Caribbean nurses provide $1,000 scholarships

Michael Brown receives scholarship award from Elaine Mills-Ford (L) and BMW CANA President Pamela Griffin.
Photo by Nelson A. King

The Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester Chapter of the Caribbean American Nurses Association, Inc. (BMW CANA) on Saturday handed over US$1,000 checks to four Caribbean nursing students to assist them with their education.

The scholarships were provided to Irena Jeffrey, Shantel Schoenfelder, Michael Brown and Clive Frith at the chapter’s 23rd Annual Vernese Weekes Scholarship Luncheon at Eastwood Manor on Eastchester Road in the Bronx.

“To the 2018 scholarship recipients, congratulations,” said BMW CANA Vincentian-born President Pamela Griffin, a registered nurse, in her remarks.

“We are proud to make a difference in your journey to become a registered nurse,” she added. “May God continue to bless you in all your endeavors.”

Brown said he was honored “to be around these experienced nurses.

“I plan to learn as much as possible form all these nurses,” he told Caribbean Life afterwards.

Frith said he was “humbled” to receive the scholarship award, adding: “I am definitely appreciative of the honor.

“I can’t wait to be a nurse,” he continued.

Jeffrey, too, was “humbled” by the gesture, stating that nursing has been “something I always wanted to do.

“The scholarship will help me with my pursuit,” she said.

Schoenfelder said she was “really honored to be in the presence of so many nurses, and am really grateful.

“It feels good that they’re dedicated to undergraduate students,” he said.

Jeffrey, a former flight attendant, who was born in Antigua, attends Bronx Community College.

She expects to graduate as a registered nurse in the Fall of 2019.

Schoenfelder, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, was born in Jamaica but migrated to the United States at an early age.

“My grandmother always told me ‘one, one, coco full basket,’” she said. “This quote implies that success was not achieved overnight but rather earned through hard work and diligence.

“I want to be involved in a career, where decisions made promote access to patient care, especially for those in need,” she added.

Jamaican-born Brown plans to specialize in psychiatric nursing “to make a difference, and ducate others to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and provide adequate care and support for the individuals and families affected.”

Frith said his experience as a surgical technologist fueled his “desire to pursue nursing as a career, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.”

The late Vernese Weekes, after which the scholarship fund is named, was born in Barbados.

“She demonstrated a great love and passion for the nursing profession,” BMW CANA said in a statement. Vernese departed this life in 1994.

“In remembrance of her dedication and outstanding service to mankind, this memorial scholarship was established in 1995 by the members of the Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester Chapter of CANA, Inc.”

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