Lawrence, Mass. – Home Health VNA has awarded a scholarship presented annually in memory of a former employee to Rechelly Paula, a Lawrence resident and graduate of the Health Careers Department at Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover. Paula plans to study nursing at Barry University in Miami this fall with the goal of becoming a physician assistant.
“This scholarship is a big help,” Paula said. “I’m very grateful and excited to receive it.”
The $500 scholarship was established in 1995 as a tribute to Lisa Santiago Ventura, who sustained fatal injuries after being struck during a high-speed police chase while driving to care for a patient. In her memory, Home Health VNA awards the Lisa Santiago Ventura Memorial Scholarship to a graduating senior of Greater Lawrence Technical School where she was once a student.
Lindsay Gangi, lead instructor in the Health Careers Department at Greater Lawrence Technical School, called Paula “a fantastic student and person.”
“Rechelly is so well-rounded, and her naturally caring attributes are perfect for her career in health care,” Gangi said. “She is a wonderfully compassionate person who is going to touch many, many lives.”
At Greater Lawrence Technical School, Paula was vice president of the Class of 2021 and nominated as a 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education. A member of the National Honor Society with a 4.02 GPA, she gained work experience in nursing home and hospital settings and was a four-sport athlete competing in softball, basketball, cross-country and swimming.
Paula said her interest in nursing was inspired by the excellent home health care which her grandfather received prior to his death in 2017.
“I still remember the nurses’ kindness during what was an overwhelmingly stressful time for my family,” Paula recalled. “I want to be the person that supports a family going through hard times by making sure that everyone is okay and knows what is going on.”
Karen Gomes, RN, MS, CPHQ, president and chief executive officer of Home Health Foundation, said she is looking forward to following Paula’s collegiate and health care careers.
“It is a sincere pleasure to present this scholarship to such a dedicated, caring young healthcare professional,” Gomes said. “We proudly welcome Rechelly into our agency’s legacy of caring.”
About Home Health VNA
Home Health VNA is a not-for-profit home care agency affiliated with Home Health Foundation, which also includes providers Circle Home, Commonwealth Nursing Services, Hallmark Health VNA, Home Health VNA of NH, Merrimack Valley Hospice and York Hospital Hospice as part of the Wellforce Health System. Together, these agencies are leading the development of a new era of innovation, with a relentless focus on transforming home-based health and hospice care in all the places patients call home.