Local Recipients Share Motivation for Seeking Higher Education
HILLSDALE, Mich.—Hillsdale Hospital has awarded first-time recipients Lila Howell and Dakota Sigler; and second-time recipient Samantha Reed with the annual Maggie Fry Memorial Scholarship for nursing education. Howell and Reed will receive up to $5,000 for the coming academic year and Sigler will receive up to $2,500.
To provide aid for non-traditional students like former Hillsdale Hospital nurse Maggie Fry, Fry’s husband James ‘Jef’ Fry and friends created the scholarship fund in her memory after she passed away in 2022. At 36 years old, Fry applied to and attended college while raising two children.
Recipient Lila Howell currently works as a full-time patient care tech at a dialysis center while attending Baker College in pursuit of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is also a certified phlebotomist and her long-term career goal is to become a nurse practitioner.
“As a little girl, I watched my mother change the lives of people suffering from mental illness as she was a social worker,” Howell said in her scholarship application. “In my younger years after tragically losing my mother, I knew I wanted to be able to help impact people’s lives the way she did when I got older. Healthcare for me is the way of being able to touch the lives of so many people just like my mother did.”
Recipient Dakota Sigler is entering her second year at Glen Oaks Community College earning an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. Sigler is a student-athlete, playing on the Glen Oaks softball team and made the President’s Honor Roll in 2023. She was inspired to enter the nursing field by her mother who is a nurse at Hillsdale Home Care.
“As a nurse, she showed me what it means to truly care for others,” Sigler said in her scholarship application. “I have not yet decided which nursing specialty I want to pursue. However, I am very open to trying everything, as long as I am able to give back to those in my community.”
Second-time recipient Samantha Reed completed her first year of nursing school with the support of the Maggie Fry Memorial Scholarship, earning a spot on the Dean’s List at Jackson College. Reed expects to complete her Associate in Applied Science in Nursing in May 2024.
“I have found my true calling and something I am very passionate about,” she said in her application. “I am pursuing a nursing degree with three children at home and it has been the hardest thing I could have ever imagined doing…I have done several clinical rotations at this point and I am so happy with the career path that I chose.”
Reed, Howell and Sigler were awarded the Maggie Fry Memorial Scholarship at a private ceremony on July 14. Recipients can apply for scholarship renewal annually. For more information, visit hillsdalehospital.com/education. To donate to the Maggie Fry Memorial Scholarship Fund and support future recipients of this award, please contact the Hillsdale County Community Foundation at (517) 439-5101 or give online at abouthccf.org/donate.