Three nursing students at Oregon Coast Community College were awarded Gribler Loving Trust Nursing Scholarships from the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation. Heather Bridges, Flor Gaspar Marquez and McKenzie Thomas each received $3,000 toward their education.
As part of the application process, each student submitted short autobiographies addressing their commitment, background, work ethic and desire to become a nurse.
“After reading their stories, I have no doubt these three young women will make good use of the scholarship support and will become assets to the nursing profession and to our community,” said Ursula Marinelli, PCHD Foundation executive director, who announced the scholarship recipients.
Bridges is an experienced medical assistant who works at Samaritan oncology clinics in Lincoln City and Newport. Her goal is to become an oncology certified nurse, remaining on the central Oregon coast for years to come with her firefighter/AEMT husband.
“Working in oncology has had a profound effect on me. I have an opportunity every day to make a significant, positive difference in someone else’s life and pass on the gratitude and kindness that has been given to me by so many of the people I’ve encountered over the years,” she said.
Flor Gaspar Marquez
Gaspar Marquez came to the United States speaking no English yet has learned the language, became a naturalized U.S. citizen, graduated from high school with a high grade point average and has now started college. Her goal is to become a public health nurse assisting Hispanic people who aren’t yet fluent in English to access medical care.
“After years of dreaming, I’ve been officially admitted to the OCCC Nursing program,” she said. “I come from an immigrant family. We believe education is the core of success. We obey the law, work very hard and encourage each other to continue in college so we can have better lives and contribute to America’s success. I’ll continue to be relentless and let no one tell me that I cannot do it, because I can.”
Thomas is a second-year recipient of the Gribler Scholarship. Spurred by an interest in science and personal positive experiences with medical professionals, she began her nursing education.
“This profession will allow me to give back to my community,” she said. “I know that my journey through becoming a nurse will not always be easy, but I feel that the reward of seeing the impact I make in my community will make all the work worth it.”
About the Gribler Scholarship
The scholarship is named for Olga and Bill Gribler, who were active in the Newport community beginning in 1947. Olga worked for the telephone company and later at the Bank of Newport. Bill taught music and entertained throughout the community. The Griblers established a generous scholarship with the PCHD Foundation to address the ongoing need for quality nurses in this rural area. To date, the PCHD Foundation has distributed $80,029 in annual scholarships to 29 nursing students.