The pandemic has brought to light the amazing strength, grit, determination and compassion that nurses need.
The late Kristin Runyon, who was a nurse at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, embodied all of those characteristics. Now, three local nursing students have received scholarships in memory of Kristin as they work to continue the tradition of compassionate care.
Katelyn Hottle of Chambersburg, Hannah Colvin of Hagerstown and Amber Brindle of Mercersburg were recently awarded the Kristin Runyon Memorial Scholarship to support their nursing education.
"This scholarship means more to me than words can describe", said Katelyn, who is enrolled in The Pennsylvania State University’s general B.S.N. degree program. "I cannot thank the award committee enough for their kindheartedness in awarding me with this scholarship."
Katelyn was inspired to become a nurse by her grandmother who was also a nurse. "Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of being someone who makes a difference in the lives of others in a positive way," she added.
"This is a time of great uncertainty; therefore, it is crucial that there are dedicated people to serve the community, and I aspire to be one of them," she said.
For Hannah, the desire to pursue a nurse also came naturally; her mother is a nurse at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital. Hannah always had the passion and desire to provide care and comfort to people since she was a little girl.
The COVID-19 pandemic inspired Hannah.
"COVID-19 has shown the character of nurses. We have a country that was told to stay home but nurses still came to work to provide the care and comfort needed," she said. "It's truly inspiring to see how much nurses genuinely care."
Hannah is currently enrolled in Waynesburg University’s B.S.N. nursing program and will graduate in May 2021.
"It's such an honor to get this award," she said. "Thank you to everyone that supports and donates to the scholarship and makes it possible to support students financially and honor Kristin's memory."
Amber also felt honored and blessed to be selected as a recipient for the Kristin Runyon Memorial Scholarship.
"The fund that the Runyon family has created is helping young nursing students fulfill their dreams and I am no exception," she said.
Amber was inspired to become a nurse when her grandfather was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2009. She spent a lot of time in hospitals and rehabilitation centers which?allowed her to see the love and compassion of nurses at first hand. She currently is enrolled in Penn State Mont Alto’s BSN Nursing program with plans to graduate in May 2022.
"Most of all, I am doing this for my?Pappy. I want to make him proud," Amber added.
When asked about entering this profession during a pandemic, she said, "I'm excited and honored to be working towards being a part of the solution to this overwhelming problem."
About the scholarship
The scholarship was created in memory of Runyon for students enrolled full-time in a registered nurse education program. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 2.8 and live in Franklin County or the surrounding area.
"Kristin was a vibrant, intelligent and talented RN whose compassionate spirit and engaging personality touched many lives," said Barb Runyon, Kristin Runyon’s mother who helps to spearhead the scholarship committee. "Of the many high caliber applicants, Amber Brindle, Hannah Colvin and Katelyn Hottle?were selected for scholarship award.? These candidates possess the qualities and attributes of professionalism, compassion, servant leadership and passion for nursing that best represent Kristin's qualities and legacy of compassionate care."
Applications for the 2021 scholarship are available from at the Summit Health Foundation Office or online at https://www.summithealth.org/runyon-scholarship.
Applicants should submit a cover letter, scholarship application, official transcript, one academic and one clinical letter of reference to the Summit Health Foundation Office, 785 Fifth Avenue, or email@example.com.