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OJC Press Release ID: 2532

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ashley Rochelle Abel Memorial Scholarships awarded

Two Otero Junior College nursing students were awarded Ashley Rochelle Abel Memorial Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Amelia Valdez of Las Animas and Amanda Britton of La Junta were chosen as this year’s recipients. The scholarships of $500 each will help support their education costs.

Valdez was chosen to receive the Ashley Rochelle Abel Memorial Scholarship for the second year.  She graduated with a practical nursing certificate this spring and continues on to complete her Associate of Applied Science in nursing starting this fall. 

Passion learning and for helping others is obvious when speaking to Valdez. “I love how nursing is always a quest for knowledge, because the more I learn the more people I can help,” said Valdez.  “I also love how friendly and willing all of my fellow nursing students are in helping each other.”

Britton will be entering her first year of nursing school in the fall. An experience working at an assisted living facility as a medical technologist ignited her passion for the medical field. Britton plans for big things.  She will begin dual enrollment classes through UCCS during her second semester of nursing school, complete her coursework to become a Registered Nurse in two years and be a Nurse Practitioner in four years. 

“I am grateful for my employment opportunities [at Loma Vista Medical Center] and for the hands-on experience I have gained that reassure me that I am choosing the right career path.  I intend to remain in the area and help serve the community that has served me throughout my education,” said Britton.

The scholarship honors the memory of Ashley Abel, an OJC student with a passion for nursing, who passed away in January 2014. Her mother, Jody Bracy, started the scholarship in her honor.  It is funded by Ashley’s Run, held annually in June.  This year’s event is on June 18. For more information on this event, visit the Ashley Rochelle Abel Memorial Scholarship page on Facebook.

As part of the requirements of the scholarship, Valdez and Britton will complete 5 hours of community service to the Wayne Cash Annual Toy Run and Toy Dance; the Ashely Rochelle Abel Memorial Foundation; or the La Junta American Legion within the academic year. 

Press Release Photo
Abel's mother, Jody Bracy, stands with scholarship recipients, Amelia Valdez and Amanda Britton, and OJC President Jim Rizzuto.