One of our favorite days of the year involves a celebratory gathering of our annual scholarship award recipients. We recently enjoyed this event at the Indian Hills Community College Rural Health Building, which was fitting as all the scholarship winners are pursuing degrees in a health care related field. Since its inception in 2004, the LCL Health Career Scholarship Endowment has provided over $348,000 to area students. These students were awarded scholarships because of their high academic achievement, volunteerism, extra-curricular activities and awards in addition to their pursuit of careers in “high need” areas of health care. These areas include nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, ARNP and medicine. Fifteen students were awarded scholarships this year, half of whom were present during the reception (pictured above).
Especially gratifying this year was the presence of a special keynote speaker. Dr. Nathan Nicholson, a 4-time LCL Scholarship recipient is certainly someone who exemplifies the purpose of the LCL Scholarship. The scholarship program is designed to support and invest in the education of promising local students with the hope that they will return to Southeast Iowa once they complete their studies. After 12 years of college and residency at the University of Iowa, Dr. Nicholson has returned to Ottumwa as an Orthopedic Surgeon. Dr. Nicholson’s message was inspirational to all in attendance, including the high school students attending the IHCC Health Career Exploration Academy, the 2017 LCL Scholarship recipients, scholarship Alumni and area medical professionals. He stressed personal drive, perseverance and mentoring by Dr. Donald Berg as the keys to his success.
A special note of thanks goes out to Dr. Nicholson and the LCL Scholarship Selection Committee members who helped to make this event special. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation wishes the best of luck to all the 2017 scholarship winners and Emily Brown, Health Career Exploration Academy participant from Van Buren County High School. Much to her surprise during the event, Emily (pictured below with other Academy participants) was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Foundation for her outstanding essay.