FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) _ A nurse spurred by the racial unrest in Ferguson following last summer’s police shooting death of Michael Brown is giving prospective nurses from that St. Louis suburb an educational break.
Pat Potter, coordinator of research for nursing and allied health at BJC Health System, started a scholarship fund last November to assist Ferguson students interested in pursuing careers in nursing, according to a statement on the Ferguson-Florissant School District’s website.
The Nurses for Ferguson Scholarship began with an initial investment of $5,000 from Potter, with additional funding from BJC and various other donors. Potter plans to donate $5,000 each year to keep the scholarship active.
Only students from the two high schools within Ferguson _ McCluer and McCluer South-Berkeley _ are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Two recent McCluer High School graduates _ Courtney Spink and Ashley Jones _ are the first recipients of the scholarship and each received $1,500. Spink plans to attend the University of Missouri at St. Louis, while Jones will use her scholarship at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the school district’s statement said.
“I have set no requirement to the scholarship _ the student may attend any nursing school that he or she chooses,” Potter said.
Students in and near Ferguson missed several days of school last August after the unrest that followed the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white.
A St. Louis County grand jury and the Justice Department cleared Wilson, who later resigned.