Two current and future college students recently received an annual scholarship for county residents planning careers in health care in a Paulding hospital or rehab center after graduation.
Anna Ragsdale, who is pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega; and Fallon Robinson, who is set to attend Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven this fall, were recipients of the Braly Service Scholarship.
The scholarship was worth $1,250 each for college tuition but must be “repaid” by pursuing a health career “that would benefit Paulding County” through working at either WellStar Paulding Hospital or WellStar Paulding Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said scholarship committee member Jane Ragsdale.
Anna Ragsdale earned a degree in biology earlier this year from Young Harris College. She is the daughter of Barry and Christy Ragsdale of Dallas.
At Young Harris Anna was a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi), a peer mentor in the YHC Honors program, and selected by YHC professors to serve as a biology tutor and cell biology teaching assistant during fall 2018.
Most recently, Ragsdale worked at PT Solutions in Marietta as an aide.
She has worked with Operation Christmas Child, S.A.F.E. (Support in Abusive Family Emergencies), Winship Cancer Research Center at Emory, The United Methodist Children’s Home, Love Them Haitian Children’s Choir, Relay for Life, River of Life Missions, and the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition.
Ragsdale said she hopes “to be a health care provider who makes a positive difference in the lives of my patients.”
Robinson is the daughter of Laurie Beth Robinson of Dallas. She is a 2019 Georgia Cyber Academy graduate with dual enrollment at Chattahoochee Technical College.
She plans to major in biology and pre-med at Oglethorpe. .
Robinson was the recipient of the Georgia Certificate of Merit and was a member of the National Honor Society. She earned the President’s Scholarship and was in the 2019 President’s Emerging Leaders program for Oglethorpe University.
She also was a junior board president for the Eating Disorders Information Network (EDIN) and hosted a “Value Yourself” event at WellStar Paulding Hospital.
She served as the team captain and a keynote speaker at the Atlanta National Eating Disorders Walk event; and helped raise more than $260,000 for eating disorder awareness.
In addition, she was a Reading Bowl regional champ and state finalist; and a student council vice president and treasurer.
She also was a gymnastics champion; and a 2017-2018 Georgia Most Positive Athlete regional award winner in the sport.
Robinson earned the titles of Miss Paulding County’s Outstanding Teen 2018 and was third runner-up in the Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen pageant; and was 2019 Miss Stone Mountain before competing in the 2019 Miss Georgia pageant.
She recently was awarded a $1,000 scholarship as the Miss America Academic Award winner.
Robinson has volunteered with the Children’s Miracle Network; and worked with state government leaders to pass legislation to integrate eating disorder education into the health requirements in Georgia public schools.
She said she wants to earn a degree in medicine and work as a pediatrician.
“Ever since I was a little girl I have been intrigued and in love with the medical field. My passion for medicine has only grown stronger throughout my years.
“I have gone from carrying around my toy doctor’s kit, to be a Volunteen the past two summers at WellStar Paulding Hospital,” she said.
The Braly Scholarship Program is designed to help those who want to serve Paulding County in a health career in positions needed at WellStar Paulding Hospital or Nursing Center. A scholarship may be repaid through service after graduation, a news release stated.
The scholarship fund was launched in 1982 in memory of Dr. Samuel U. Braly, who died July 4, 1978. At the time of his death, many Paulding County residents donated money instead of sending flowers to start the fund, a news release stated.
It is sustained through fundraisers, contributions and donations in honor or in memory of loved ones. Scholarship applicants are considered based on financial need, potential for completing their field of study and willingness to pursue a health career that would benefit Paulding County through service.
Applications for the service scholarship are accepted between January and April each year.
The Braly Scholarship committee is comprised of members of Braly’s family, community friends and employees at the hospital and nursing home where Braly served for 20 years.
Current members include Sam Braly, Raymond Moody, Genevieve Cole, Joyce Hulsey, Robin Ragsdale, Barbara Cooper Ragsdale, Donna Mikeal, Becky King, Rhonda Payne, Carol O’Connell, Pat Pace, Vickie Jones and Jane Ragsdale.
Donation checks should be made out to “Community Foundation of Paulding” with a note that it is for the Braly Scholarship Fund.
They can be given to any Braly Committee members or mailed to Joyce Hulsey or Carol O’Connell at WellStar Paulding Nursing and Rehab Center, 600 W. Memorial Drive, Dallas, GA 30132.