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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BCC Announces New Hires, Promotions
PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced the addition of ten new staff and faculty members, in addition to three promotions.
New to BCC
Chris Bodnar has joined BCC as Director of Procurement in the Administration and Finance Division, bringing 20 years of experience in buying, purchasing, planning and inventory management with KB Toys and a hardware store chain. He has studied business administration at the University of Connecticut, Houston Baptist University, Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT, and Berkshire Community College. A resident of Hillsdale, NY, he lives with his girlfriend Noreen and has three grown daughters.
Lauri Byrnes has joined BCC as Administrative Assistant for Academic Advising in the One Stop Center for Student Success. Previously, she was the part-time office coordinator for Politis Family Chiropractic in Pittsfield for the past 10 years, along with other part-time positions she held throughout Berkshire County while attending college. She graduated from Berkshire Community College in 2017 with an associate degree in human services and from Maria College in 2021 with an associate of applied science degree in occupational health sciences. She and her husband Andy, who have five adult children, live in Lanesborough.
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