Stanislaus State nursing students are closer to making their future dreams a reality thanks to scholarships they received from the Legacy Health Endowment Foundation and Golden Valley Health Center Foundation.
Kathryn Romeo, Alexa Duarte and Yadira Lopez-Ortiz, who each earned coveted spots in Stan State’s Accelerated Second Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ASBSN) at the Stockton Campus, won Legacy Health Endowment Foundation scholarships.
Duarte also was awarded a Golden Valley Health Centers Scholarship, as were Guadalupe Palomo and Ana Veloz, who are pursuing degrees in nursing and psychology.
Duarte says the Legacy Health Scholarship is helping her stay focused on her classes and motivating her in her pursuit of higher education.
“The Golden Valley Health scholarship is helping me with school expenses like gas, books and supplies,” Duarte said. “The scholarships will help me to graduate without debt and provide me with the ability to focus on school. This encourages me to continue toward higher education in nursing after this bachelor’s degree.”
The Golden Valley scholarship honors one of the agency’s founding board members, Flora R. Martinez, and promotes access to healthcare for all people. The Legacy Health Endowment scholarship, established in 2014, benefits nursing students.
“I heard about this scholarship opportunity through the School of Nursing,” Veloz said. “I was pleased to find out that Golden Valley holds a scholarship opportunity in the name of Flora R. Martinez, a migrant worker who aided her community with interpreting and addressing their basic healthcare needs.”
After Martinez passed away in 2014, her son promised to continue her legacy, so the Flora R. Martinez Nursing Scholarship was established for students like Veloz.
Similar to Martinez, Veloz grew up in a Hispanic household interpreting for her parents and family members who did not speak English. Her parents immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. in hopes of a better future for her and her siblings.
“For as long as I can remember, I have known that I wanted to be a part of delivering quality care to low-income families in the Central Valley.”
– Ana Veloz , Nursing Major
“I am a first-generation college student pursuing my dream career,” Veloz said. “For as long as I can remember, I have known that I wanted to be a part of delivering quality care to low-income families in the Central Valley. Growing up in an area mainly inhabited by Latinos, I have come to realize how essential it is for medical professionals to get past language barriers to provide care.”
Veloz is beginning her third year in the nursing program as she is also working toward earning a degree in psychology. She started at Stan State in fall 2019 as a pre-nursing major and was accepted in the nursing program in fall 2021.
“I aspire to make patients feel comfortable when expressing their needs and concerns. In my clinical practice thus far, I have been able to translate for a large number of patients both in the hospital and community settings,” Veloz said.
Veloz also works as a medication technician and caregiver at a retirement home, where she has been able to grow her nursing and interpretationskills.
She also had the opportunity last summer to study abroad in Ecuador and completed her transcultural nursing requirement. While there, she took a class called Spanish for Healthcare Workers, which helped her gain a better understanding of medical terminology to help Spanish speakers. She said the experience will assist her in further understanding treatment plans, diagnostic tests, disease processes and other medical terms.
“I look forward to continuing my education in a nurse practitioner program and working for an organization that focuses on giving back to the community,” she said. “Being granted this scholarship opportunity will aid me in delivering quality healthcare services in my future career.”
Veloz has worked throughout nursing school to cover the costs of school materials and textbooks.
“This award will relieve the burden of having to work longer shifts and be able to focus more on my education,” she said.
Her advice to students who are applying for scholarships is to think of the reasons and motivations they have for choosing their area of study and to make those reasons passionately known in their applications.
The GVHC Scholarship Committee, made up of volunteer members of its board of directors and foundation board, reviewed more than 50 applications. The committee selected scholarship recipients based on their academic performance, financial need and application letters.
“This scholarship program demonstrates our commitment to cultivating a strong workforce from the talent in our own communities,” said President and CEO of Golden Valley Health Centers Tony Weber. “We know the need for skilled nurses is going to continue and hope that these students might consider GVHC when looking for a place to work.”