Nursing student wins scholarship for those affected by work injuries

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A Delaware State University nursing student has won the 2019 Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Scholarship, which aids the friends, family members and colleagues of injured workers in the pursuit of higher education.

A Delaware State University nursing student has won the 2019 Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Scholarship, which aids the friends, family members and colleagues of injured workers in the pursuit of higher education.

Ariyanna Bryant, of Ardmore, Pa., will receive $5,000 toward her tuition. In the essay she submitted to win the scholarship, she described how she has relied on her paternal grandmother, Sharon Bryant. Sharon has been Ariyanna's primary guardian since the death of Ariyanna's father 10 years ago.

Sharon was a teacher for the Philadelphia School District for 25 years. She's been out of work and on workers' compensation for a year with back pain and upper respiratory issues.

"She is the main one helping me with paying for college…and her being a single grandparent has put a lot of pressure on her to try and make sure that I have a better chance in life," Ariyanna wrote in her essay.

A 'blessing'
At the scholarship presentation, Ariyanna described how her grandmother's injury affected her pursuit of her nursing degree.

"It's been hard because of the money situation," Ariyanna said. "It's putting more stress on the both of us. I'm trying to worry about school, how it's gonna get paid for, and keeping up with my grades."

"I'm very happy to receive this, very grateful," Ariyanna said. "It has taken a lot of stress off the both of us. It's a blessing."

Education is expensive even when both parents are healthy and able to earn a living. When a work injury occurs, it can have a catastrophic effect on a family's educational hopes and dreams. Pond Lehocky recognizes that making families whole again after a work injury goes beyond successfully navigating the legal process.

Keeping educational dreams alive
The firm has seen firsthand how the death or disability of a breadwinner can leave the family teetering on financial disaster. Parents, who had big dreams for the children, are left with crushing realization that they cannot help with their children fulfill those dreams because of the onerous, ever-increasing expense of education.

Therefore, the firm's partners started the annual Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Scholarship, which aids the friends, family members and colleagues of injured workers in the pursuit of higher education. The $5,000 annual scholarship is open to everyone currently accepted to or enrolled in higher education and is not limited to any particular university. Applicants must have had some personal connection to a work-related injury.

With the scholarship, the Pond Lehocky reaffirms its commitment to provide holistic care to injured and disabled workers that extends beyond the legal process. Providing a scholarship to those impacted by work injuries recognizes the struggles clients face to be made whole again.

Pond Lehocky also understands that fighting for the hard-working members of our community is a privilege. With that privilege, comes a professional and moral duty to give back to the community. Pond Lehocky has made education a key focus of its charitable efforts. This scholarship is another example of that dedication.

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano opened its doors in July 2010 with six attorneys and only 22 total staff members. Today, it is the largest workers’ compensation and Social Security disability law firm in the region, boasting locations across the country and over 200 staff members. The firm has also recently expanded into new practice areas for workers, including employment law and long-term disability.

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Maura Kennedy
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