MENOMINEE - Menominee County Voiture 1288 of the Michigan 40 et 8 announced scholarship winners for nurses training program for the 2014 year.
This year's selectees were as follows: Nicole Clement, Bark River Harris School District; Mason Wallace, Bark River Harris School District, and Kameron L. Burmeister, Menominee High School.
For many years the Menominee County 40 et 8, a fraternal veterans organization, has provided scholarships for students attending college to become nurses. These scholarships are for four years and total up to $1,500.
Nurses from all over Menominee County have benefited from these scholarships. The Menominee County 40 et 8 has 40 members and has dedicated their fund raising activities to supporting nursing scholarships and providing money for area youth sports. Club members are all members of the American Legion and are war era veterans.
"It has long been our goal to provide as many scholarships as we can afford," according to a club spokesperson. "This year we will provide scholarships to all three applicants."
Two of the winners are graduating students from Bark River Harris High School and one student is from Menominee High School.
Haley Nicole Clement of Bark River Harris School District and was highly recommended by Paul Garza, college advisor, Michigan State College Advising Corps. She has worked as a certified nursing assistant for two years at nursing homes. Clement has been very involved with many school activities, clubs and sports, including captain of the volleyball team. She is also president of Health Occupations Students of America. She also works a part-time job in Escanaba. Clement plans on attending Bay College to attain her goal of becoming a registered nurse.
Mason Wallace of Bark River Harris School District comes highly recommended by Michelle Miron, director of nursing at Iron Wood Hospital and Jan Hood, counselor, at Bark River Harris High School. Wallace was the salutatorian of his graduating class this year. He has been involved in sports programs, band, National Honor Society, and many other projects.
While attending high school, Wallace has accumulated over 690 hours of volunteer service.
He will be attending Bay de Noc College this fall to attain a bachelor of science degree in nursing and then his goal is to go on to a master's degree.
Kameron L. Burmeister of Menominee High School comes highly recommended by Suzanne Merrill, MPT, owner of Victory Physical Therapy and Wellness Specialists. Merrill has been her running coach for the past three years and sites her outstanding leadership qualities. Burmeister was chosen to be the team captain her senior year for her running team. She has earned all state, all U.P. and all conference honors in track. She has done much volunteer work and works in the family owned restaurant business. Athletically, she participates in cross country, track, softball, and swimming.
"I have dreamed of having a career in the medical field as long as I can remember," Burmeister said. "It is crazy to think that l am now actually on my way there. I know the career field for me, (anesthesiology), and I know that I will be the best nurse I can be."
Menominee County Voiture of the 40 et 8 recently held their monthly Promenade at the Carney American Legion Post 487 to select nursing training scholarship winners.
The members held a discussion on how to get more students to apply for nursing scholarships. Due to the changes in recent years, high school seniors are attending college early and they are well into their college before being accepted to the school of nursing.
It was suggested that the Voiture contact Bay de Noc College in Escanaba to seek students from Menominee County who have registered for the nursing program.
Further discussion regarded the Veteran Service Officer (VSO) coverage in the Upper Peninsula. Governor Snyder formed a new Department called the Michigan Veteran's Administration (MVA) a few years ago.
This department has grown into a smell bureaucracy to the point that its funding now exceeds $7 million and has more than 40 employees mostly housed in Lansing. Before the formation of the MVA, two people and a secretary did nearly the same work. Now there seems to be inadequate funding to supply the U.P. with a full-time American Legion VSO. It is important to the veteran that VSO's in the U.P. travel directly to the veteran at Legion posts located throughout the entire U.P. and not just a limited area of coverage. It is encouraged that all U.P. veterans write their State Representatives and Senator regarding this matter.