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Georgia Southern University Nursing Student Awarded U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Scholarship

10-04 Georgia Southern University Nursing Student Awarded U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ScholarshipGeorgia Southern University nursing student Lindsay Higgs was recently awarded a competitive national scholarship from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Higgs is one of only about 450 recipients selected from 11,000 applicants to receive the scholarship, which will cover tuition expenses, books and other fees in addition to a monthly stipend of $1,239, in exchange for two years of service at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses.

The HRSA Nursing Scholarship Program benefits full-time undergraduate nursing students.

“Lindsay participated in the BUILD program in the summer prior to her freshman year and has not stopped serving and investing her life in Georgia Southern and in the community since,” said Todd Deal, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.  “Her passion for service, as exemplified through her participation in numerous alternative break trips, made her the unanimous choice to lead our new Alternative Break Board, which is a student-led effort dedicated to enhancing and expanding the alternative break experiences on our campus.”

Higgs, a junior with a 3.5 GPA from Duluth, Ga., made the decision to pursue a career in nursing based upon her active involvement with community service at Georgia Southern. During the past two years, she has contributed more than 350 volunteer hours in the local community and in six Alternative Break trips. The trips, sponsored by the University’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, provided opportunities such as renovating buildings, building libraries, providing relief efforts and entertaining children with life-threatening illnesses.

During these life-changing experiences, Higgs witnessed many people who could not afford healthcare. “I hope to be an inspiration to people,” said Higgs. “There is so much you can do to help, and if I’m a nurse, I can use my knowledge and abilities to help many people in need,” she explained, about her academic choice. Higgs has recently stepped into a leadership role as the chairman of the newly founded Alternative Break Board with several new ventures in store. “Our goal is to travel to more places in need, lower the cost for students to participate and offer a wide range of choices,” she said.

After Higgs’ graduation in May 2013, she will fulfill her HRSA scholarship requirement by working for at least two years in a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses. Her plans include pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, and also continuing her active service to those in need. “I would like to join the Peace Corps in South America and reach out to more patients in inner-city areas,” she said.

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