The Hans & Cay Jacobsen Charitable Foundation gave $35,000 this year to support scholarships at the UCF College of Nursing. This is the second year the Foundation has chosen to support UCF nursing scholarships. This is a $10,000 increase over last year’s gift.

The scholarships, which are awarded at the beginning of each term, will benefit students in UCF’s Concurrent Associate of Science in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which is in its second year in partnership with Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg.

“These scholarships are so important to the growth and advancement of these young nurses and their education, as well as their future careers,” said Katie Korkosz, development officer at the UCF College of Nursing. “Without the support of the foundation, many students would not be able to continue in the program, as these scholarships are often their primary source of financial aid.”

Through this innovative program, students are able to complete courses toward a B.S.N. degree from UCF while still enrolled in an A.S.N. program at the partner institution. After completing their A.S.N. degree, students can complete their B.S.N. degree within two additional semesters, which takes less time than a traditional R.N. to B.S.N. program.

Cassandra Mussatti, who is pursuing her dream of following in her family’s footsteps by becoming a nurse, had been struggling to pay her own way through the program when she received one of these scholarships.

“I have paid my way since my first class in 2010, although it has not been easy,” said Mussatti. “I prayed that my finances would turn around, and those prayers were answered when I received the Hans & Cay Jacobsen Foundation Scholarship. It didn’t just provide for me financially, but it also gave me hope that I could continue my education and reach my dream of becoming a registered nurse.”

Mussatti said words cannot express the gratitude she felt for receiving the scholarship, and the only way she can think to repay the foundation is to become the best nurse possible.

Patricia Nemeth, another scholarship recipient, also knows the difficulties of balancing her academic pursuits and her finances, but she is excited to be part of the program. Her UCF concurrent nursing classes are training her to understand and participate in nursing research, as well as to raise her professional and ethical standards.

“Juggling finances and continuing in the concurrent program can be a struggle,” Nemeth said. “The Hans & Cay Jacobsen Scholarship has helped me meet this challenge. Since I am over the age of 50, it is an advantage for me to be able to complete my B.S.N. while pursuing my two-year associate’s degree. The Hans & Cay scholarship is benefiting me directly but will also have an impact on the outcomes of my patients. I cannot say thank you enough!”

The foundation’s creator, Cay Jacobsen, was a former nurse, and was dedicated to supporting young nurses in their educations and careers.

“In its inaugural year, this program produced skilled nurses who will go on to serve the Lake and Sumter communities,” said Teresa Borcheck, board member and president of The Hans & Cay Jacobsen Charitable Foundation. “We decided to continue to support the program because we are excited to see how it will grow and improve in the coming year.”

The Hans & Cay Jacobsen Foundation supports programs and organizations that promote the vision the Jacobsens had for their community. The foundation’s goal is to support underprivileged and at-risk children and young adults in Lake and Sumter Counties through programs promoting their health, education, culture and recreation.

If you would like to support nursing scholarships at UCF through a tax-deductible donation, contact Katie Korkosz at 407-823-1600 or [email protected].