CAS Awards Nursing Scholarship to PCC Student

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Charitable Organization in Pasadena gives scholarship to deserving nursing student in Pasadena Community Center. In line with its tradition of handing our FREE medical equipment since 1923, Convalescent Aid Society awards its annual scholarship money to Internatioanl student from India. The CAS is one of the best kept secret in Pasadena. CA.

Shalley Gupta, an international student from India studying at Pasadena Community College, is the most recent recipient of a Convalescent Aid Society (CAS) Nursing Scholarship.

Founded by a group of nurses more than 85 years ago, CAS loans medical equipment free of charge to residents throughout the San Gabriel Valley, as well as residents of Glendale and Burbank. The Pasadena-based charitable organization currently serves more than 7,500 clients, providing them with medical equipment ranging from wheelchairs to hospital beds.

The Nursing Scholarship program began in 2001, in honor of the nurses who founded the Convalescent Aid Society. Nursing students from Azusa Pacific University as well as Pasadena Community College have been the recipients.

The $1,000 scholarship CAS awarded to Shalley Gupta this year is providing some much-needed help. Gupta, an international student at Pasadena Community College, is in her first semester of the nursing program there. "I have already put the CAS scholarship to good use buying books. Nursing books are very expensive," she said, pointing to the large volume on the Starbucks table. "This one cost $150 used!"

A warm and friendly person, Gupta seems designed for the caring work of nursing. That is evident in how enthusiastic she is about her studies in the PCC nursing program.

"You learn so much that the semester goes by really fast. You meet so many people and you get to take care of people right away," she said.
Soon after the first semester begins, nursing students are taking part in clinical practice. Gupta has already tended to patients in a local nursing home and at Methodist Hospital.

"You learn something and then you practice it. It is quite different from education in my country, India. There the focus is on grades. Here the focus is on knowledge," Gupta continued. "The combination of classes and clinical work throughout the nursing program is helpful because you can put into practice what you have learned and you also see what you are lacking."

Two diabetic parents and many relatives in the medical field led Gupta into nursing. Speaking of her parents, she says, "You want to help take care of them, you want to learn more about the disease." But in the meantime, her parents are helping her. They staying with her in El Monte and caring for her four-and-a-half-year-old son, Eashan, while she studies at PCC.

"They are very supportive of education," Gupta says of her parents. "They tell me, 'you study, we'll take care of everything else.'"

The professors at PCC are very helpful as well, Gupta says gratefully. She admits that in the beginning, taking care of patients can be a little intimidating. "But," she adds, "the professors have been so supportive and the patients have been very responsive.

With the encouragement of her parents, the support of good professors, and financial help from CAS, Gupta is making good progress in pursuit of her nursing education, which she hopes will continue through a master's degree.

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Raoul Pascual

Raoul Pascual
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