Nursing students receive $1,000 grants

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

NATCHEZ — Christmas came early for some local nursing students in the form of grants of $1,000 each from a private California foundation.

The Boyne Foundation, based in Loma Linda, Calif., recently sent a check for $5,000 to Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez for grants to five students in the Practical Nursing Program.

The money will be processed through the private Co-Lin Foundation, which coordinates grants and scholarships for students and staff.

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The grants were arranged by local businessman Mike Thompson, who had lived and worked for many years in California and is a friend of the foundation’s creator, renowned researcher and physician Dr. Phillip J. Boyne. They met again recently when Thompson returned to California for a visit. Boyne explained to Thompson that the Boyne Foundation was started in part to financially help nursing students in rural communities.

Thompson said he informed Boyne about nursing programs at Co-Lin and Alcorn State University’s Natchez campus and Boyne agreed to help.

Ten Alcorn students have received grants of $1,000 each as well. Thompson said the Boyne Foundation many have sufficient funds to continue grants to local students and even add to the amount already sent to Natchez.

Nursing student Rachel Primm said, “I am completely grateful for the scholarship. I cannot express the feeling of joy at having learned that I was a recipient of the money. It will be very beneficial for me just having these funds.

“It was a blessing that was sent to me and it came at exactly the right time.”

“I was very surprised and happy to receive this grant. When the teacher came in and was telling us about the grant I was sitting in class wishing that I could receive this grant, and when she called my name I could have jumped out of the seat,” said student Shameka Wilson.

“I was just so overwhelmed with joy. I just thank the Lord for blessing me with receiving the grant. I then rushed out to call all of my family and friends.

“This grant means a lot to me because I really need the extra help. I can focus more on my studies without having to worry about knowing if I will have enough funds to pay for my education.”

Student Stephanie Witherspoon was one of the recipients.

“I am greatly appreciative. Receiving this grant means so much to me,” she said. “It has help to ease the burden of coming up with funds.

“I really want to say thank you for the kindness and generosity extended to me.”

Grace Shannon was another recipient.

“I feel very fortunate to have received this scholarship. A lot of people deserved it and to be one of the ones that received it I am very honored.”

A Navy veteran, Boyne has been honored by numerous medical journals and organizations.

He has extensive experience as a medical researcher, particularly in the fields of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Thompson said that Boyne had selected aid to nursing students in rural areas as one of his high priorities.