Published on June 21, 2017

Meaningful scholarships for students, volunteers

If you’ve ever bought a book, a pair of shoes or earrings at one of those special sales sponsored by the hospital volunteers, then you’ve helped someone further his or her education. And it’s even more cool when the student has ties to Johnston Health.

Quality director Cynthia Holloman received a scholarship a few years ago to help with her master’s degree. This year, her son CJ, who’s applied to nursing school at ECU, was a recipient, too.

“They believed in us, and that’s motivating,” Holloman says. “Through the scholar-ship program they’ve helped so many people.”

Sue Archambeault, the recent past president of the volunteers, is credited with taking the program up a notch. During her tenure, she brought in the larger, commercial sales to raise more money so that the volunteers could offer larger scholarships to more recipients.

Archambeault, who is a retired teacher, remembers her own struggle in finding a scholarship when she returned to school in her thirties. “That’s why the scholarship presentations are my favorite,” she says.

“To see the excitement in their faces is priceless and makes my heart soar.”

In the last 10 years, the volunteers have grown their program from five scholarships of $500 apiece to 12 scholarships of $1,000 apiece. And one of those scholarships this year was a gift from fellow volunteers, who wanted to honor Archambeault for her 14 years of impactful service.

And best of all, she got to choose the recipient.

It turned out to be CJ. From his letter and application, Archambeault saw tenacity, eagerness, and the kind of spirit she would like to see in future nurses and doctors.

“His story touched me a little deeper,” she says. “I hope he and all the recipients will, one day, look for ways to help others who are just starting out.”

Holloman says she’s already thinking of becoming a hospital volunteer in her retirement, and helping out with the scholarship program that’s been such a blessing to her family.

The volunteers of Johnston Health have awarded 12 scholarships to students headed into health-care related fields. From left, they are Breyia R. Spruill of Selma, Reagan Howell of Smithfield, Victoria Ramos of Smithfield, Jacqueline Seagriff of Clayton, Lisa Marie Jones-Drolet of Clayton, Hampton Tilghman of Pikeville, Emma Sheldon of Clayton, Cassie Knittel of Clayton, Michaela Alexyon of Cary and CJ Jackson of Princeton. Recipients not present for the photo were Brianna Davis of Clayton and Whaley Crabtree of Clayton.