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2022 Scholars

Scholarship Program

In our first scholarship year, nearly 400 applicants from around the country applied. Learn more about our 2022 Jean Griswold Foundation Scholars.

Congratulations to Our Most Recent Scholar Recipients. Watch their reactions when they first got the news!

Heidi Winter

As a single mother of three (a senior in college and twin high school freshmen), Heidi has a busy home life. While developing her career in Accounting, Heidi became a family caregiver when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. During that time, she discovered her passion for caring for others. Now attending Nursing school and loving it, Heidi sees a future and rewarding career in this care field.

“As of now, I plan to work in hospice. I believe the end of life should be just as beautiful as the beginning of life".

Sharla Rivera

Sharla has known Griswold for the last 11 years. 10 years ago she was referred to one particular client and she has been working with that client ever since! In addition to caring for other clients, Sharla stays busy with her four children. Her son serves in the military, and Sharla is proud to call herself a military mom! Sharla plans to pursue her certification and to explore the field of phlebotomy.

“Caring for others is a passion of mine… Thank you to the Jean Griswold Foundation for this new journey I am about to embark on.”

Diane Brueilly

A professional caregiver for the last 10 years, Diane has a wonderful reputation for her passion for being there for senior citizens who need her. In addition to caring for her clients, Diane also cares for three active dogs and several cats in her current assignment. She notes that caring for her senior and the furry clients keeps her alert and engaged all day long. Diane is using this scholarship to expand her abilities in caring for seniors.

“I can’t wait to use my new training to help others and advance my career.”

Nafeesha Johnson

A caregiver for almost three years, Nafeesha is from and cares for the community of Wilmington, NC. Nafeesha is a proud member of the Griswold Home Care for Wilmington care team and gives a special shout out to Mike, Dorothy, Theo, Samantha, Paige, and Scott in that office! Already a mother to her 20 year old son, Nafeesha’s compassion for others and her strength and resilience in everything she does was needed to overcome the tragic death of her infant daughter. Her team calls attention to Nafeesha’s passion for caregiving and celebrates this award. Her scholarship will be used to get her CNA 1 certification. Nafeesha already knows she plan to apply again next year and get her clinical medical assistant certification!

“I love helping people. It makes me feel good knowing that I can do something to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Hillary Dresch

Hillary has been a caregiver for over 10 years with home health agencies and in private care. After starting her family, Hillary is excited to return to her studies, pursuing an RN. Her plan is to gain experience in nursing before returning to school once more to achieve her dream of becoming a psychiatrist. Hillary credits her team at the San Antonio office and particularly her supervisor Maysen for recommending the Jean Griswold Foundation scholarship and the support she now has to begin this journey! Hillary’s husband and 3 (wonderful!) children are cheering her on and are so proud of this recognition. Hillary’s passion for helping people and her ability to go above and beyond every day makes her a stand out caregiver!

“To all caregivers, no matter what’s going on, please do not give up on your goals for the future and your dreams. There’s always people that will help you along the way.”

Pearl Opoku

Pearl Opoku is a proud mother of young twins and has been a Caregiver and CNA for almost 10 years. At her sister’s encouragement, Pearl’s caring career began with a Griswold office in Illinois. When she moved to Virginia, she got in touch with the Griswold Home Care for Northern Virginia West office and continued her caregiving career in her new hometown. After years of being a CNA, Pearl decided to pursue her education in Nursing. In 2020, she enrolled in an LPN Program and completed the coursework in June 2022. Now preparing to take her board exams, Pearl is so excited to embark on this new journey of becoming a licensed nurse! But Pearl has a plan already mapped out to include becoming an RN, learning more skills, gaining more experience and being able to impact the lives of her patients and their families.

“These funds will allow me to make my goals and dreams of becoming an RN a reality. Am forever grateful and will encourage anyone who has a dream of becoming whatever they want to become… and not to give up.”


Our First Scholarship Recipients

Watch their reactions when they first got the news!

Alise Perkins

Alise is a single mom who put her career and education plans on hold for her baby son. Her mostly elderly patients adore her and request her often. She’s just a few courses away from a grad school program in Occupational Therapy. Alise plans to use the scholarship to resume her journey to becoming a therapist, so she can continue incorporating occupational therapy techniques in her caregiving.

“This scholarship will really help me in taking the steps needed to further my education and career.”

Analisa Martinez

Analisa is a CNA who works with Griswold Home Care. She’s been a caregiver for five years, which she says has prepared her with the skills for any career in healthcare. She is interested in polysomnography, the study of sleep and diagnosis of sleep disorders. She says she will use her scholarship to finish her A.S. health science degree, and pursue an additional A.S. in polysomnography.

“I love what I do but I’m ready to start a new chapter where I’m going to take a different path, scared of not knowing where it’ll take me but excited to eventually arrive where I’m supposed to be.”

Jessica Perez

Jessica has been serving as a home-care aid for about 14 years, since she was a teen herself. As the oldest sister, she set her own needs aside to focus on her younger siblings. She plans to put herself first for the first time in a long time and get her CNA. She says she sees the scholarship as “an opportunity to start something beautiful” in her life.” She hopes to work in a hospital someday, and continuing to help others as she has always done.

“I look at this as an opportunity to start something beautiful in my life and get me to where I need to be in my career.”

Joanna George

Although she had not initially intended to pursue a career in caregiving, after becoming the primary caregiver for her grandmother at the age of 15, Joanna developed a passion for geriatric medicine and discovered the experience had really changed her personal and professional direction in life. She has volunteered with a local hospice and even plans to put her scholarship towards interdisciplinary training as a hospice chaplain, in addition to her other medical coursework.

“I used to think of caregiving as a liability, something that consumes my time, a choice I had to defend. Now I view it as an asset that equips me to provide better care to my future patients.”

LaKecia Robinson

LaKecia began her caregiving journey by taking care of both her parents until they passed away. She is currently a caregiver with Griswold Home Care. LaKecia is a mother and grandmother, She plans to put her scholarship towards a CNA, continuing to work towards an RN so she can provide the most comprehensive care for her patients. Kim Ragsdale, who nominated LaKecia for the scholarship, said “she is extremely honest and goes out of her way to do the unexpected.”

“I was a caregiver for both my parents before they passed away. I’m always asked if I’m a CNA when meeting clients and their families for the first time. I want to change my response from “no” to a “YES!”

UPDATE 10/25/2023

In October 2023, LaKecia Robinson Jackson was recognized for making The Dean’s List at Fortis College. The staff at Griswold for Columbia, South Carolina attended the Honors Ceremony and notes "We are so proud of LaKecia and this wonderful accomplishment."

Stephanie Caudle

Stephanie has worked in the healthcare field since 2013. She is a CNA 1 and CNA 2, a med tech, and she has finished all of her pre-requisite classes in nursing school. She plans to use the scholarship towards her LPN and RN. She is also studying social technology and social work. She is the mother of two boys and a Goldendoodle. She spends her spare time - what little she has - in the most unusual place: the racetrack! She has been racing dirt tracks since the age of 12.

“I plan to use this scholarship to continue into the nursing field and human services by further educating myself to help many others.”

Thank you all who applied for the National Caregiver Scholarship Program. Stay tuned for information regarding the 2023 Scholarship Program, which promises to be even more impactful!

  • "It is so humbling to be able to take care of my clients and the Jean Griswold Foundation helps individuals continue that ..." - Teresa Vaughan, Sacramento, CA
  • "Truly, thank you to the Jean Griswold Foundation for this opportunity and believing in my future, but most importantly in me!" - Jasmine Ramirez, Medford, MA
  • "As a professional, this scholarship overwhelms me with excitement about moving forward in my career to advocate and better ..." - Ke’Erra Hughes, Fridley, MN
  • "Once again, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for choosing me as one of your recipients for your Nursing scholarship. Your ..." - Bettina “Tina” Conde, Medford, MA
  • "First and foremost, I am filled with gratitude to have received this scholarship, every bit of help and encouragement while ..." - Cora Lacy, Denver, CO
  • "I want to say that this door that is opening for me is going to advance my career and I cannot wait to see what it brings." - Emily Lewis, Mesa, AZ
  • "Being a caregiver is a true passion of mine but I know it is time to further my education and become a CNA and more!" - Claudia Estrada, Bridgeport, CT
  • "2022 Jean Griswold Foundation scholarship winner LaKecia Robinson Jackson was recognized for making The Dean’s List [at ..." - Shannon Gettier, Columbia, SC
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