Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Fort Coulonge nursing student awarded $1K bursary

Camilla Faragalli
Shawville Nov. 21, 2023
Sarah Jewell, a third-year nursing student from Fort Coulonge, was awarded this year’s $1,000 Deborah Smith Scholarship Fund on Tuesday at the Pontiac Hospital.
Jewell, who attends Cégep de l’Outaouais in Hull, currently works weekends in the hospital’s emergency department.
“I’m going to love working there in the future,” she said. “I love that we’re a small community. Everybody knows everybody. And I like that we all help each other out.”
Jewell said she grew up helping her parents in caring for her disabled older sister.
“I think that just drew me into coming into nursing,” she said, adding that the profession was already “in the family.” Her mother, aunt and other older sister all work in healthcare.
Jewell’s older sister Emma was the recipient of the Deborah Smith Scholarship Fund bursary twice; once in 2015 and once in 2016.
Deborah (Debbie) Smith, after whom the fund is named, was a nurse in Shawville for more than 20 years. She was killed in a car accident involving a distracted driver in 2014.
Susan Smith, who presented Jewell with the award, said that every year since her sister Debbie’s passing, she and her family have held fundraisers for local students.
“We try to give it to somebody that doesn’t receive as many bursaries, but somebody that perseveres in school or really needs it financially,” Smith said.
“We pick people that are local, and that will hopefully come back to the community to work here.”
Smith said the bursary fund has raised close to $20,000 in the near ten years since it was initiated.
“The idea is to keep her memory alive, and to help students that are going into nursing, because it’s so expensive nowadays.”

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