10 Local High School Graduates Awarded $1,000 Scholarships
Northern Regional Hospital recently awarded the 2021 Robin Hardy Hodgin Education Scholarship awards to deserving students who desire to pursue a rewarding profession in healthcare. As part of the scholarship program, this scholarship covers the cost of tuition, books, or supplies for selected students who enroll in accredited healthcare programs in the areas of nursing, pharmacy, or other allied-health professions.
This year, 10 scholarship recipients – carefully screened and selected by a team of hospital leaders – include Chelsey Atkins, Emma Brown, Elizabeth Dorsett, Jordan Haas, Cassidy Hewitt, Kayden Jenkins, Ashley Martin, Holden Poindexter, Isaac Riggs, and Chloe Sloop.
“This valuable program provides a much-needed helping hand to deserving students who have chosen to pursue fulfilling careers in healthcare while honoring the distinguished and ongoing career of Robin Hodgin, one of the most gifted and committed nursing leaders we have. It is one of the numerous ways Northern provides support for our area students and exemplifies our commitment to education,” said Chris A. Lumsden, President & Chief Executive Officer of Northern Regional Hospital, in announcing this year’s award winners.
Northern Regional Hospital established the innovative scholarship program in October 2019, named in honor of Northern’s current Senior Vice President for Patient Services & Chief Nursing Officer. The Robin H. Hodgin Education Scholarship is funded through private donations, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Northern Regional Foundation.
The Hospital’s designated Scholarship Committee awards one-time $1,000 scholarships, based on merit and financial need – for up to ten eligible students enrolled in a health-sciences degree-granting program at an accredited college or university of their choice. Scholarships are awarded to prospective students who reside in Surry County or the surrounding region that this year includes Patrick County, Virginia, and aspire to a career in nursing or any recognized allied-health professions – including respiratory therapy, physical therapy, medical imaging technology, laboratory science, pharmacy, and others.
GRADUATE BIOS –
Chelsey Atkins, of Dobson, is a 2021 graduate of Surry Central High School and will attend Surry Community College in the fall to pursue an associate degree in nursing. Atkins’ aspirations for healthcare began as a child and grew over the years as she observed the way the doctors and nurses cared for her grandmother during a terminal illness, and later helped care for two of her grandfathers. “I want to be able to take care of other people’s grandparents or family members and give them the best care possible,” said Atkins. “I know that a career in the healthcare field is what I am meant to do with my life. I enjoy helping others and look forward to spending a lifetime giving compassionate care to those in need.”
Emma Brown, of Pinnacle, a former Junior Volunteer at Northern, is a 2021 graduate of East Surry High School and plans to begin her studies to become a nurse practitioner at UNC Chapel Hill. Brown garnered a fascination with the anatomy and physiology of the human body during her high school career and is eager to be part of the field of medicine. She says she is inspired to be in a healthcare field by her love of taking care of people. “Everyone will be affected by healthcare at some point in their life and I love knowing that I could truly make a difference in someone’s life.”
Elizabeth Dorsett, of Mount Airy, is a 2021 graduate of Mount Airy High School and plans to attend High Point University in the fall where she will major in pre-pharmacy. Her goal is to obtain a doctoral degree to become a licensed pharmacist. Dorsett developed a desire to become a pharmacist through her work at a local pharmacy the last two years. She states her work at the pharmacy has been an eye-opening experience in many ways. “With my education, I can focus on the positive use of medications and educate society on the safe use of prescription drugs,” says Dorsett.
Jordan Haas, of Meadows of Dan, Virginia, is a 2021 graduate of Patrick County High School and plans to attend Patrick Henry Community College to purse a degree in nursing. Haas has a lifelong interest in the medical field, but only became interested in becoming a nurse after experiencing the compassionate care given to her grandparents during their illnesses over the years. Speaking of her grandpa she says, “I was fascinated how the nurses and health care professionals made him comfortable and treated him in a manner that was well-respected. It made me want to help people like my grandfather.”
Cassidy Hewitt, of Mount Airy, is a 2021 graduate of East Surry High School and will begin the nursing program at Forsyth Tech in August. Hewitt is one of only five graduating high school seniors accepted into the program at Forsyth Tech. She discovered her passion for becoming a nurse just before high school after a close family member gave birth to a daughter, Marlie, who was diagnosed with multiple birth defects. For months she traveled daily to the hospital to visit Marlie in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “Seeing the nurses everyday helping Marlie and doing everything they could to make her comfortable and better inspired me to want to do the same for little children like [her], and their families. Ever since those days, I knew I would be a nurse making a difference in the lives of sick kids,” said Hewitt.
Kayden Jenkins, of Mount Airy, is a 2021 graduate of Mount Airy High School. She completed the CNA certification offered through the Surry Community College/Mount Airy High School dual enrollment program and plans to attend UNC Wilmington in the fall to purse a Bachelor of Science in pediatric nursing. “My passion has always been to help others,” said Jenkins. “I absolutely love working with children, so the choice to become a pediatric nurse seems perfect for me.”
Ashley Martin, of Stuart, Virginia, is a 2021 graduate of Patrick County High School. She earned her CNA license while attending PCHS and prior to the pandemic was able to complete her clinicals at the Blue Ridge Nursing Center in Stuart. “I care deeply about the residents there. I enjoyed being with them and it made my day to see them happy and smiling.” Martin says she looks forward to returning to work at the nursing center following her completion of the nursing program at Patrick Henry Community College.
Holden Poindexter, of Mount Airy, is a 2021 graduate of Mount Airy High School. He will attend Greensboro College where he will begin his studies in sports medicine, on the path to become a physical therapist. He will also be a member of the Greensboro College Pride football program. Poindexter became interested in physical therapy after an athletic injury resulted in a surgery that later involved months of therapy with Casey Vedder, PT, DPT, president and CEO of Choice Physical Therapy. After completing his therapy, he went on to intern with Vedder and during this time saw the opportunity to help others through medicine. “Working as a physical therapist will provide me the opportunity to not only help people, but to get to know them in order to help lead them to succeed in their therapy,” said Poindexter.
Isaac Riggs, of Mount Airy, a 2021 graduate of North Surry High School, will attend Lenoir-Rhyne University to obtain a degree in biology and then pursue a career in dentistry. A former Junior Volunteer at Northern, Riggs wants to return to Surry County following his education to be a part of positive change in the community. His dream is to build a business that not only supports his family but touches the lives of those in need. “I believe through a career in dentistry I will have a platform to change lives in a profound way,” said Riggs. “There is nothing better we can do than serve others.”
Chloe Sloop, of Pilot Mountain, a 2021 graduate of East Surry High School, will begin studies at Salem College in the fall. Her goal is to eventually become a physician assistant. During her time at ESHS she was an active leader in the school’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter and in 2020 completed her CNA certification. She says she was inspired by her science teacher to dive deeper into the studies of biology and chemistry. The former Junior Volunteer at Northern has a passion for helping those in need. “I am passionate in my desire to work with others to help hurting people find relief and regain their joy,” said Sloop.