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Four Northeastern Technical College nursing students received the Betty Matheson Memorial Scholarship.

Nursing students throughout the college's attendance area receiving scholarships are Chelsey Haire, of Bennettsville; Lavonia Stacks, of Cheraw; Maniya Tyson, of Pageland; and Jalysha Wilkes, of Bennettsville.

Stacks and Tyson are attending NETC in the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program and Haire and Wilkes are in the Associate of Degree for Nursing working to become registered nurses.

Their paths come from the four corners of NETC's service area and reasons entering the nursing field come from encouraging friends and tragedy.

In 2021, Haire's father was shot multiple times and succumbed to his injury. In the chaos and turmoil, the guiding support came from hospital nursing staff.

"The nurses were so kind and compassionate to me, and I want to be able to give that same compassion to others," Haire, 29, said.

After completing perquisites, Haire entered NETC's LPN program in August 2023 and is on track to graduate in May 2025.

"Nursing school is difficult," Haire said. "You're having to juggle family life at the same time, and it can be a lot, but it will be worth it for sure."

Just going to class does not cut it at NETC, Haire said.

"You have to study and to be ready to sit and listen all day, have an open mind, and study some more," she said.

Tyson, 23, transitioned from 911 dispatcher to the medical field.

"I love what I did at work," Tyson said. "I enjoy helping people, but I didn't think I was doing enough. I wanted to be on the other end helping others."

As a student, parent, and employee, Tyson racks up the miles juggling at three.

"I drive to Cheraw every day and work in Florence," Tyson said. "It can be rough at times, but this is something I want to do and push myself. When we have breaks, I do take advantage of them."

After putting two children through school and into college and a young teen at home, Stacks, 43, begins her journey into higher education.

"I always wanted to become a nurse," she said. "I have a friend who decided to go back to school and become a registered nurse. She inspired me to go for it and I appreciate her pushing me to do it."

To prepare for the workload and time dedicated to her studies, she left a leadership position at work freeing up more time as well as a pay cut – Tyson is all in.

"I don't regret it," Tyson said. "We can do anything We can do anything we want to do when we focus."

Wilkes, 21, is completing a family circle. Her mother dropped out of CNA classes to give birth and raise her and her brother and later returned to become a phlebotomist.

"I decided to finish out her dream," Wilkes credits her mother for her encouragement and being the backbone while she focuses on school. "She would tell me stories about working in a nursing home about residents who were there – I think that gave me an extra push."

Scheduled for graduating in May 2025, Wilkes has her eye on becoming a traveling nurse.

"I always wanted to travel and doing so with nursing, I can help those in need anywhere," she said.

The Betty Matheson Memorial Scholarship was created by friends and family in memory of Betty Matheson, who had a great appreciation for the nursing profession and supported nursing education.

Matheson worked for years at Northeastern Technical College as a Psychology instructor and passed away from Alzheimer's Disease in 2015.

Individuals who would like to honor the legacy of Betty Matheson and continue to support her passion for education in the community can mail donations to the "Betty Matheson Memorial Scholarship Fund," Northeastern Technical College Foundation, 1201 Chesterfield Highway Cheraw, SC 29520.

Individuals or corporations interested in donating or creating a new scholarship can contact the NETC Office of Institutional Advancement at 843-921-6916.

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