VC nursing scholarship paid forward to aid other students

Adona Michalec, a 2011 vocational nursing graduate

A financial award to help a Victoria College vocational nursing student has snowballed into a pass-it-on scholarship idea assisting several subsequent nursing students in Hallettsville.

The process began at Appreciation Night at VC's Zelda L. Allen School of Nursing in Hallettsville, an annual event attended by VC officials, area scholarship donors, Hallettsville nursing students and their families. During this occasion, scholarships are presented to the students, and three students are invited to read their "My Story" essays. Every student at the school receives at least one scholarship.

Adona Michalec, a 2011 vocational nursing graduate, received a $1,200 scholarship awarded at Appreciation Night. That financial boost came at just the right moment and sparked within her a desire to help others.

"I said that when I start working and making money, I want to help someone else just the way I was helped," Michalec said.

Michalec, now a licensed vocational nurse working part time at Shiner Nursing and Rehabilitation, wanted the recipient to be someone serious about the work with a good bedside manner and who needed the financial help.

She selected nursing student Anna Frazer, who initially sought out Michalec to buy her secondhand books, along with her jacket and bags.

"I really liked her," Michalec said of Frazer. "We talked for two hours and hit it off. I could see her struggles."

"Just before I entered the program, I called the college and asked if any of the students who were about to graduate wanted to sell any of their books," Frazer said. "Adona came to my home and delivered the books. We chatted and became friends."

During her time as a student, Frazer caught the "pass-it-on" spirit and decided to help not just one but two nursing students: Misty Falcon and Stephanie Young.

"I called the school and asked who was high on the list as far as grades," Frazer recalled. "I picked a student nurse that I knew from my work who was a nurse aide. I split my scholarship between two people to help more than one person."

Michalec said she was pleased Frazer took her idea and passed the scholarship to others.

"I was so happy when I heard that," she said. "It blows me away. I am thankful I was able to give and that others are able to give."

Frazer graduated in 2012 and now works as a Licensed Vocational Nurse at Stevens Nursing and Rehabilitation in Hallettsville.

Falcon, the third link in the pass-it-on scholarship chain, had worked with Frazer as a nurse aide in Yoakum. She now works as an LVN at the Hallettsville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

For more information on how to offer financial support, contact the Victoria College Foundation at 361- 582-2574 or email supportvc@VictoriaCollege.edu.