Baptist Awards Scholarships to Community College Students
Health Care Scholarship for Local Students
Since 2016, Baptist Memorial Health Care has offered a need-based scholarship to local nursing and health care students enrolled at Southwest Tennessee Community College. The program — called the College Ready Scholarship for Health Care — is awarded to participants based on financial hardship, GPA and degree.
“Many people are paying for school on credit cards with high interest rates,” said Ann Marie Wallace, senior community outreach coordinator for Baptist Memorial Health Care. “Some sit out when they are so close to finishing to save or raise money. Financial aid options, such as scholarships, give students the boost they need to stay on track.”
One Scholarship Recipient’s Story
Education has always been important to Lanitra Ray, a nurse intern in the acute cardiac intervention unit at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. She’s earned two associate degrees in natural science and nursing, as well as a bachelor’s degree in biology. In her third semester at Southwest Tennessee Community College, she decided to seek financial assistance.
“The College Ready Scholarship information was posted on our online nursing board,” said Ray. “I applied for the scholarship because I was paying out of pocket for tuition. I knew the scholarship would decrease the stress of having to come up with the full amount.”
The scholarship not only decreased Ray’s stress but also allowed her to work fewer hours and focus more on her education. As part of the scholarship, Ray completed community service hours for Baptist Operation Outreach, a free health care clinic for the homeless.
“I helped section the winter donations — gloves, socks, thermals and scarves,” said Ray. “I also assisted with vaccination sign-ups at the Cook Convention Center’s Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless and Hungry.”
Rose Landey, executive director for institutional development at Southwest Tennessee Community College, has witnessed the benefits the program offers to the Memphis community. With about 90% to 95% of students remaining in the area after graduation, it means there are more health care workers, who are also high-wage earners, in the area.
Earlier this spring, Ray completed her nursing degree and began working at Baptist Memphis. In the future, Ray plans to continue her education and help bring awareness to women’s health issues in underserved communities.
“This accomplishment would have been even more difficult if I were not a Baptist scholarship recipient,” said Ray. “I appreciate Baptist so much, and I am so grateful.”
Eight to 10 students receive the Baptist scholarship each year. Students who meet the eligibility requirements must also be recommended by a professor. The school selects students based on financial need or hardship, GPA and degree. To qualify for the College Ready Scholarship, students must also
- Be in their third or fourth semester at Southwest Tennessee Community College
- Complete an essay explaining why they should receive the scholarship
- Agree to perform 10 to 15 hours of community service for each semester they have the scholarship
For more information about the College Ready Scholarship program, please contact Rose Landey for more information: