Betty J. Gaston
ST. PETERSBURG – For 14 years, St. Petersburg College (SPC) was fortunate enough to have in their employee one Betty J. Gaston. As a librarian, she was committed to service and education. After retiring last October, she decided her passion for assisting students to achieve their academic goals must continue here in St. Petersburg and in her hometown of Ocala.
Gaston stepped up by partnering locally with the St. Petersburg College Foundation to create the Betty J. Gaston Endowed Scholarship for Nursing, and along with her three sisters—Georgia Gaston, Idella Gaston and Sadie Hughes—established in honor of their parents the Ike and Sarah Gaston Endowed Nursing Scholarship at the College of Central Florida.
Gaston, a past president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in St. Petersburg, determined that supporting nursing students with financial assistance is very vital to both the St. Petersburg and Ocala communities, as the profession is amongst the most needed and trusted.
Neither of her parents received a college education but they made every effort to ensure that all four of their daughters attended college.
“I want to give students the chance to go further than my mother, who in spite of her lack of education was a nurse’s aide at the hospital in my hometown in Ocala,” said Gaston, whose passion for education is evident by her own success with a bachelor’s degree in business from Eckerd College and a master’s degree in library science from the University of South Florida.
“Being a single mother of a child with special needs, I find myself not able to find the money to pay for classes at times,” said Tamika Davis.
Tamika Davis is this year’s recipient of the Betty J. Gaston Endowed Scholarship for Nursing. By receiving $1,000, she is awarded the opportunity to continue her dream of becoming a nurse.
Davis enjoys working in healthcare. She enjoys caring for individuals that cannot care for themselves.
“Being a single mother of a child with special needs, I find myself not able to find the money to pay for classes at times,” said Davis. “Your generous donation and scholarship fund has helped me tremendously.”
Gaston and her family’s support will ensure that nursing students in St. Petersburg and Ocala can obtain the skills and competencies necessary to serve their communities. It is the family’s hope that other members of the community will feel compelled to invest resources and partner with local colleges.
Providing scholarships is a real and direct investment into the students of the community. Gaston’s commitment to progress is much appreciated.
To find out more about the Betty J. Gaston Endowed Scholarship for Nursing at SPC, please contact Frances Neu, executive director of the SPC Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on the Ike and Sarah Gaston Endowed Nursing Scholarship at the College of Central Florida, please contact Executive Director Christopher Knife at email@example.com.