Niagara Gazette

September 9, 2013

Nursing students hope school funding will help them meet their career goals

By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Both Nicole Terrana and Erin DeMarco want to be nurses when they grow up. They’re both financially more equipped to make their dream reality, now, as well.

The pair of Niagara Falls High School graduates recently received a pair of scholarships designed to help the next generation of nurses receive the education they need. Now all that’s left is to get to work.

It won’t be difficult for either to accomplish, though, given the driving force behind their career decisions.

“I wrote my essay about how I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life until my grandmother got sick,” DeMarco, a 2010 NFHS alumnus said. “I saw what the nurses do and immediately thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’”

DeMarco went from Niagara Falls to Niagara County Community College, where she earned her associates degree in nursing. She received the 2013 Ruth and William O. Sass, M.D. Book Scholarship to continue her education at Daemen College, where she said she’s hoping to receive her bachelor’s degree.

Like DeMarco, Terrana has a story of finding her calling after witnessing the work of nurses. The only difference, though, is she’s the one they were taking care of.

The recipient of 2013 Ruth and William O. Sass, M.D. Scholarship was involved in a serious car accident when she was younger and the level of care she received pushed her towards doing the same thing for a career.

She sees it as a paying it forward situation, she said.

“The nurses at Women & Children’s Hospital really inspired me in that path,” she said. “It’s a completely different world than being a doctor.”

Terrana, a 2013 NFHS graduate, recently began her first semester at Niagara University.

The Sass scholarships have supported healthcare professionals in the community where the couple lived and worked for more than 25 years.

Funded through an endowment in the couple’s name by the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Foundation, awards are based on academic achievement, community involvement and commitment, nursing career goals and personal and professional references.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251, or follow on Twitter @timchipp.