Palm Beach State College respiratory care student awarded scholarship

On Thursday, March 21, 2024, Palm Beach State College respiratory therapy student Leidy Correa Pabon, was awarded the Dr. Ethel E. Johnson Scholarship at the Florida Society of Respiratory Care seminar in Daytona Beach. The scholarship, in memory of Florida Board of Respiratory Care Board Member and educator, Dr. Ethel E. Johnson, is awarded annually to Florida students at different levels of education who have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of respiratory care and to public health. “This is a wonderful achievement,” said PBSC’s Director of Clinical Education Respiratory Program George Kopp. “Leidy is a leader and mentor to her fellow students.

 Pabon’s accomplishment is even more impressive given that when she moved to the U.S. from her native Colombia five years ago, she didn’t speak a word of English. Although she had completed a degree in respiratory therapy in Colombia, her qualifications weren’t recognized in the U.S. So, she enrolled in English language programs at PBSC but was forced to complete the programs online due to the pandemic. Once she completed her prerequisites, she was accepted into PBSC’s respiratory therapy program where she is currently a first-year student. Now her English is so proficient “she pronounces medical terminology better than many of her English-speaking classmates,” Kopp said.

Pabon, who will graduate with an associate in science (A.S.) degree in May 2025, hopes to eventually continue her education and receive a bachelor’s degree.  “My dream job is to become a respiratory therapist working in the intensive care unit of a hospital,” Pabon said. “The scholarship will help me to continue my studies and hopefully achieve that dream.”

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