Senior Sarah Hobongwana is one of the 89% of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) baccalaureate students who receive some form of financial aid, making it possible to pursue their goal of becoming a nurse.
Hobongwana, for example, has three sources of funding. She worked as a medical assistant for 10 years before entering nursing school and found herself in need of financial assistance.
She began her studies as a scholar in the Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, Diversity, and Success (LEADS) program at JHUSON, through which she receives a stipend as well as intensive advising and academic support, additional leadership opportunities, and participation in a new mentorship program. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the program finances scholarships for baccalaureate-level nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds or underrepresented groups. The initiative includes scholarships for six students and stipends for 15 others at the school.
At the beginning of her senior year, Hobongwana applied for a Nursing Scholarship from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). With more than 6,500 applicants and fewer than 500 awards given, Hobongwana says she feels lucky to be one of 12 students at JHUSON to receive the award. In exchange for funding, the scholarship recipients agree to work with underserved populations for at least two years. For Hobongwana, who lived in Zambia for most of her childhood and has seen first-hand the need for quality healthcare both abroad and in the U.S., the arrangement is not sacrifice: it's the kind of work she wants to do.
Her third source of funding comes from the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Cheerios Brand Health Initiative Scholarship, which is given to increase the number of minority students pursuing degrees in health-related professions. "So many people applied this year that they decided to give everyone book money--$500," says Hobongwana. "I'm grateful for anything. It all helps!"
For a list of available scholarships and grants, visit the JHUSON website.