Education & Scholarships

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Education & Scholarships

Your gifts provide scholarship assistance to Centra College of Nursing Students and continuing medical education support for Centra providers. In 2018, 75% of Centra College of Nursing graduates went on to provide care within a Centra facility immediately after graduation. 

Rajah Guthrie

Your scholarship gifts build our team of trained and compassionate caregivers.

Rajah Guthrie always wanted to be a nurse. Her late grandmother instilled this dream in her at a young age when she spoke about the medical care she received at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital. Rajah’s grandmother told her, “It only takes that one nurse to make your experience better.”

Motivated to embark on a nursing career and become that nurse who makes a difference, Rajah began working as a certified nursing assistant her senior year of high school at Centra Oakwood Health and Rehabilitation Center. She enjoyed her work and wanted to further her career.

Rajah enrolled at Centra College of Nursing (CCON) after speaking with program graduates and learning of their positive experiences. CCON attracted Rajah because it was close to home, had a two-year associate degree in nursing program, and was part of an organization Rajah was already familiar with.

When reflecting on her time as a student, Rajah admits that while school was interesting and purposeful, juggling multiple responsibilities was sometimes difficult. Not only was Rajah a student and a mom to a young child, she was still working at Centra Oakwood and had a second job.

The support Rajah received from faculty, staff, and fellow students at CCON was integral to her positive experience. She says, “The support system at CCON was phenomenal, and if it was not for the circle of support, I probably would not have made it to graduation. There were so many times I wanted to quit, thinking I had to go back to work because I could not afford school.” 

That was when a staff member told Rajah about scholarship opportunities and encouraged her to apply. Rajah was awarded two Centra Foundation scholarships, which allowed her to quit her second job and concentrate on her studies. Speaking to donors, Rajah says, “You saved me. I am forever grateful for my scholarship support. You made my education possible. Thank you.”

Rajah graduated on December 13, 2019 with an associate degree in nursing. She is grateful to now be working at Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital as a registered nurse applicant in medical surgery.

As Rajah thinks about her healthcare career, it seems she has come full circle. “My grandma inspired me to become that nurse. Nursing school was my dream, and now my future is becoming that nurse who makes a difference.”

Kris Suptela

“I truly appreciate your support and it has had such an impact on me.”

When Kris Suptela moved to Lynchburg, he had never considered becoming a nurse.  However, when he learned about Centra’s College of Nursing (CCON), Kris was intrigued by the small class sizes, on-site experience, and the two-year Associate Degree in Nursing program.

Knowing he would not be able to afford nursing school on his own, Kris applied for scholarships through Centra’s College of Nursing.  During his time in the program, Kris received three distinct scholarship awards, relieving him of his financial burden and allowing him to fully immerse himself in the CCON experience.

Kris had a transformative experience as a CCON student and is thankful he was able to explore different areas of the medical field to find his best fit.  While a student, he began working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) with Centra’s oncology department.  It was through these experiences that Kris realized he wanted to continue his work in oncology, to “be there for patients not only for their medical care, but for the care of their loved ones as well.”  Today, Kris is grateful to continue his work in oncology at Centra as a Registered Nurse.

Kris’ nursing education would not have been possible without scholarship support.  Speaking to donors, Kris says, “I truly appreciate your support and it has had such an impact on me.  Without your support I would not have finished the program, furthered my career, or be where I am today.  Nursing is so amazing, I am so glad I decided to go in this direction.  This would not be possible without you.  Thank you.”