More than 100 Awards Provided Since 2005
Through a scholarship fund established by the Board of County Commissioners for St. Marys County in 2005, St. Marys County recipients attending the College of Southern Maryland have had their higher education costs eased. From an initial gift of $50,000 with half used to establish an endowment and the other half to establish the annual scholarship fund, the commissioners have continued to provide $25,000 to the CSM Foundation every year since, with a portion funding the endowment to ensure future scholarships as well as a portion supporting the annual scholarships. To date, more than 100 awards totaling more than $100,000 have been provided.
When CSM nursing student and scholarship recipient Kathy Nasman of Lexington Park prepared to thank the board of St. Marys County Commissioners Dec. 1 at their monthly meeting, she didnt anticipate becoming emotional. But as she reached the point in her remarks when she spoke of fulfilling her lifelong dream to become a nurse, her voice cracked and her eyes welled with tears. Nasmans appreciation and words of gratitude for the scholarship award she received from St. Marys County Government tugged at the commissioners heartstrings, too.
This is what its all about, Commissioner President Francis Jack Russell told fellow commissioners, CSM administration and students gathered at CSMs Leonardtown Campus. At a reception held for recipients later that morning, Russell, who benefited from a $500 delegate scholarship while attending the University of Maryland, said that when communities get involved in helping to fund education, it shows students that people are willing to invest in their futures. Ninety-two percent of students who start at a community college, return to that community after completing their bachelors degree, said Russell. By funding CSM students, he said, the community is investing in people who will stay in the county, become successful, and add to the tax base.
Nasman, a military spouse and a mother of four boys ages 15, 11, 7 and 4, is in her second semester as a nursing student, participating in clinical training at Southern Maryland Hospital Center. She has rotated through the emergency room and operating room and finds it exciting to apply classroom theory to real-life situations.
As we approach the holiday season we want to give thanks to not only our families but also to the commissionersyouve been generous to us, CSM President Brad Gottfried said of the support CSMs St. Marys students receive. Thank you for making college affordable for our students. You are making a difference, he told the St. Marys County Commissioners.
When you are a friend and supporter of CSM you understand the importance of this college to the regional workforce and the economic vitality of the region, said CSM Foundation Chair Greg Cockerham, an alumnus and executive vice president of Community Bank of Tri-County. Without this support, and that of the Board of County Commissioners for St. Marys County, it would have been impossible to provide the support that our students so desperately need.
It really warms your heart when you read the stories of our students who are asking for help. For instance, the 23-year-old who has spent the last six years caring for her sister who has just started kindergarten so that their mother could work two jobs in order to support these two daughters. Without your scholarship, this 23-year-old student would never have been able to afford college, said Cockerham. Or, the 19-year-old who lost his mom to breast cancer 10 years ago, and has lived alone with his dad ever since. He worked more than 40 hours a week in food services, and has volunteered at a local reading camp for children. Or the 37-year-old mother who is caring for a husband battling cancer and is using your scholarship to pursue her degree in nursing so that she can become an oncology nurse.
Phillip Riordan of St. Marys City told commissioners of the difference the scholarship award has made in his life. Im that student whose mother died from breast cancer when I was 10. The money that you gave me has allowed me to cut back on my work hours in order to devote more time to my upper-level studies, Riordan said.
Scholarships awarded by St. Marys County Government, by academic year, are:
2009-10 Scholarship Recipients
Kathy Ann Nasman
Stephanie Ann Scott
2008-09 Scholarship Recipients
2007-08 Scholarship Recipients
2006-07 Scholarship Recipients
2005-06 Scholarship Recipients
To apply for the St. Marys County Government Scholarship, visit the CSM Online Scholarship Finder at http://www.csmd.edu/financial/scholarships/. For information on scholarships and financial aid assistance at CSM, call 301-934-7531 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7531. For information on the CSM Foundation, visit www.csmd.edu/Foundation/. To view scholarship recipients remarks to St. Marys County Commissioners, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/CSMDTube#p/a/u/0/e3YOJq5CzmM.
A regionally accredited community college that provides programs and services with a special focus on local workforce development to maintain and grow a healthy economy and community, the College of Southern Maryland is a two-time silver level recipient of the Maryland Performance Excellence Award. CSM, founded in 1958, is the fifth largest community college in Maryland with campuses in Calvert, Charles and St. Marys counties. For information about CSM, call 301-934-7765 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7765 or visit www.csmd.edu.
SIDEBAR: Kathy Nasman remarks to St. Marys County Commissioners
I am Kathy Nasman, a nursing student at the College of Southern Maryland and the recipient of a St. Marys County Government scholarship. Id like to share with you a little about my journey to becoming a registered nurse.
For the last 15 years, I have been a stay-at-home mom and the proud wife of a military man. We have moved from one coast to the other in support of his career. While raising my four sons has been the biggest blessing of my life, I have always had a dream. That dream was to work in the nursing field. When we were transferred to PAX River three years ago, and found out that we would be stationed in the area for several years, I decided that it was time to realize that dream and I returned to school. While it has been a ch