Medical scholarships awarded to 10 Grand River volunteers |

Medical scholarships awarded to 10 Grand River volunteers

Standing with Grand River Health's CEO Jim Coombs are the winners of the $2,000 Grand River Health career scholarship Makenna Pruett of CMC and Rylie MacLaughlin of Rifle High School.
Dee Warwick |

To thank and recognize those that have supported their community, on Tuesday Grand River Health handed out medical career scholarships to 10 distinguished volunteers and students. While eight local students will receive $1,000 in scholarship money for medical training, Colorado Mountain College’s MaKenna Pruett and Rifle High School’s Rylie MacLaughlin both received the big $2,000 award for they collectively put in almost 1,000 hours of volunteering in the past four years.

“We’re looking for well-rounded students that are entering the medical field and have a sense of service,” said Kaaren Peck, Director of Volunteer Services at Grand River Health.

The scholarship is awarded to any local student that is looking to go into any area of medical training. This year’s group of students have medical career aspirations that range from anesthesiologist, nurse practitioner, pediatrician, nurse, and radiology, according to press release.

Students apply for the scholarship through the Grand River Volunteer Association and a committee of medical professionals and hospital officials reviews the applications and chooses 10 students to receive scholarship money. In order to apply for the $2,000 scholarships, applicants are required to have volunteered at least 50 hours or more.

“We look for the most well-rounded students some of whom are juggling multiple things while attending school,” Peck added.

At nearly 1,000 service hours collectively, Peck said that Pruett and MacLaughlin have volunteered as much or more than any previous winner.

“If I have a volunteer that puts in 100 hours, that’s pretty amazing when you think about all they have to juggle with school work and summer jobs and so forth,” Peck explained. “So to put in nearly 1,000 hours is pretty special.”

Pruett plans to use the $2,000 to help support her education as she looks to begin a career as a nurse in emergency medicine, while MacLaughlin wants to become a pediatrician.

“Both were great students that filled the criteria well,” Peck added. “Their volunteerism and the fact that they are both after medical careers really put them over the edge.”

The $1,000 scholarship winners include Kayla Dinkel from Colorado Mesa University, Jessica Orosz from Grand Valley High School, Daisy Ordonez from Grand Valley High School, Aaron Hosack from Rifle High School, Sydney Wells from RHS, Kaitlyn Harlow from Coal Ridge High School, Taylor Boone from CMU and Dana Kotz from CRHS.

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