The Celebration Foundation’s new “Stairsteps to Nursing” scholarship works to fill the nursing gap in Florida.

According to a 2016 Orlando Sentinel article, there are 3,000 nursing jobs that are UNFILLED in Florida each month!

To help with this urgent shortage, Celebration Foundation created a new scholarship called “Stairsteps to Nursing.”

Working with our partners the Osceola School District, Osceola Technical College (oTECH), Valencia College, and AdventHealth Celebration, the scholarship will encourage students to get started in their nursing training.

On May 22nd, Celebration Foundation representatives attended an awards ceremony at St. Cloud High School to present the first two scholarships to two deserving and surprised students. Fatima Alishi and Justin Colon had no idea they were the scholarship recipients and they were both thrilled to receive a high-quality professional stethoscope to help them in their training.

For the Stairsteps to Nursing scholarship, the staff at oTECH will select a total of 10 students interested in becoming nurses, but who are prevented due to economic challenges. Celebration Foundation’s scholarship will allow these students to start their nurses training with little or no out of pocket costs. Our wonderful partners at AdventHealth will help the program by providing necessary health screenings.

Once these students complete their Practical Nursing program at oTECH (about 8 months), they can begin working in local healthcare fields— however, we will encourage them to continue their training by enrolling in Valencia College’s Registered Nurse program and begin their career as skilled nurses in local hospitals.

You may meet one of our scholarship recipients one day when they may be helping you and your healthcare needs.

This new scholarship is another way that your Foundation is working to foster education and healthcare professionals for our Osceola County community.