeda enjoyed the difference she was able to make in the residents’ life while working as a CNA. In her application, she stated “helping patients gives me such a sense of fulfillment and makes me feel like I am making a difference in this harsh world”.

Jaeda’s family immigrated to the US when she was 14 years old. This dramatic change in her life has opened up many opportunities including the opportunity to pursue a career in nursing but she has also learned how important it is to find support to help her achieve her dreams. From the CNA program to working with her Upward Bound counselor, Jaeda has been an advocate for her own education.

Jaeda graduated from Lincoln High School in June 2023 and will be attending Pacific Lutheran University to pursue her Bachelors in Nursing. One of her long term objectives is to earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Nancy Ramirez

Nancy will graduate from Elma High School in June. She became passionate about pursuing a career in nursing after suffering a ruptured appendicitis. While her experience was frightening, the care she received from her nurses and doctors influenced her to pursue a career in which she can give others quality care like she was given. 

Nancy is fluent in English and Spanish which she hopes to utilize to break language barriers in the healthcare field. Over the years, she has assisted her family members by serving as a translator and helping them advocate in medical settings. She also uses her language skills at her job at Elma Pharmacy. “I am able to communicate with a variety of customers to make them feel welcomed and cared for.” 

Nancy’s determination to pursue a nursing degree has allowed her to continuously seek opportunities where she can gain medical experience. She enrolled in an Allied Health Careers class which gave her the opportunity to explore healthcare careers and spent last summer completing the coursework for her nursing assistant certification. She plans to take the exam after she turns 18. Nancy is also a member of a local Health Career 4-H club and has been pursuing a job shadow opportunity at Capital Medical Center.

Nancy’s goal upon high school graduation is to attend Grays Harbor community college. Once she completes her prerequisites, she plans to apply to their nursing program to get an associates in nursing and then eventually a BSN. 

Carly Sherman

From a young age, Carly’s passion for caring for others gravitated her to consider a career in healthcare. With this interest, she explored various careers in healthcare, participating in the Multicare Academy for Students in Healthcare (MASH), taking AP level math and science courses as well as an Intro to Medical Careers course. These experiences challenged her and directed her towards a career in nursing.

Carly has taken on various leadership roles which have contributed to her growth and interpersonal skills. Carly’s recommenders spoke to her strong work ethic and perseverance. They also spoke about her compassion and strong sense of service to others.

 Carly will begin her freshman year at the University of Alabama this Fall where she will pursue a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing. Upon completion of a BSN, she wants to work as a Labor and Delivery, Mother/Baby or as a Sports Medicine Nurse.