Berrien Community Foundation to give away nursing scholarships

BERRIEN COUNTY — It takes a lot to be a nurse – time, talent and compassion. Mark and Jean Penwell wanted to be a part of helping those who have that passion fulfill their dreams through the F.A. Mason Penwell Scholarship for nursing. The scholarship fund established at the Berrien Community Foundation will provide two $1,500 nursing scholarships each year.

“We have all been impacted by nurses,” Mark said. “They touch people’s lives at such a vulnerable time.  They are the people we see every day.  They play such an important role – hospitals, home care, traveling nurses – and we want to contribute to that.”

All BCF scholarship applications are now available online. The Berrien Community Foundation has sought to help students achieve their college goals for more than 20 years. From engineering to teaching to music, the foundation has scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors and adults returning to school.

Students are encouraged to visit berriencommunity.org/scholar for a complete list of available scholarships, and criteria. Applications are due March 4. For questions about scholarships contact Program Manager Susan Matheny at susanmatheny@berriencommunity.org or by calling (269) 983-3304 ext. 2.

“Last year we awarded $199,500 in scholarships to Berrien County students” said Berrien Community Foundation Program Manager Susan Matheny. “Scholarships are available for graduating seniors and adults returning to school after a gap. We even have a handful of scholarships for students outside of Berrien County.”

The scholarship is named for Mark’s mother, Frances Abbie Mason Penwell, who was an artist and teacher.

“She believed in the professions, getting a good education and being well-rounded,” Mark said.

Jean’s mom had always wanted to be a nurse. But in the early 1940’s, she was forced to leave school with just three months to go when the administration discovered she was married. 

“You couldn’t be married and be a nurse or a teacher at that time,” Jean said. “My mom always held nurses in such high regard.”

Jean and Mark, both Whirlpool retirees, have lived in St. Joseph for most of their lives and are happy to be able to give something back.

“We can do something here because we have a local college with great expertise, and we have Lakeland that needs great nurses,” Mark said. “We are just glad to be able to pay it forward to the next generation.”

Setting up the scholarship through the Berrien Community Foundation made the process easy, Jean added. “We are happy to know we can hand it off to Berrien Community Foundation and know it is all taken care of and will continue on,” Jean said.

Lake Michigan College, with its long-accredited nursing program, is grateful for the support for the nursing students.

“The Berrien Community Foundation has a long legacy of supporting education in our community, and this new scholarship opportunity is a perfect example of that,” said LMC President, Dr. Trevor Kubatzke. “We are thrilled to have one more opportunity through this scholarship to help train the next generation of caregivers.”

The goal of the Berrien Community Foundation is to connect needs with resources in our community. Working with individuals, corporations and other foundations, BCF creates endowments and other funds that support the ever-changing needs of Berrien County now and into the future. BCF’s Community Endowment and field of interest funds, and donor advised funds have provided funding to support a wide variety of services and agencies for over 65 years. For more information on the Berrien Community Foundation visit its  website at BerrienCommunity.org or call BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey at (269) 983-3304.

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community

Berrien County

MDHHS extends epidemic order, strengthens mask requirement for children

Buchanan

Buchanan District Library awarded American Library Association grant

Dowagiac

SMC Board of Trustees prepares for Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation visit

Cass County

Cass County votes to engage Kalamazoo studio for Cass County Historic Courthouse services

Berrien County

Buchanan graduate now Berrien County prosecuting attorney

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs Office welcomes new leadership

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce hosting monthly giveaways

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 770,822 cases, 16,731 deaths

Dowagiac

No danger found following lockdown at DUHS

News

Berrien County Public Defender’s Office to increase staff

Berrien County

Buchanan man named 911 Telecommunicator of the Year

Dowagiac

Dowagiac man arrested for possession of meth

Education

Niles teacher accused of assault pleads not guilty

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: April 7-13

Berrien County

LMC to host virtual career, program expo for prospective students

Dowagiac

Dowagiac woman to compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ 2021 Tournament of Champions

Business

Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon-tying ceremonies for two new businesses

Dowagiac

Four arrested in Dowagiac drug search

Berrien County

Niles city, DART consider south county expansion