Nursing student Annie Spangler dreams of being a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and working in the operating room when she graduates from Indiana Wesleyan University next spring.

The Chesterton woman said receiving this year’s Maria Petti Memorial Scholarship will help her toward that goal, helping with the costs of her final year of nursing school. “This scholarship was a big blessing,” she said.The scholarship, available to Porter and LaPorte County students seeking a career in the surgical field, provides awards of up to $5,000.

Spangler is currently busy with her critical care clinicals and community health and leadership at Marion General Hospital in Marion, Ind. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, going to the beach and enjoying Lake Michigan.

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.