Ventura College Foundation announces recipients of First Allied Health Scholarships

The 2019 Allied Health scholarship recipients were all smiles.

Ventura College students interested in careers in the medical and health fields received the first annual Allied Health Scholarship awards from the Ventura College Foundation at an April 13 ceremony at the college.

A total of $93,300 in scholarships were awarded to 42 students who are currently taking or plan on taking courses in the college’s Holistic Health Studies, Kinesiology Program, Paramedic Studies, Nursing Science, Certified Nursing Assistant or Emergency Medical Technology programs.

Now part of the Allied Health Scholarship umbrella, this is the 20th year that Paramedic Studies has been offered at Ventura College. Scholarships have been awarded to students in the program since its inception. Students who complete their course work receive a paramedic certification that meets state and national licensing requirements.

“Scholarship funds mean students don’t have to work extra shifts to pay monthly bills while in the program. This allows them to focus on their studies,” says Thomas O’Connor, Paramedic Studies Department Chair. “Having scholarships that cover the costs of the program and assist with living expenses has an immense impact on student success.”

Clarissa Swallows from Oxnard is one of this year’s scholarship winners. In fact, she received scholarships from two different donors. “The experience made me want to jump right into school and become a nurse,” says Swallow, now 38, “but I knew that I had to focus on emotional healing and building a stable life before I could manage going back to school.”

Seventy percent of California nurses receive their education at a California community college. Students who complete their Ventura College Nursing courses and become licensed enjoy a 100 percent employment rate and 86 percent of students attain a regional living wage. In existence for 55 years, Ventura College’s nursing program is the largest in the county, graduating the majority of the county’s nursing students.

Headed for a career in nursing is scholarship recipient Edward Ramirez from Santa Paula. He is currently enrolled in the Ventura College Nursing program. “In high school, I had an epiphany that what I wanted to do with my life was to help people,” says Ramirez. “I had been trying to work and go to school. These scholarships are the difference between being able to sleep at night before an exam and needing to use those late hours to study. Words can’t convey how much this means to me and how much assistance it really is.”

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