Earlier this month, we hosted a dinner to honor the 39 remarkable students that make up our ninth class of Austin Community College (ACC) Endowed Scholars, who are part of a scholarship program we started in partnership with the ACC Foundation in 2010. Over the years, the scholarship has helped more than 400 ACC students work toward careers in health-related fields, and many of them have gone on to work for health care providers throughout our community.
Unlike our St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship which is aimed at high school seniors, the recipients of this scholarship come from many different backgrounds and paths and are united in pursuit of furthering their education for themselves and their families. Many of our scholarship recipients are simultaneously working full-time jobs and taking care of loved ones, all while taking a full load of classes to achieve their dream.
Scholar Spotlight: Mary “Brooke” Barber
“My name is Mary ‘Brooke’ Barber and I’ve decided to make a mid-life career change; however, it was something that I really did not see coming. In April of 2017, I was laid off from my customer operations job in the high-tech industry due to my department’s functions being outsourced to Costa Rica. I took it as good news to find a career that was more personally rewarding and fulfilling. I wanted to do something that was of more service to individuals and could really make a difference at the end of a day and decided to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Seeing my parents aging has helped me decide that I would like to work with the senior community and specifically in aquatic therapies. My aspiration is to one day work in a clinical setting that uses aquatic therapies and modalities to aid the body in recovery from injury, illness, and surgery. I thank you again for the scholarship to help ease some of my financial burden in moving towards this goal.”
This story was published as part of the October issue of St. David’s Foundation’s 411 newsletter. Click below to read the other stories in this issue.