A New Path
Stacie Tippett finds motivation each time she turns on her phone. Two tiny faces stare back at her – twins photographed at the Haiti orphanage where she worked after the devastating earthquake in 2010 – identical reminders of why Tippett has returned to college at age 30.
“Every time I get down and think college is too hard, I just look at that picture, and I know that, if I had medical knowledge then, I could’ve done more to help.”
For Tippett, wanting to do more led her to Howard Community College’s accelerated nursing program and her goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. She intends to have a career in the United States, and participate in medical missions around the world.
“Studying to be a nurse, my eyes have been opened to the need around the world. I could go to this country for a week to help, and then that country for a week.”
Pursuing this ambitious goal has been a challenge, as Tippett has had to rebuild her life in the United States after having to leave Haiti for medical reasons.
“I gave up everything to go to Haiti. When I moved back, I literally had nothing. No life and no money. I didn’t have a car here. I didn’t have a job.”
But Tippett now has the scholarship support she needs to continue her education this academic year. She is one of more than 1,000 recipients of the brand-new, need-based Pathway Scholarship available at the college. Made possible by a generous $2.5 million grant from Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and the Howard County Council, the Pathway Scholarship Program provides Howard County residents with scholarships ranging from $600 to $1,200.
“As I was putting together my final budget as County Executive, I wanted to do all I could to strengthen our commitment to education in Howard County, and to make important investments in our future,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “No other county in Maryland has a scholarship program like this. I am proud that Howard County is leading the way.”
“I am grateful to County Executive Ulman and the County Council for recognizing that the cost of a college education should never stand in the way of attaining pathways to success,” said Dr. Kate Hetherington, president. “With this investment, the county is enriching the lives of our students and those around them.”
To ensure the scholarship application was an easy process, the college only required that students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered. Pathway Scholarship recipients are Howard County residents who range from dually-enrolled high school students and recent high school graduates to veterans and returning students like Tippett, who already have a degree.
“The Pathway Scholarship is such a blessing. I will be able to focus on my nursing program and on being a better nursing student. I can put all my attention to where it needs to be – learning.”
The Pathway Scholarship Program funding is directed to the Howard Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit that provides scholarship and grant support to students at HCC. A unique aspect of the funding is that $500,000 has been set aside to encourage matching donations that would grow the initial $2.5 million into a $3 million investment in HCC students.