PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The times when Bill Schmick of Berkshire Money Management was in the hospital, it was BCC graduates who helped him.
For that he is grateful. So grateful that he's helping Berkshire Community College nursing students with their licensing and exam fees. Berkshire Money Management on Monday donated $7,740 to the 18 students currently enrolled in the college's nursing program. The money will pay for the exam and licensing costs for when the students graduate and enter the field.
"We're just happy to give back after all you've given me," said Schmick, who also write money columns that appear on iBerkshires.
One of those nursing students, Lesline Rostick, will benefit from it. She has a husband who works and she is raising a child. It's not easy to come up with the funds to get the needed licensing.
"When I heard we were getting this money, I was beside myself," Rostick said.
Rostick was joined by others in the program on Monday to accept the gift. Assistant professor Alyssa Felver said there are single mothers and parents in the program, those who would struggle to come up with the extra funds.
"It's a relief. It is a big chunk of change," Felver said. "It is tremendous that when they first start their career people are supporting them."
Schmick and his wife, Barbara, were given a tour of the newly renovated classroom spaces in Hawthorne Hall. Director of Nursing Tochi Ubani showed them the new simulators, which give students the closest experience to real-life nursing as possible, and said there is no better nursing program around. Ubani takes pride in his program, saying that if something happens to him, he will be in the care of the graduates.
"It behooves us to train them well and teach them well. They will be out and will be nurses," Ubani said.
BCC President Ellen Kennedy said she is "thrilled" with the way the program is trending and appreciated the additional support for the students.
"They work so hard and are then faced with a big check to write or a large credit card charge," Kennedy said.
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