The Scott County Community Foundation, along with the community foundations of Clark, Floyd, Harrison and Washington County, has established an Education Matters Southern Indiana initiative. The goal is to try to increase the number of working adults in our region who started but never completed some form of post-secondary education – education that extends beyond high school.

Through this undertaking, we have identified four critical ways adults could be supported to be more successful. One of these includes establishing a college-going culture, which includes promoting progress in educational achievement.

Stacy Adams was a recipient of a scholarship at the Community Foundation, the Scott Memorial Hospital Guild Brunton-Mumford Memorial Scholarship. Stacy wants people who are considering returning to school to know that hard work pays off.

*

Stacy grew up in Madison, one of four children born to a minister and licensed practical nurse. While she thought about college after high school, she knew her family couldn’t afford it at the time, so she opted instead to join the Army. The military was able to not only assist with the cost of school, but would also provide knowledge and training.

After returning home from active duty, Stacy felt she was more responsible to attend college, and began taking classes in 2007. When she graduated high school, she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to focus on, but had a better idea of what she wanted to major in as she got older. And now, her military benefits would help pay for her schooling.

She attended Ivy Tech Community College to earn her associate of science in nursing degree, and just recently completed her bachelor of science in nursing degree through Indiana University-East.

As a wife to Nate and mother to Ashtyn, 7, and Nate II, 3, attending school while balancing family life was challenging. Stacy is also employed at Scott Memorial Hospital, where she has worked since April 2011. She has worked in the OB department for the majority of that time, but recently started cross training in the surgery department, ER, supervision and medical 3.

“My husband and kids were my inspiration, but it was very challenging to balance family time and study time,” said Stacy. “Work was also a major challenge.  It was difficult to work long hours, go home and try to spend time with my family, and do homework too.”

Along with family support, the flexibility offered by Ivy Tech and IU-East were crucial to Stacy’s success.

“Both schools were great,” said Stacy. “There were several options to choose from with elective classes, they were affordable, and they were very understanding that most of the students were working adults.”

Through Stacy’s dedication, she has achieved her goals, and will be starting her master of science in nursing degree in January with Western Governor’s University online.

“If I could offer one piece of advice to those considering going back to school it would be that the challenges are many, dedication is essential, hard work is a necessity, and the relaxation is limited, but the hard work and dedication pay off,” shared Stacy. “Finishing college and earning a degree is by far the most rewarding thing I have done, aside from being a wife and mom.”

“Don’t think about it for years, just dive in and get started,” advised Stacy. “We can all think of a million reasons to not attend school. “

*

The Scott County Community Foundation currently has one scholarship available for non-traditional adults who are returning to college to major in healthcare. The Scott Memorial Hospital Guild Brunton-Mumford Memorial Scholarship is worth up to $5,000, and applications are available on the Community Foundation’s website at www.scottcountyfoundation.org. They are due Monday, Sept. 22. For more information or assistance with the scholarship application, please call the Scott County Community Foundation at 752-2057, email info@scottcountyfoundation.org or stop in the office at 60 N. Main St., Scottsburg.