Through Popular Shoe, Book Sales, Johnston Health Volunteers Grow Their Scholarship Program

The Volunteers of Johnston Health have awarded 12 scholarships to students interested in pursuing health care careers. From left, they are: Breyia R. Spruill of Selma, Hampton Tilghman of Pikeville, Reagan Howell of Smithfield, Emma Sheldon of Clayton, Victoria Ramos of Smithfield, Cassie Knittel of Clayton, Michaela Alexyon of Cary, Jacqueline Seagriff of Clayton, Cameron J. Jackson of Princeton, and Lisa Marie Jones-Drolet of Clayton. Recipients absent from photo were Brianna Davis and Whaley Crabtree, both of Clayton.

If you’ve ever bought a book, a pair of shoes or earrings at one of the special sales sponsored by the hospital volunteers at Johnston Health, then you’ve helped someone further his or her education.

Sue Archambeault, the recent past president of the volunteers, is credited with boosting the scholarship program. During her tenure, she brought in the larger, commercial sales to raise more money so that the volunteers could offer larger scholarships to more recipients.

Archambeault, who is a retired teacher, remembers her own struggle in finding a scholarship when she returned to school in her thirties. “That’s why the scholarship presentations are my favorite,” she says. “To see the excitement in their faces is priceless and makes my heart soar.”

In the last 10 years, the volunteers have grown their program from five scholarships of $500 apiece to 12 scholarships of $1,000 apiece. And one of the scholarships this year was a gift from fellow volunteers, who wanted to honor Archambeault for her 14 years of impactful service.

Best of all, she got to choose the recipient.

It turned out to be Cameron “CJ” Jackson of Princeton, who has applied to nursing school at East Carolina University. His mother, Cynthia Holloman, is director of quality at Johnston Health, and she earned a scholarship a few years ago to help with her master’s degree.

“They believed in us, and that’s motivating,” Holloman says. “Through the scholarship program, they’ve helped so many people in our communities.”

From CJ’s letter and application, Archambeault says she saw spirit, tenacity, eagerness—qualities that make help make future nurses and doctors successful.

“Once they’re established in their careers, I hope CJ and the other recipients will look for ways to help others who are just starting out,” she says. “Working as a volunteer opened my heart to so many people. I’m honored beyond words that they gave a scholarship in my name.”