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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Berkshires Beat: BNRC Upgrades Popular Trails for 2019 Summer Season
On Monday, June 10, state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli joined members of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) board of directors, volunteers, staff and nature trail enthusiasts to unveil a redesigned trailhead kiosk and enhanced on-trail signage at BNRC's flagship conservation reserve, Yokun Ridge South at Olivia's Overlook. Similar upgrades have also been completed at 16 other BNRC trail sites across Berkshire County. All 54 BNRC reserves are open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk, free of charge.
Each updated kiosk features a large map of the reserve and its trail system; notes on the natural, cultural, and ownership history of the protected lands; and suggested activities for each property. Also available at the kiosks are free, newly revised paper trail maps for visitor use. Easier-to-read on-trail signage, mostly in the form of large brown signs with white letters, has also been installed on many trails. Among these are trails at The Boulders, a BNRC property used by many, which spans across parts of Dalton, Lanesborough and the City of Pittsfield in the center of Berkshire County.
"These kiosk and signage improvements, coupled with BNRC's new Berkshire Trails app, will help everyone explore the richness of the Berkshires' hiking trails and outdoor opportunities," said BNRC President Jenny Hansell. At Monday's unveiling ceremony, Pignatelli spoke to the crowd of the economic importance of conservation land and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Berkshires.
Established in 1967, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s mission is to protect and preserve the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Berkshires for public benefit and enjoyment. There are 54 BNRC conservation reserves spread across Berkshire County, free to the public, open to everyone for non-motorized recreation, featuring over 55 miles of maintained trails.
Cheshire food pantry
The Cheshire Pantry opened on Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Cheshire Community Center. The pantry will be available the first Saturday of each month. Emergency food is available as well as delivery service.
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