There’s a new Pensacola State scholarship that helps first-generation students become nurses. The Bonnie R. George Endowed Scholarship was announced at a Friday, April 7, press conference on the College’s Pensacola campus.
The scholarship will help nursing students as they pursue a degree, and the hope is with current nursing shortages, graduates could help meet current and future healthcare needs and challenges ─locally and nationwide.
The $22,500 scholarship was endowed through a family donation, matched by a $10,000 gift from Kathy Horton Brown and Ted Brown as part of the PSC Foundation’s Change Makers Program, which began in 2020 to develop and enhance scholarships.
To qualify for the Bonnie R. George Endowed Scholarship, students must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average, be a first-generation college student and show financial need.
The scholarship honors Bonnie R. George, a Pensacola Junior College (now Pensacola State College) alumna. George attended the College in the late 1960s and took business classes to earn a Professional Secretary certification.
She began her career at the University of Florida, later moving on to the U.S. District Court – Northern Florida District, U.S. Probation Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She also worked as a United Way 211 Case Management Specialist for two years.
George and her husband, Hal George, have supported the College since 1995.
Hal George serves on the PSC Foundation Board of Governors, the WSRE-TV Foundation Board and as the current chairman of the PSC Athletics Boosters.
“It is no surprise that Bonnie’s family chose to establish an endowed scholarship in her honor at PSC,’’ said Julie Sheppard, a PSC Board Trustee. “This scholarship, which bears Bonnie’s name, focuses on supporting first-generation nursing students right here in our area. We are truly proud of our nursing programs at the College, and we are excited for what is to come.”
Bonnie George’s daughter, Traci Pitre, son-in-law Circuit Judge Stephen Pitre, and other friends and colleagues attended the press conference.
“We love our communities on both sides of the bridge, and to know that the endowed scholarship will help nursing students into the future at Pensacola State College is truly a blessing,” Bonnie George said.
In 2022, donors to the PSC Foundation helped 1,066 students attend classes providing more than $895,000 in scholarships.
Pensacola State’s nursing programs are nationally recognized. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the online RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) Program as one of the best in Florida and the nation.
In December, 110 new nurses graduated from the College – 69 received an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, 21 earned a Career Certificate in Practical Nursing, and 20 earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.