Campus & Community

Congressman Mark Foley Nursing Scholarship: The Essence of Giving

From l: Former Congressman Mark Foley; PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D.; and Vice President of Advancement and CEO of the Foundation for PBSC David Rutherford.

By Dean Glorioso

Former Florida Congressman Mark Foley is giving back and paying forward with his second scholarship for Palm Beach State College. While the Congressman Mark Foley Law Enforcement Scholarship, established in 2022, helps students entering the College’s Criminal Justice Academy, the Congressman Mark Foley Nursing Scholarship is doing the same for students preparing for the vital field of nursing.

Fully funded over next 10 years, the scholarship supports one nursing student annually with a $2,500 award and is open to all Florida residents who meet nursing program requirements.

Recognizing the newly funded scholarship with a lunch event at the College’s Foundation office, the Palm Beach State alum’s gift comes at a crucial time. According to a 2021 study from the Florida Hospital Association and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, the state is projected to be short by over 59,000 nurses by 2035.

Fortunately, the Foley Nursing Scholarship helps students find their way into the College’s ever-expanding nursing program. In fact, with a 95% job placement rate upon graduation, Palm Beach State nursing graduates are found in virtually every hospital and health care facility throughout the community.

Palm Beach State President Ava L. Parker, J.D., reminded guests that the College is “mission driven,” changing the lives of not only students but also entire families and the community through higher education. Celebrating the former congressman and his generosity, she added,

“Mr. Foley is an alum with tremendous space in his heart, someone who understands giving back, especially for those who are in need.”

David Rutherford, vice president of Advancement and CEO of the Foundation for Palm Beach State, reinforced the sentiment of the gift by quoting UCLA legend, John Wooden. “You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

Vice President Rutherford’s words echoed those of Foley’s. “The essence of giving is found in a magical moment when you can do something for someone you’ll never meet.”

Having served in both houses of the Florida Legislature and representing eight Florida counties in the U.S. Congress from 1995-2006, Foley urged that educators and health care professionals should be considered heroes every day. “Never diminish someone whose job is to help us move forward.”

And building forward is what Palm Beach State is doing. In its 90th year of educating the community, the College is demonstrating advancements in higher education through innovative technology, medical simulation, virtual XR technology and more. Foley’s heartfelt scholarship once again puts our young people in opportune positions to learn, train and work with cutting-edge pedagogical practices, poised to impact the prosperity and well-being of those who call Palm Beach County home for the next 90 years.

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