The recipient of this year’s Maria Petti Memorial Scholarship calls the award a blessing that will help her toward her goal of becoming an operating room nurse after her graduation.

Pershana Ramsey of Portage, a nursing student at University of St. Francis in Crown Point, said the scholarship “was a blessing when it came about because it solidified that this was what I was supposed to be doing.”

The scholarship, available to Porter and LaPorte County students seeking a career in the surgical field, provides awards of up to $5,000.

Ramsey, who plans to graduate in spring 2022, attributes much of the passion for what she is learning to being the primary caregiver for her mother. With her busy schedule, she notes the help of her husband, Tim Ramsey, and son Sherrod Brown, who is a student at Vincennes University, but is staying home to pitch in. Ramsey’s daughter, Lorrin Brown, is also a nursing student.

“People can tell you how strenuous nursing school is, but you don’t know until you go through it,” Ramsey said. “I really would love to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity.”

The Maria Petti Memorial Scholarship was established as a living memorial to Maria Petti, Franciscan Health Michigan City peri-operative director. She nurtured and inspired many students she mentored over her 35 years at the hospital. The scholarship was created to ensure that her passion for health care and the operating room environment she so loved will live on.

Anyone interested in donating to the Maria Petti Memorial Scholarship Fund can contact the Franciscan Health Foundation at (219) 661-3401 for more information.