Leading by Giving

Scholarship Recipients
Your gift to support scholarships inspires all of us at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Scholarships enable us to compete for the best students, like Cara Beth, Matthew and Shanita, by removing the financial challenge that many face when applying, enrolling, and working toward their dreams of becoming nurses.

Share Your Story & Plan a Visit

We love to hear from our scholarship donors and to recognize your personal motivation for supporting our students. To share your story about why you give or to plan a visit click here.

Donor Highlight

Read about one donor's impact on our students through the Adopt-A-Scholar program here.

Learn More About Our Scholarship Recipients

Cara Beth Rogers

Cara Beth Rogers 17BSN of Seattle wants to care for those whose shame keeps them from seeking necessary health care, such as IV drug users and homeless people. "My goal in nursing is to do my best to reduce or get rid of that shame, because it influences whether someone even sees us for care," says Cara Beth, who is in the accelerated BSN program. She is working with Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health to integrate sexual health assessment into the first semester health course for all Emory students.

"Thank you for investing in this school, in this profession, and in me. You truly have changed my life."

Click here for full biography.

Matthew Valante

Working in community health in Los Angeles, Matthew Valante 17BSN 18MSN saw that refugees, immigrants, and patients from other cultures were vulnerable to missing out on health care. "It’s important to take care of those in need wherever they are, and I want to help bridge that gap," he says. That’s why he pursued rigorous academics and training here and participates in health care activism. Matthew plans to return to a community or rural clinic as a nurse practitioner, with a focus on helping people make positive life changes so they won’t need medical interventions.

"This scholarship allows me to achieve my dream. You inspire me to pay it forward. Thank you!"

Click here for full biography.

Shanita Webb

Shanita Webb 18DNP came to us already a leader, with a dozen years as an Air Force nurse practitioner. "Air Force nurses are officers, and what I am learning from my degree program I am applying every day in the military," says Shanita, who grew up near Emory, in Stone Mountain. Her doctorate will help her move from tactical leadership to strategic nursing leadership and position her to serve as a professor and dean after retiring from military duty. She also draws inspiration from Delta Sigma Theta sorority, whose members seek to attain the highest possible academic degree.

"You empower scholars like me to lead nurses who transform health care. Thank you!"

Click here for full biography.

Cara Beth Rogers 17BSN

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Previously attended University of Rochester with a degree in Public Health & French

Why do you want to be a nurse?
My parents are both in the medical profession, and I knew for a long time that healthcare was the field for me - I just couldn't figure out in what capacity I wanted to work. After exploring medicine, social work, nutrition, and psychotherapy, I realized that nursing was the exact career I'd been seeking all along. It combines my fascination with the human body, my curiosity with the impact of social and environmental surroundings on one's health, and a truly healing, caring relationship between the nurse and patient that is founded on therapeutic communication and critical thinking.

Why did you choose Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing?
I was looking for a school that had really active faculty that were accessible to students. I wanted to be able to learn from my professors, and it seemed like a lot of other nursing schools had faculty that weren't as available for student mentoring. I was also interested in exploring a new part of the United States, as I've lived in the Pacific Northwest, California, and upstate New York. Emory, and Atlanta, met all of these criteria!

What area of nursing most interests you?
I'm interested in harm reduction, reproductive health access and critical care, though I'd also like to explore emergency nursing and inpatient oncology. I'm looking forward to how many clinical rotations Emory offers, and the potential for a wide range of experiences!

Tell us about your leadership experience.
I was the Primary Care Coordinator at my most recent clinic, as well as leading training for newly-hired medical assistants. I'm currently involved in the Emory chapter of Nursing Students for Choice, a national activism organization for nursing students that centers on reproductive health access. I'm also interested in serving as a mentor in my second year particularly for students who have come to the South for the first time!

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I'm extremely proud of the work I did in San Francisco, both with Planned Parenthood and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Needle Exchange program. In these instances I consistently made sure I was evaluating and gently challenging my own boundaries, biases, and prejudices surrounding the populations who sought our care, and it is this mindset that I believe helped me fully find my passion for nursing. I feel accomplished in having pushed myself in these ways, and in moving across the country and diving into an accelerated BSN I feel like I'm continuing that journey of self-growth.

How has this scholarship affected you?
This scholarship has played a fundamental part in my ability to attend nursing school. Having worked in community health for the past few years, my soul is full, but my bank account is not. This scholarship has been an extraordinary gift to enable me to pursue my nursing dream. I'm able to focus on my assignments and readings without needing to fill those hours with part-time jobs, and because I didn’t have to find a job to work many hours, I was able to accept a 5-hour-a-week position with a professor at a community clinic that is stimulating, engaging, and really fun! Not having to focus on the financial aspect of employment is a tremendous privilege, and it is a result of this scholarship.

What message would you like to share with your donor?
I wish there were words to express my thanks! I worked for 3 years, taking prerequisite courses and gaining clinical experience, in order to go to nursing school. To have been unable to accept admission at Emory due to financial limitations would have been crushing, and without this scholarship it was a possibility. Thank you for investing in this school, in this profession, and in me. Thank you for helping facilitate something to which I have already committed years of my life - and something I look forward to continuing for many more. THANK YOU for this scholarship. You very, very truly changed my life.

What are your future nursing career plans?
I chose to pursue the Accelerate BSN program because I'm interested in working as an RN, both inpatient and outpatient, for a few years. I envision myself returning to school at some point in order to become a Nurse Practitioner, but my goals for the near future include admission to a Nurse Residency program followed by continuing to gain RN experience until I feel called to change my role.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for your unbelievable support. I promise I won't let you down!

Matthew Valante 17BSN 18MSN

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Previously attended UCLA with a degree in International Development

Why do you want to be a nurse?
I want to be a nurse because I appreciate the emphasis that the profession places on patient education. I believe in the power of prevention and hope to use my knowledge and skills to promote and maintain the health of vulnerable populations.

Why did you choose Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing?
I chose Emory for its reputation as an institution of rigor and academic excellence. I appreciated its location in an urban setting which I knew would provide a breadth and depth of learning experiences.

What area of nursing most interests you?
I am most interested in nutrition and management of chronic health conditions. As an aspiring Family Nurse Practitioner, I hope to help patients to improve their diets and incorporate more physical activity into their lives in order to treat their health conditions.

Tell us about your leadership experience.
At Emory, I look forward to getting involved in one or more social justice and/or advocacy groups. I'm still learning about the various opportunities available on campus, but am already interested in HSTAT (Health Students Taking Action Together). This is an organization I'd like to get involved with in the future.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Having come to Emory after working in community health, it would be hard to point to one single accomplishment. I think both my academic and professional preparation prepared me to join the School of Nursing. Having worked closely with patients over the past few years let me know that I wanted to play a bigger role in the healthcare of vulnerable populations. The experience I gained in that time gave me a clear direction of where I wanted to end up and continue to inspire me to achieve my goal.

How has this scholarship affected you?
The scholarship I've received is THE reason I'm attending Emory. Without my scholarship, I don't know that I would be here now. It's not only allowing me to achieve my dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner, but has also taken so much stress out of the process. Because of my scholarship, I'm able to focus on my studies rather than constantly worrying about the crippling debt of loans.

What message would you like to share with your donor?
Thank you so much for your support of me and others like me. Words truly cannot express my gratitude. Your generosity is allowing me to achieve my dreams and I can't envision how I would do it without the scholarship. I've never been in a position to make any considerable donation to my undergraduate institution in the past, but I'm inspired now to "pay it forward" after I graduate and establish myself. I've felt the blessing of receiving a life-changing scholarship and I want to ensure that students like me are able to experience the same thing for years to come.

What are your future nursing career plans?
My dream is to return to community health by working in a Federally Qualified Health Center, or similar community- or rural-based clinic. As a Nures Practitioner, I want to remove barriers to care for vulnerable populations and make the healthcare system a little more user friendly for those who come from other cultures and traditions. Furthermore, I hope to dedicate my practice to inspiring patients to make positive life changes that will maintain or improve their health without the need for medical interventions.

Shanita Webb 18DNP

Hometown: Stone Mountain, GA
Previously attended Florida A&M University with a degree in Bachelor in Nursing

Why do you want to be a nurse?
When I was 6 years old I was in love with the Cosby show, specifically the role of Dr. Huxtable as an Obstetrician. I knew I wanted to deliver babies. My parents signed me up to be a "candy striper" at Grady and I noticed how much more the nurses were at the bedside than the doctors and I was forever changed.

Why did you choose Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing?
Being a native of Atlanta, I've always known Emory University to have the best medical programs. I had an opportunity to participate in a nurse externship at Emory during my freshman year at college and that further solidified my thoughts. Lastly, as I was researching schools, I noticed an active duty military member also going through the program while serving. That showed me the program was military friendly and flexible with military members.

What area of nursing most interests you?
I am currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner so women's health is my most obvious interest.  After having served for over 12 years now, I am making a transition from tactical leadership to strategic leadership and have a passion for nurse mentoring, leadership and education.

Tell us about your leadership experience.
 I currently serve as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner in the United States Air Force at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. In this capacity I am the Sole Women's Health specialist in the facility and manage a population of 4,000. Additionally, I serve as the Medical Services Flight Commander, leading separate clinics (Immunizations, Pediatrics, Physical Therapy and Women's Health).

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I think serving abroad in Japan for two years broadened my horizons, challenged my cultural views and helped me to envision healthcare through a global lens.

How has this scholarship affected you?
I am currently attending school full time while working full time in a leadership position. Working an additional job is not an option. I would not have been able to attend Emory without the help of this scholarship!

What message would you like to share with your donor?
Words cannot express my gratitude to all of the donors who not only support my scholarship, but also the scholarships for the other students. Education is life-changing and empowers people to make the world a better place. Your contributions will ultimately change the lives of hundreds of scholars and have a direct impact on our ability to transform healthcare throughout the world. May God bless you all 100 fold!

What are your future nursing career plans?
In the next five years I hope to become a chief nurse with the end goal of eventually becoming the Chief Nurse of the Air Force. After I retire from the military, I hope to return to the classroom as a nursing professor and eventually a dean.