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2023 Scholars

Scholarship Program

In 2023, there were nearly a thousand applications from around the country submitted. Learn more about all of our 2023 Jean Griswold Foundation Scholars.

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

Ashton Comeaux

I’m a Junior at Sam Houston State University looking forward to getting into the nursing program this year. I’m a mother of 6 and just knowing the challenges along the way I’ve had to overcome allows me to finish off strong. This scholarship will allow me to have the opportunity to take a breath of fresh air. The overwhelming challenges faced financially often puts a halt to my focus on my studies. So having that freedom I’m so honored. This is the beginning of my journey in becoming a Doctor in Oncology. One step and one degree at a time.

Bendu Jegede

This is Bendu Jegede, A native of Monrovia, Liberia and daughter of Amelia Hunter, a school Propietress and teacher. Johnson, her late father, was a welder. She is a proud recipient of her Griswold Foundation Scholarship. Caregiving is the theme of her life, beginning with her younger siblings and other neighboring children. She spent her early years caring for her blind grandmother in their home in Africa. In 2008 her family received greencards and immigrated to the United States. Bendu is the wife of a US Army Veteran, who is also from Liberia. She is a dedicated Air Force mom to her eldest son, Donald. Bendu and her husband enjoy their large family of five children. As a contractor at Fort Bragg providing in-home child care, she was recognized in 2013 with an award for her outstanding dedication to other service families. She later was able to work toward her System Administration Certificate graduating in 2016. Following her husband's completion of active duty and moving off the Base, Bendu returned to her first love, Caregiving, and connected with Griswold Home Care of Raleigh. She began nursing courses, as she had the opportunity, following the birth of her twins. Then in 2023 Bendu returned for a second Chapter in service to the Griswold community after her second son's graduation from High School. Now 18, he assists his Father with the care of his younger siblings while attending the local community college online. This decision supports Bendu's pursuit of her Caregiving career. With this scholarship, Bendu and her Son will both be students at Fayetteville Technical Community College. There, Bendu will resume classes for her Nursing Degree while he continues his own college journey.

Bettina Conde

I plan on using this scholarship to pay for my semester in school as I continue my pursuit towards my dream of becoming a Nurse. While there have been unimaginable challenges that have arisen during my mission I will not give up and only feel that much more motivated and inspired towards achieving my goal. My calling has always been to make a meaningful difference in people's lives, especially during one of their most difficult times. I intend on doing my part by collaborating and contributing towards a better outcome for each one of them.

Elizabeth Habtemariam

Caring for people in general and disadvantaged group in particular is both my calling and my profession. As a social worker, I spent most of my life working with people disadvantaged by age, gender, physical and mental disabilities, economic status and geographic locations in Africa. When I moved to the USA, home health care provided the opportunity to peruse my interest of serving others as well as a means of income. I work for Griswold Home Care in NoVA East as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) providing direct patient care for elderly people since September 2016.

This scholarship (Medication Aide certificate), will broaden my scope of responsibility beyond a CNA to assist clients with self-administration of medications in a safe manner. I would be most helpful for the physically and mentally challenged individuals who encounter difficulty self-administering their medications. On a personal level, the certification will advance my career in the health care field.

Gracie Azevedo

My name is Gracie Azevedo, from a young age, I have always been interested and gravitated toward Holistic Healing and Alternative Medicine. While working towards my Bachelors Degree in Holistic Health Sciences, I became a Behavior analyst for children with Autism, where I discovered how much I love working with people who’s brains don’t necessarily function the same way ours do. Soon after, I became a caregiver for my father, who suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury after having a heart attack. Taking on this role with my father has allowed me to combine my passion for caregiving and Alternative medicine, and I’m so grateful to have been awarded this scholarship so that I may can keep caregiving for my father, while continuing my education and looking to find a suitable career that will allow me to do both.

Jenell Davenport

Jenell has spent most of her working life in the retail industry. She truly enjoyed engaging with customers and brightening their day with her interactions. However, she felt a yearning for something more fulfilling. Jenell discovered that she had a genuine passion for helping others, particularly in providing care for her family members. By chance, she came across our job posting on Indeed, when we were in need of caregivers. Jenell wasted no time in applying, and we were thrilled to hire her on March 3rd. On the very same day, we provided her with Care Academy assignments to enhance her existing knowledge and skills. Jenell excelled in these modules and immediately began working with clients at triage level 1. As she gained more experience and confidence, Jenell became capable of serving any client we had. Her unwavering positive attitude and determination to continuously learn and improve bring a refreshing energy to our team. Recently, she made the decision to turn healthcare into a long-term career rather than just a job. However, there was a small hurdle she needed to overcome – completing her GED before being accepted into a CNA program. Once Jenell accomplishes this, there will be no stopping her!

Joy Otieno

My name is Joy, and I am a senior in college. Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to become a nurse. I initially started working as a caregiver to get patient care experience. Over the past two years that I have worked as a caregiver, I have had many wonderful experiences meeting new people and helping take care of them in their homes. It brings me happiness to be there to help another person in whichever way that I can. Being there to support clients and families who are going through a difficult time is one of the greatest privileges.

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing with minors in Community Health and Psychology at Bethel University. I am graduating in May 2024. After graduation, I plan on working as a neuroscience nurse. I am grateful for this scholarship because it will allow me to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse.

Juanna Elliot

My name is Juanna Elliott, I’ve been a caregiver for a while now since taking care of my mom. She was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia since I’ve been young and as I got older I’ve seen the pain that she had to endure, she’s been in and out of the hospital for years. Yes I’ve had multiple jobs, but being a caregiver was the best. I’ve had a couple of jobs being a caregiver and I knew I wanted to be more, that’s when CNA came to mind. I love meeting new people and taking care of them as well, I’ve been working with Griswold for 2 years now and I love being apart of they family.

Kezia Subuabe

Kezia is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware who has shown a commitment to community service and a passion for healthcare throughout her academic journey. Over the past four years, she dedicated her time to volunteer work with various organizations, including the blood bank, food bank, and more recently, Lori's Hands. Her major in medical diagnostics not only provided her with a deeper understanding of disease patterns, diagnostics, and therapy but also added to her interest in positively impacting healthcare. Kezia's knowledge, shaped by her travel experience in Ghana and a minor in global health, has provided her with valuable insights into healthcare practices beyond the United States. Volunteering specifically with Lori's Hands has been a transformative experience for Kezia, it deepened her empathy and understanding of individuals living with chronic diseases. This exposure has also increased her awareness of the complexities within the healthcare system. Receiving the Jean Griswold scholarship is an honor for Kezia, and it will be a great stepping stone to further her education in the healthcare field. She aims to use this scholarship to expand her skillset and further her education to make a meaningful addition to the healthcare community.

Kristina Ebilane

I was born in the Philippines, and moved to the United States with my family back in 2010 when I was 8 years old. Ever since I was little, I have always been interested in the medical field, and in high school, I decided to go into the nursing field for my career. I grew up with my grandparents and helped take care of them for many years—driving my grandfather to his dialysis appointments and helping my grandmother bathe. I knew helping my grandparents in little ways brought smiles in their faces and made a small difference in their daily activities. To be frank, they are one of my inspirations in finishing my studies. I always remind myself the purpose of my grandfather bringing us to the U.S.— to have a better education. I owe it to my grandparents and the rest of my family to finish school and give them a better life that they

deserve. This scholarship will greatly help my parents financially to pay for my textbooks and other resources I need for nursing school like my uniform. And most importantly it will help me pursue my dreams.

Kyarah Jackson

My name is Kyarah Jackson ,I’m 19 years old and I grew up in a small town called Elmira in New York. I now live in Georgia and it’s been almost 6 years. I love cats as well as being around the people I love. I am currently a student at South College enrolled in 2.5 year RN program along with working at Griswold and learning more about the healthcare field.

Peggy Elms

Peggy Elms is a proud Mother of 2, Grandmother of 7, and semi-retired. She started caregiving 10 years ago. After completing medical assistance courses, she vowed to take care of everyone like they were her parents after being unable to care for her own at the time of their passing, 25 years ago. Peggy loves helping others and their families transition into a new phase of their lives with dignity and honor. Peggy has been recognized as a caregiver with a gift in loving her patients as if they were family. It is an honor to receive this scholarship to show you are never too young or old to learn and achieve new things.

Thank you for the privilege to represent you in my new adventure.

Shawna Lee

I am so humbled and gracious to be a recipient of the Griswold Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship will bring to fruition my goal of serving our most vulnerable and marginalized communities. This social work degree will open up doors that I no longer have to knock down, but proudly walk through with authority. Thank you for this precious gift, your efforts do not go unnoticed.

Suzy Osborne

Hi, my name is Suzy Osborne. I reside in Phoenix Arizona with my two beautiful cats and my wonderful roommate. I love everything about being a caregiver especially the hard days because they help me learn more about myself as well as my clients. I grew up in southern California and have lived in Arizona for about 18 years, I have been caregiving in Total for about 6 to 7 years and have been with 😊GRISWOLD foundation for three years. When I’m not working, I am usually painting cooking or spending time with my cats. During my time, as a caregiver, I have learned to grow mentally as well as show myself I can do hard things and that success is possible. I hope to continue my education with my new college UEI to get my CMA license and Work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital or Banner health.

Tracy Grubbs

I have always put others before myself, I cared for my mommy until she passed, I cared for my uncle until he passed, i am caring for my auntie who is 102 years old, and working part time. I

always love caring for people, it's not easy but it's worth it, knowing I have made their last days happy.

This gift is nothing of myself, it's all to glorify God, because without Him I am nothing, with God I have strength to continue on no matter what.

This scholarship is a blessing and it is giving me an opportunity to further my education to become a CNA and to continue to go forward helping others.

Never give up on yourself, believe, have faith and trust God.

Vlad Pavlykha

I have been a caregiver for over ten years. I currently work as a hospice home health aide. I believe that end of life is as important as the beginning of life, and that every patient facing this difficult milestone should be treated with dignity and respect. I strive to provide excellent care to my patients and I am proud to be able to make a difference in people's lives.

This scholarship will help me greatly to ease the burden of financing my education and bring me closer to achieving my goal of becoming a registered nurse. Once I get my RN license, I plan to continue working in hospice and help bring awareness of the importance and accessibility of this field to terminally ill patients.

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

Andrea Coulter, Chandler, AZ

I’m Andrea, and I’m originally from Boston and have lived in AZ almost 20 years. I have been a caregiver for 14 years. 2 years of that with the Griswold office. Caring for others is a true passion of mine. I have cared for many families, staying close to and in touch with many of them after the care needs have ended. I have wanted to go to school for many years, but couldn’t, due to being a single mother. Now I am pursing my CNA and then in the future I will apply for LPN school. I love putting smiles on clients’ faces and helping them with day-to-day tasks. It warms my heart to know I am making a difference in the lives of others.

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Claudia Estrada, Bridgeport, CT

I have been working as a caregiver for over 22 years and have been with Griswold for 20 of those years! For many years I cared for my mother with cystic fibrosis and realized that caregiving was a true passion of mine. I will use this scholarship to further my education in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

"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!"

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Casey Hart, Worton, MD

Through many trials and tribulations, I have kept pushing due to all the support and love from others which I am very grateful for. I am truly blessed and honored to be a part of the Griswold family. With this scholarship I hope to make not only my family proud but also my Griswold family proud and become the RN I have always wanted to be. Thank you for this opportunity to make my dreams come true.

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Emily Lewi, Mesa, AZ

12 years working in the field of caregiving street smarts can only get you so far. 7 years with Griswold I have figured out that street smarts can only take you so far and this is the main reason that I want to get my CNA certification. I am able to accomplish this amazing goal with the support I have gotten with Griswold and the scholarship offered to me. With this amazing gift I will shine brighter than I have ever done before. I am actually humbled by receiving this scholarship, and I will not take it for granted and show myself and the people I care about that I can and will succeed. Others that work in my field can accomplish what I have by being hardworking, caring, and most of all have a passion for the profession.

“I just 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.”

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Cora Lacy, Denver, CO

My name is Cora, I was born and raised in Colorado and have worked in healthcare for over 5 years now. I have worked with a variety of different populations and fields ranging from geriatric, developmentally disabled, I’ve dipped my toes into renal care & nephrology work, and of course here at Griswold as a caregiver. Each experience was and is unique and has further pushed me to achieve my nursing degree.

On my down time, I enjoy trying new breweries and restaurants, and most of all just being with my dog.

As far as my future goes, I’d like to start out as a nurse in a burn or dermatology unit and move into aesthetics. Traveling is also something I wanted to be able to with my job as well, and once I have gotten myself secure in the role as a nurse and some experience under my belt I hope to travel, even beyond the US to help others who may be lacking sufficient healthcare.

“First and foremost, I am filled with gratitude to have received this scholarship, every bit of help and encouragement while in school keeps the fire burning hotter and brighter until we reach our finish line.”

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Valerie Meombe Mbolle, Tampa, FL

My name is Valerie and I aspire to become a nurse. The scholarship will assist me in purchasing essential nursing equipment and supplies, such as a stethoscope, scrubs, and clinical tools. These items are vital for my education and will enable me to actively participate in laboratory sessions and clinical rotations.

Also, I intend to allocate a portion of the scholarship towards practical experiences, such as volunteering in healthcare settings or joining student organizations related to nursing. These opportunities will allow me to gain hands-on experience, improve my communication skills, and develop a deeper understanding of patient care. In addition to my personal growth, I aim to utilize a portion of the scholarship to contribute to my community through healthcare outreach programs, such as medical missions and providing health education to underserved population.

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Sarah Jalloh, Alexandria, VA

My name is Sarah Jalloh. I’m a student at Chamberlain University. I’m presently studying RN -BSN program. As a nurse, I am passionate about providing compassionate and quality care to patients. I believe in the power of education and continuous learning to enhance my skills and knowledge in healthcare. With this scholarship, I hope to further my education and acquire advanced training that will enable me to make a greater impact in patient care, contribute to research and innovation in the field, and ultimately improve healthcare outcomes for individuals and communities.

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Bettina “Tina” Conde, Medford, MA

I am deeply grateful for the support your foundation has provided not only for me but to aspiring nurses in general. By investing in my education, you are not only investing in my future but also contributing to the advancement of healthcare and the betterment of society. I am committed to honoring your trust by striving for excellence in my academic pursuits and clinical practice.

I hope that one day, I will be able to give back to the nursing community and support future generations of aspiring nurses, just as you have done for me. Your generosity has inspired me to pay it forward and make it a positive impact in the lives of others.

“Once again, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for choosing me as one of your recipients for your Nursing scholarship. Your belief in my abilities and potential has given me an incredible boost of motivation and encouragement. I am truly honored to be associated with your esteemed organization and will carry this recognition with pride throughout my nursing career. “

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Dominic Sardegna , Tampa, FL

Hi, my name is Dominic and I have been a CNA for the past five years, dedicating my time and energy towards making the lives of my dear elderly patients easier, healthier, and more fulfilled overall. With the generosity provided by the Jean Griswold foundation, I will be able to continue my nursing education whilst maintaining my current clients and those to come. I am very grateful for this opportunity and hope to further my contributions to the elderly and healthcare communities.

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Sydney Brown, Edmond, OK

My name is Sydney Brown and I have been working as a CNA for 2 years now, beginning right after I graduated high school. I knew long before my high school graduation that I wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner. This job just verified my dream. I have just recently graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Redlands Community College. I will now use this scholarship to help me continue my education at UCO to get my bachelors in nursing.

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Renee Kemp, Washington, DC

Since 2010, I have worked in the healthcare and education related sectors.

Currently I am a Certified Nursing Assistant and Geriatric Nursing Assistant in the state of Maryland. I work at John Hopkins Medicine Suburban Hospital as a Patient Care Technician I. I am also a student at University of the District of Columbia.

This scholarship will help me fulfill my dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. I want to support people as they heal and recover from their illness. I want my patients to feel loved when they are in my care, so they can focus on getting better.

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Ke’Erra Hughes, Fridley, MN

My name is Ke’Erra. I’m a 23-year-old, single mommy- who has just finished an Associate’s Degree of Science in Human Services. My personality is fueled by an unyielding passion for knowledge and a burning desire to make meaningful impacts in vulnerable communities. For this upcoming fall semester, I will major in Human Services Administration & Leadership and minor in Organizational & Industrial Psychology. My long-term goals are to create a nonprofit organization that will provide assistance and shelter to battered women and vulnerable senior adults. Receiving this scholarship will not only help me better afford my education, but as a mom it helps me set foundation towards paving boundless possibilities for my kids’ future.

“As a professional, this scholarship overwhelms me with excitement about moving forward in my career to advocate and better serve both communities in need.”

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Oumou Nabe, Plano, TX

My name is Oumou Nabe, I'm from Guinea in West Africa. I'm a mother of one. I'm also a full time Caregiver. I'm truly excited to have been selected for the opportunity that the company has given me. I hope to improve my knowledge and still help those who need me. And thanks to the Foundation, my dream of nursing others will truly become a reality. I want to thank the staff for considering me and congratulate those who were also selected. Thank you, From the bottom of my heart.

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Anne Rosales, San Antonio, TX

I have worked in the Healthcare field since 2010.

I enjoyed each role I have had, which has allowed me the opportunity to learn different things and has lead me to my next goal.

I plan to use the scholarship to obtain an AAS in Community Health. I want to make a difference in the community I work in.

I am excited to embark on this next chapter in my life. I will have my three amazing daughters by my side rooting mama on.

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Jasmine Ramirez, Medford, MA

I’m in my junior year in nursing school.

First job was working in a nursing home when I was 15yrs old that sparked my interest in being one that services others. Worked in the caregiver role as a PCA, a volunteer in the community, a Case worker, and a hospital tech for the last 15+ years. All roles helped me to learn more about myself as I gained additional knowledge, skills, and experience.

to being a better caregiver, that would better serve me as a great future nurse.

With this scholarship, it will help me to achieve both my educational and career goals, by granting me the time back to myself and to refocus on my academic studies by lowering the amount of hours I would have needed to work in order to pay for my school tuition.

“Truly, thank you to the Jean Griswold Foundation for this opportunity and believing in my future, but most importantly in me!”

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Teresa Vaughan, Sacramento, CA

I started my healthcare journey as a senior in high school, where I got my CNA for my senior project. I have since been a dialysis technician for six years while working on my prerequisites for nursing school. I knew from a young age that I wanted to help care for people. Watching my brother get brain surgery at UCSF and the way the nurses cared for him cemented in me my desire to want to be a nurse. I got into nursing school in May of 2022, and I will graduate in August of 2024. This scholarship means the world to me as it will help me in my goal of becoming an RN.

“It is so humbling to be able to take care of my clients and the Jean Griswold Foundation helps individuals continue that journey. You have no idea how much I appreciate this scholarship! “

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Elizabeth Fowler, East Moline, IL

I am Elizabeth, a recent high school graduate from UTHS in East Moline, IL. I received my CNA through a dual credit ECHO (Extended Campus Health Occupation) program. My future career choice is to become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse for a Children's Hospital (preferably St. Jude). This scholarship will provide me the opportunity to gain more education and experience and someday be able to impact the lives of patients and their families.

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Kristofer Atkinson, San Antonio, TX

As a candidate selected for the scholarship, I am overjoyed at the opportunity to further my education. I came to the Griswold home healthcare company in search of Part- time employment to help supplement my professional Seminary journey. Prior to Joining the Griswold team, I work full-time as a chaplain for Texas department of criminal justice. When I joined with the Griswold Team, I joined a family that cared and time to fully invest in my needs as an employee. During my tenure with the company, I have been afforded many opportunities to continue my ministry calling as well as duties I have a while serving my local parish as an associate Minister. As a recipient of these prestigious scholarship, I look forward to furthering my education by pursuing Certification in clinical Pastoral education. It is my belief that this additional certification will assist me in better caring for our diverse clientele. I look forward to continuing to serve both my Griswold family as well as my community as I pursue my educational goals.

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Who We Help & Why

The Struggles Seniors & People With Disabilities Face

Simple, everyday tasks that we take for granted are much more difficult for seniors and people with disabilities. Tasks like cooking and grocery shopping become difficult or impossible, and the act of eating itself may require assistance. Bathing, using the bathroom, personal hygiene, and doing laundry can often times be challenging when movement is restricted.

Preventative measures also need to be taken to prevent falling, bedsores, and wheelchair-related pressure sores. A major part of our grant consideration is based on if the nonprofit provides solutions to these problems.

In addition to physical health, seniors and people with disabilities are at higher risk for depression, loneliness, anxiety, and sleep-related disorders. Remembering to pay bills and keep finances in order can also become difficult.

Forgetting to take medications or to take too much of a medication by accident is common as people age. Therefore, medication reminders become important to avoid accidental overdoses and stay on a care plan.

Testimonials
  • "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 β€œTina” 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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