Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship gives back to student in honor - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship gives back to student in honor of donor’s father

Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship recipient Tymber Downen, LEFT, and donor Pamela Atkinson-Chadbourne Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship recipient Tymber Downen, LEFT, and donor Pamela Atkinson-Chadbourne
(KFVS) -  For Rend Lake College Foundation scholarship donor Pamela Atkinson-Chadbourne, the saying, ‘what goes around comes around' has never been truer. 

After the loss of her father in 2013, Atkinson-Chadbourne and her family established the Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship, and through it, her father's spirit continues to give back to those who made his last years special.
Atkinson-Chadbourne said the scholarship will continue to give back to an RLC student enrolled in a health care program because of the care the certified nurse assistants (CNAs) gave her father at Stonebridge Senior Living Center in Benton. 

The idea for the scholarship started with wanting to be a stepping stone for a student who plans to care for others, specifically the elderly, as Atkinson was cared for.
For the last two years, Tymber Downen of Wayne City – an RLC nursing student – has been the recipient of the Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship. Downen will graduate next month with an Associate's Degree in Nursing from RLC.
“When my dad was living at Stonebridge, the care he received from his CNAs was overwhelming. He loved all of them and they had such a kindness in their hearts,” said Atkinson-Chadbourne. “My dad loved people, and I know he would've adored Tymber. He was a very kindhearted man, and so we'd like to keep the scholarship going in his honor.”

Atkinson-Chadbourne continued by saying that, despite never meeting or speaking with Downen, she knew the scholarship was going to the right student. Specific criteria in the Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship gives back to student in honor of donor's father scholarship application brought Downen to the forefront two years in a row.
“Initially, we looked for someone who wanted to work in this area, and their grades are very important,” said Atkinson-Chadbourne. “I also read all of their letters to learn what they want to focus on and who their inspiration is, whether that be a parent or grandparent. I want to know what means a lot to them and Tymber fit the bill both years.”
Downen, a Wayne City resident, plans to obtain a Registered Nurse (RN) position locally after graduation and continue on her path toward getting a bachelor's degree. Eventually, she says her dream job is to work as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner or as a Certified Nurse Midwife.

“This scholarship meant so much to me as a student. It was so much more than money for me, it was a way to accomplish my goal of becoming an RN,” said Downen. “It helped me pursue my calling to help others, just as the scholarship helped me. I am very fortunate to have received this scholarship, and to be able to give back to the community in a way I am passionate about.”
At the 2014 RLC Foundation Scholarship Dinner last October, Atkinson-Chadbourne and Downen finally met over a banquet and ceremony. After nearly two years, Atkinson-Chadbourne said it was great to put a face with a name.
“I just fell in love with her the second I met her. I knew she was the one who deserved the scholarship,” said Atkinson-Chadbourne. “It's funny that we picked her out on paper before we ever met her. 

She's someone who loves older people, and because my dad got such good care in his later days, we wanted someone like her.”
Shawna Bullard, CEO of the RLC Foundation, added it's scholarships like the one honoring Edward Percy Atkinson that help the determined students at RLC find their path through education.
“Pamela and her family have been a pleasure to work with. They have found what so many other people have found to be true, that they are able to carry on a loved one's memory and name through the gift of education,” said Bullard. “Their generosity is changing lives, and that's inspiring.”
To learn more about the Edward Percy Atkinson Scholarship, or other scholarships and endowments, contact Shawna Bullard at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1214 or bullards@rlc.edu.

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