Obici Healthcare Foundation recognizes joint student scholarship recipients

Published 9:00 am Thursday, July 4, 2024

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The Obici Healthcare Foundation recently announced the recipients of its new Obici Healthcare Foundation Career Pathways Scholarship.

Created in partnership with both the Obici Foundation and the Suffolk Foundation, the scholarship was created to support Suffolk, Gates County, NC and Western Tidewater area students planning to pursue a career in a healthcare-related field and intend to return to these areas to practice healthcare. Awarding $10,000 a year throughout four years in college, recipients are also encouraged to apply for renewal, leading up to four years of post-graduate studies, including medical or another graduate school. Per student, scholarships can be up to $80,000.

In a Tuesday, June 25 interview, High School Scholarship Recipients Jacy Keith, Taylor “Grace” Legg and Kate Holland had a chance to share their thoughts as recipients. Legg, a 2024 Graduate of Gates County High School heading to Roanoke Chowan Community College to study nursing, expressed how appreciative she is to be selected.

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“I am just really appreciative because it took like a big weight off my shoulder, like not having to worry about it. It’s an amazing thing that y’all do,” Legg said. “And I get to come back to a hospital over here. Like, are you kidding me? Yeah, I am very appreciative, so thank you.”

Holland, a 2024 Graduate of Isle of Wight Academy and Salutatorian heading to Clemson University to study nursing, followed up by expressing her gratitude and noting its impact on paying for college tuition.

“Because tuition can be really expensive. I mean, $10,000 a year. It’s money you don’t have to think about where you can focus more on your studies and not worrying about having to pay tuition [and] how you’re going to pay your college,” Holland laughed.

Likewise, Keith, a 2024 Graduate of Gates County High School heading to UNC Wilmington to study sports medicine, said how “honored” she was to be selected.

“Because I know there were a lot of applicants and everything,” Keith said. “And just being able to be honored in these situations, to be able to come here, being invited to things like this. And same thing that they said with the tuition and everything, it takes the weight off of our shoulders and also being able to return to the Western Tidewater area.”

Obici Healthcare Foundation President & CEO R. Battle Betts, Jr., Suffolk Foundation Chair of the Grants Committee Kermit Hobbs, Jr., Obici Healthcare Foundation Program Officer Kelvin Turner II and Suffolk Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Morrow further discussed the scholarship and their future efforts.

Betts says that their new Healthcare Pathways Initiative is focused on providing access to care.

“That’s where we’re really trying to focus on trying to nurture the environment of people coming back home to serve, seeking health care professions and coming back home to serve in Western Tidewater and reinvest those resources into the communities that we serve,” Betts said. “So again, new program for us, but super excited and really thrilled for these recipients.”

Thanking the Suffolk Foundation alongside Hobbs and Morrow as “go to experts” in the world of scholarships, Betts further says the goal is to continue funding the scholarships as well as build it up to be available on a perpetual basis to be fully endowed over a period of time.

“So we’re working towards what those steps might look like over the next few years,” he said.

Further discussing the partnership, Morrow says that Obici Healthcare Foundation provided scholarship funding for the awards with Suffolk Foundation providing management of the scholarship, alongside 16 other scholarships for local students.

“Who’s not in the room, we have already [10] recipients from Paul D. Camp Community College who are from Suffolk and Southampton County and Franklin and we also have another component with Paul D. Camp Community College that will be announced in July,” Morrow said. “So far this year, we have eight recipients and by the end, we will have 13 recipients this year.”

Turner detailed the core requirement for students to apply for the scholarship, which includes being a graduating high school senior or a homeschool student planning to enroll as a full-time student at an accredited college and planning to study in a healthcare-related field. They must also be a current resident (or dependent of a current resident) in the cities of Suffolk and Franklin as well as Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex counties and Gates County, North Carolina.

“I think the main thing for us is we want students that are committed to coming back to Western Tidewater and Gates County, North Carolina, to serve in the healthcare program,” Turner said.

Likewise, Hobbs expressed how proud he was of the scholarship.

“…because this is really an important scholarship. A big step that I think can draw a lot of attention and create this kind of vision in the community’s eyes. And I would also mention that we reviewed the scholarship applications here. Very impressive group,” Hobbs said. “We were just thoroughly blown away by the qualifications of all the people who applied. So these are very special girls.”

For more information on the Obici Healthcare Foundation Career Pathways Scholarship, go to