Kirkhof College of Nursing student Latasha Lucas has a 9-year-old son who is a good student in school, likely because he models the study habits of his mother.
“I’ve been in school since he was 4,” Lucas said. “He’s watched me study and prepare for clinical rotations and I think he’s picked up some good study habits along the way.”
Her son, Dylan, now knows that hard work does pay off. Lucas recently earned a Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Minority Scholarship. The $10,000 award will pay for Lucas’ remaining two semesters of college.
The scholarship process was rigorous. Lucas said it included an essay, letters of recommendation and a personal interview before 15 Mary Free Bed Guild representatives.
“I could not be more blessed to receive this generous scholarship,” Lucas said. “We needed this in the worst way.”
At 32, Lucas is a nontraditional student. She and her family moved from Tennessee to Grand Rapids in 2003 to be near her husband’s family. Jeremy Lucas works for Advantage Sales and Marketing.
Lucas earned an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College before enrolling at Grand Valley. She called her family a team.
“I could not have gotten this far without help from them and our other friends and relatives,” she said. “We have good friends who will step in and pick up Dylan from school. My mother will be here this summer to stay with him.”
Joy Washburn, associate professor of nursing, called Lucas an excellent student and a “quiet thinker.” In her letter of recommendation to the MFB Scholarship Committee, Washburn recalled Lucas’ action after a fellow student died unexpectedly.
“She didn’t know him that well but she was there for other students who did,” Washburn said. “She said she was thinking about his parents and the loss suffered by his family and friends. She desired to alleviate suffering and she acted upon it. That’s the epitome of what caring is all about.”