Ceildgh Belavich received scholarships that made it easier for her to enroll in the nursing program at Terra State Community College. The recognition also gave her a boost in confidence that has carried her through.

Belavich will be graduating this May with an Associate in Nursing degree but she and many of her classmates are looking to pay it forward with a new scholarship fund for current and future students in the program.

“Getting scholarships was a huge deal to me,” the Sandusky resident said. “You were chosen from a whole group of people and you’re a top student if you do get a scholarship so it means a lot.”

Last fall, Belavich and the other officers of the Terra State Student Nurse’s Association (SNA) decided they wanted to find a way to give back to the program and the profession.

“We wanted to give back to student nurses,” she said. “There are a lot of scholarships but we wanted to have one specifically for students at Terra State.”

So Anne Libben, Velora Justice, Jessica Salisbury and Belavich sat down with officials from the Terra College Foundation to set up the qualifications for the scholarship. To apply, a student must be a nursing student, an active member of the SNA, complete community service and submit an essay.

Now all of the paperwork has been completed and they are ready to accept applications. Three new officers – Ashlea Harper, Stephanie Stevens and Morgan Beck – have joined Belavich in the process and will be reviewing the applications.

They hope to award at least two scholarships for Fall 2017.

“We’ve all been there and we know what it’s like,” Harper, of Fremont, said. “Giving back is the biggest part of nursing; giving to each other and helping your community.”

SNA members will use a variety of fund-raisers to support the scholarship fund.

Stevens, also a Fremont resident, sees the scholarship as an opportunity to bring together first- and second-year students which can be difficult because of various schedules.

“It brings all of the classes together. It gives us something to work for and to be a part of,” she said. “Also, it gives people initiative to do better in classes and to strive to be the best.”

For more information on the nursing scholarship, call the Terra College Foundation at 419-559-2362.