The Mid Coast Hospital Auxiliary has awarded scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year to six midcoast high school seniors who have plans to pursue health careers. The scholarships were presented to students at their senior awards nights.
Linda Fairfield, Auxiliary scholarship chair, said $40,000 was awarded again this year to a total of 39 students—high school seniors, Mid Coast employees, continuing college students and non-traditional students. "We are so grateful to the community for its support of our fundraising events, which make these scholarships possible,” Fairfield said. "These efforts help ensure a quality workforce in healthcare in the future.” Major fundraisers are the "Grand and Glorious” Yard Sale, holiday bazaar, wreath, book and bake sales, and donations.
High school students receiving aid for their first year of college are Aidan McGowan, Kaitlyn Dube and Nour Myers of Morse High School, Bath; Brandon Smith of Brunswick High School, Jude Alamo of Boothbay Region High School, and Sage Mahar of Mt. Ararat High School, Topsham.
McGowan, son of Amber McGowan and Kevin McGowan of Bath, said he is excited to have been accepted into the University of New England seven-year program, with his ultimate career goal to earn a doctorate in physical therapy. "I will be able to practice in a profession that helps others overcome physical and mental obstacles. I hope upon completion of my program that I will be back in the midcoast area working in my community.”
This decision on a health career interests McGowan because he has been "influenced by my own experience with several athletic injuries during my high school career. During frosh football season, I suffered a broken clavicle and later spondylothesis—a bilateral break of my 1.5 vertebrae.” But, he said, even though this injury ended a wrestling career, it was through physical therapy that he re-focused his energy and participated in low-contact sports as a cross-country, track and field runner for Morse. "Wrestling was my passion and it was a huge challenge to push through not being able to compete, but I gained a lot of personal insights and fortitude with this experience and I want to share that with others. A big part of recovery and moving forward is a mental process.”
Dube will attend the University of Maine at Orono to pursue a career in nursing. Daughter of Michael and Heather Dube of Woolwich, Dube is interested in nursing because she wishes a career "where I am always busy and it’s not the same thing day to day. Interacting with people and helping to make them better is something I have always dreamed of doing.”
Dube said a "lot of my childhood was spent in the hospital because I was always sick.” When she also visited family members in the hospital, Dube said she "always admired the work that the nurses did and how much they cared about their patients and I wanted to do the same thing one day.” Her ultimate career goal is to be a nurse in a large hospital emergency room. "I want to care for the people that are going through something really traumatizing and be part of the reason that they get to keep living,” she said. Obviously excited about her career choice Dube says "there are always new people to treat and new issues to fix. Things can get especially stressful in the emergency room but I want to work through that stress and use it to get everything done so I can make that person better. I really want to do an exciting job that I know benefits people, which is why I think being an emergency room nurse would be perfect for me.”
Myers will attend Southern Maine Community College in South Portland to study nursing. She is the daughter of Samantha Stella of Bath. Myers became interested in a health career at Bath Regional Technical Center where she studied to become a licensed certified nurse assistant. Taking care of patients was "really comfortable” for her when she did her clinicals, she said, feeling "warmth and comfort when helping patients.” Her ultimate career goal is to become a gastroenterologist, and she thinks getting her RN will be a good place to start.
Smith, the son of Roger and Lynn Smith of Brunswick, will attend Husson University in Bangor where he will major in physical therapy. His ultimate career goal is "not to be the one making the most money. I hope to become one of the most knowledgeable and helpful specialist in the area. I hope that I can not only help people back to feeling 100% but teach them how to prevent such issues as well.”
Smith said earlier experiences in his life have helped develop his interest in PT. "I have been through physical therapy before due to a sport related injury from lacrosse. I feel those weeks of rehabilitation have heightened my interest in pursuing a career that helps physically rehabilitate others.” He finds a health occupations to be "exciting, physical and a way to help people feel better. The body and how it works is very interesting to me. I find myself to be physically active with working out and playing sports, both great hobbies of mine. This career will increase my knowledge and I can pass it on to others as well.”
Alamo is the son of Dr. Aquilino and Charito Perez Alamo of Boothbay. He will study physical therapy and kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since his father is a physician at St. Andrews Family Care Center in Boothbay Harbor, Jude Alamo has been exposed to medicine and been influenced by his father’s work throughout his life. "I have always been interested in helping people, especially physically,” he said.
Alamo said his career choice is exciting "because I enjoy physical activity and the opportunity to help others with their physical activity. I also enjoy learning about the anatomy of the human body and how each individual muscle functions.”
Mahar, the daughter of Patrick and Suzanne Mahar of Topsham, will study nursing at Maine College of Health Professions, Lewiston, formerly Central Maine Medical Center School of Nursing. She became interested in becoming a registered nurse after taking a certified nurse assistant course at Maine VOC 10, and she holds a certified nurse assistant license. "I am interested in healthcare, specifically Alzheimer’s disease, because I have worked with these patients at the Highlands and I enjoyed the work very much,” Mahar said.
Her career choice is exciting for Mahar as she looks forward "to meeting people and caring for people in all stages of their life.”