We Remember

On this page we remember U.S. Cadet Nurses who have passed on and where they received their training in nursing. If you are a daughter, son, niece, nephew, grandchild, other relative, or friend of a deceased U.S. Cadet Nurse and would like to include your loved one on this page, please contact us.

Pearl Melnick Zeltzer

Family members include: Beloved Wife of George "Mike" Zeltzer; Dear Mother of David (Rita Addison) Zeltzer, Gary (Janice) Zeltzer, Elliot (Dr. Susan) Zeltzer and
Jeremy (Kevin Dennis) Zeltzer; Loving Grandmother of Marc (Miha) Zeltzer, Joe Zeltzer, Ari Sachter Zeltzer, Ruth Zeltzer, Stuart Zeltzer, Paul Zeltzer and Barry Zeltzer; Sister of Lillian Horn.

Pearl was a Registered Nurse and was part of the Nurse Cadet Corps in World War 11. A Trustee of the Michigan Opera Theatre,  Pearl played a pivotal role in establishing their dance program. A Patron of the Arts, she was an active member of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. A Fellow at Brandeis University, she was a key player in the Center for Judaic Technology at Brandeis. Along with her husband, George "Mike" Zeltzer, they established an annual lecture for the Cohn Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University which placing its focus  on Women in Judaism. Pearl was an Associate Member of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and a major supporter of the Stratford Festival as well as the Shaw Festival.

Grace Hosp. School of Nursing, Detroit, Michigan
Photo of Dorothy J Braun Turner Dorothy J. Braun Turner

Passed away on March 1, 2014.

Steven R Turner writes:

Dorothy J. Braun (Turner) was the first cadet nurse trainee from Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, to be accepted by the Navy into US Naval Hospital, Seattle, Washington.  She was 21  and finished her last 6 months of training in Seattle.  While there, she met and subsequently married Richard E. Turner, a Pharmacist Mate FC, who was heading off to finish medical school in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They married in October of 1945.  My parents settled in Eugene, Oregon, after his graduation from University of Michigan and residency in pediatrics.  Dorothy maintained her nursing license and continued to work in the field until her retirement in 1989 from the University of Oregon's Student Health Center.

Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing and Hygiene, Detroit, Michigan
Katherine Jane Rickes Orr

Charlene Orr writes: 

My mother, Katherine Jane Rickes Orr enlisted 1944, graduating from Vassar Brother's Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. Poughkeepsie, NY. Of the 33 classmates, I believe only 8 are left. My mother passed away, January 2009. I have a good friend, Thelma Robinson who lives in Boulder, and the author of wonderful books about the Cadet Nurse Corps. Another is Marjorie Patak, of Woodridge NJ. I keep in touch with both. Am so glad to see a FB page of the CNC!

Vassar Brother's Hospital School of Nursing, Poughkeepsie, New York
Photo of Virginia Adrig Virginia G. Adrig

January 25, 1924 - June 4, 1963

Virginia was a U.S. Cadet Nurse and took her training through the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, probably in 1943/1944. She graduated from high school in 1942. She never married and had no children.

If anyone has more information on Virginia, please contact Cindy Graff at greenfrogs79@yahoo.com.  Thank you.

Michael Reese Hospital School of Nursing
Photo of Sylvia Jimenez Almeyda Sylvia Jimenez Almeyda

More recent photo of Sylvia Jimenez AlmeydaNovember 3, 1917 - December 15, 2011

Sylvia Jimenez Almeyda was born on November 3, 1917 in Clifton, Arizona, a copper mining camp in Greenlee County. Shortly thereafter, Sylvia and her parents, Antonio and Josefa Gonzales Jimenez, moved to Miami, Arizona, where her father found laborer’s work at the Miami Copper Company. After graduation in 1935 from Miami High School, Sylvia worked as a nurses’ aide at the Miami Inspiration Hospital. In 1943, she became a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp. Within this program, Sylvia enrolled in St. Mary’s School of Nursing & began taking nurses’ training in Tucson, and graduated from St. Mary’s in 1945. By then, her soldier-husband-to-be, Alfred Almeyda, returned from his military service overseas, and returned to his home in Miami. He and Sylvia soon married & began their own lives in California, where they lived until 1986. As a registered nurse, Sylvia established an exemplary record of service in major hospitals in California, and over a period of 40 years, with a speciality in maternity and infant care.  Sylvia and Alfred Almeyda returned to Miami, Arizona in 1986 to enjoy a new life in retirement. The couple became active in community service work for the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, the Miami Senior Center, and for the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum. Alfred Almeyda passed away in 1995. Sylvia Almeyda passed away on December 15, 2011, at the age of 93.

St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing, Tucson, Arizona
Photo of Frieda Emmons Frieda Emmons

August 20, 1911 - May 14, 1969

Frieda Emmons was a Cadet Nurse who worked as a nurse up until the time of her death in 1969.

Catholic University of America Extension, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Photo of Portteus Stephens Corporon Hughes Portteus Stephens Corporon Hughes

June 13, 1925 - January 18, 2014

Portteus Stephens Corporon Hughes (Port, Portie) attended and graduated from Arcadia High School in 1943 and joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. She then became a nursing student at Mount Carmel Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. After graduation she became a Registered Nurse in October of 1946. Part of her training was completed at the City Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. She worked at Mount Carmel Hospital for two years. Portie’s infectious smile, positive outlook on life, playfulness, welcoming hospitality, and her toe socks will be missed by her family, church and community.

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Mount Carmel Hospital, Pittsburg, Kansas
Photo of Mary Therese Power Paynter Mary Therese Power Paynter

February 7, 1926-January 24, 2014

Mary Power PaynterMary Therese (nee Power) Paynter, served in the US Cadet Nurse Corps from 1944-1947 at Loyola University of Chicago, St. Bernard's Hospital Unit.

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Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
Jane Knox Carson

Died January 20, 2014

Had a long and varied career in nursing

Keuka College School of Nursing, Penn Yan, New York
Mary Alice Thornton Rardin Mary Alice Thornton Rardin

October 1st, 1924 - January 19, 1995

My grandmother Mary Alice was a cadet nurse. She was very proud of her participation in the program. She was not only a fantastic nurse but a pillar of her community and remained dedicated to veterans till the day she passed away.

Links: 

http://www.stfrancispittsburgh.com/alumni_1904_1951.html

http://tuitionmissionfoundation.com/Mary_Alice_Rardin.html

Carin Fullum would love to hear from those who knew her grandmother. Please contact her at fullumc@gmail.com.

St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Patsy Dean Trainor Patsy Dean Trainor

October 30, 1927 - March 20,1972

Patsy Dean Trainor moved to Farmington, New Mexico, in the 50's and was a nurse for a local doctor. Later when she and her husband Earl were sent to the Reservation in Arizona for work in oilfield, she served as the Camp Nurse.

Santa Monica's Hospital School of Nursing, Phoenix, Arizona
Loreen Phillips Overstreet Loreen Phillips Overstreet

December 25, 1925 - January 26, 2008

Dr. Loreen ‘Phyl’ Overstreet, 82, formerly of Fayetteville, died Jan. 26, 2008. She was preceded in death by her husband, the Rev. Dan Overstreet, and son, Marcus Overstreet. She was a professor emeritus with the University System of Georgia. She attended Ouachita College in Arkansas, the University of Georgia, Southwestern Theological Seminary in Texas, and Emory University where she received her master's degree. At the University of South Carolina she received her doctorate of education degree. She also received her nursing degree from the Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. She began her career as a registered nurse as a World War II Army Cadet. She taught in several colleges and schools of nursing. She was honored with medals and awards for her work including the Individual Service Award by the Georgia Rural Health Association in 1988.

Georgia Baptist Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia
Nancy Fitzgerald

January 9, 1918 - November 16, 2012

Nancy Smith Phibbs was born on January 9, 1918, in Linwood, North Carolina. She was the youngest of three children and grew up in High Point, North Carolina. After she graduated from high school she held various jobs and in 1941 she entered a Seminary in Nyack, New York. A year later she began Cadet Nurse training at Memorial Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina from 1942-1946. Upon graduation she was given the choice of the Army, Navy, or Indian Service. She chose Indian Service as a nurse and worked at both Fort Defiance and Tuba City, Arizona. Nancy considered her work on the reservation the highlight of her nursing career. In Tuba City, Arizona, she met and married George A. Sakiestewa in 1947. In 1948 her only child Ramona Sakiestewa was born. Nancy continued her nursing career in Albuquerque working at the Indian Sanitarium, St. Joseph's Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, the Veteran's Administration Hospital, and the Kirtland Dispensary.

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Memorial Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina
Rita Swinghamer Rita Soller Swinghamer

Passed away at age 88 on October 1, 2013.

On August 16, 1943, I entered the St. Francis School of Nursing in La Crosse, WI. At the time it was depression years. My parents were struggling financially but willing to find some way to pay. Can you imagine how $300 for 3 years was a financial burden? I wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. A few days after admission, we were called into assembly and told that the school had been accepted by the United States Cadet Nurse Corps. It was an answer to our prayers, and I was also able to serve my country in the time of WWII.

For the next 30 months, I went to classes, did floor duty on the general units and specialized departments. We worked all three shifts including split shifts. I was in the Communicable Disease Department during the polio season. We had six patients in the iron lung of which one survived. During our last six months, I worked on several different units, including OB. In OB it was nine months after the war was over and we had babies, babies, etc. OB was my favorite department. We also studied for State Boards and I am happy to say I passed on my first attempt.

For the next 34 years I worked in many areas including Medical, Surgical, Orthopedics, OB, and Office Nursing. After graduation I worked one year in Highland Park, Michigan, in OB, and in 1955-1956 I worked weekend float Nurse in Denver General in Colorado.

In 1950 I married Walter Swinghamer. He served in the Aleutians WWII -- Staff Sargeant in the U.S. Air Force. He worked for Whitaker General Medical until retirement. Our daughter, Sandy, was born in 1954, our son Jim was born in 1956. Our daughter has worked as a CCU Nurse and is now a Telephone Nurse Advisor. Our son is a Nuclear Medicine Technologist in a VA hospital. His wif is the District Manager for Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy Services. They have two daughters. Erin will start as a fourth year Pharmacy Student at Drake University. Kelly will be a first year Psychology student at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. She is interested in occupational therapy. Our son-in-law owned Fanning Electric and is retired.

In 1957, I went to work in OB-Labor and Delivery and in 1967 I was appointed Head Nurse. In 1980 I retired from St. Francis Medical Center on disability with MS.

Rita Swinghamer 1943-2013A collage of Rita Swinghamer as Nurse (left), Cadet Nurse in uniform (center and top right), and now.

 

St. Francis School of Nursing, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Florence Hilda Johnson

May 18, 1926 - January 18, 1977

Her married name was F. Hilda Gutek. 

Salem Training School for Nurses, Salem, Massachusetts
LaVondah Helen Crouch

August 1, 1927  - July 30, 2005  

Kokomo, Indiana and Springfield, Illinois
Edith Estelle Whitt Mullins

Edith Estelle Whitt Mullins, age 88, a lifelong resident of Cedar Bluff, Va., died Friday, December 30, 2011. Mrs. Mullins was born February 13, 1923, the second of seven children of the late George Dewey and Annie Steele Whitt. Mrs. Mullins was a registered nurse, a graduate of Richlands High School (class of 1942) and The Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing (class of 1945) where she was a member of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps. Mrs. Mullins retired from Clinch Valley Clinic/Medical Center in Richlands in 1988 with over 40 years of professional service.

Edith’s nursing demeanor and her life can best be described as one of total unselfishness and caring. She was at her best giving, loving, and serving with compassion and kindness. She will forever be loved and remembered by those whose lives she touched for those endearing qualities.

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The Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee
Dorothy Backman Hampton Dorothy Backman Hampton

Passed away in 2009

Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing, Oakland, California
Ruth Ann Slivka

1926 - 2009
Serial Number 137338
Admitted June 17, 1945
Graduated July 28, 1948

Mercy School of Nursing, Chicago, IL
Catherine Murphy Catherine Murphy

November 25, 1927 - April 3, 1984

The Cambridge City Hospital School of Nursing, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Photo of Theo Jespersen Theo E. Jespersen

April 7, 1926 - November 3, 2012

My mother, Theo E. Jespersen (at the time) completed the Cadet Corp nurses training program at LA County - USC Med. Center during WW2.  I don't know the exact years.  She passed away on Nov. 3, 2012.  She was always very proud of her service in the Cadet Nurse Corps.  She became an RN and worked in Santa Maria, CA, at Sister's Hospital, Marian Hospital, and later became a School Nurse at the local high schools.  She married and had 2 sons (last name Openshaw). 

Neal Openshaw

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LA County - USC Med. Center, California
Photo of Neola Louise (Noell) Younker Neola Louise Noell Younker

September 7, 1924 - July 7, 2001

Bishop Johnson College of Nursing, Los Angeles, California
Photo of Mildred Ethel Laird Mildred Ethel Laird

Passed away peacefully on September 3, 2012, at age 85.

Mildred Ethel Laird lived a wonderful and honorable life. We are very proud of the part of her history and lifelong career that came from the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corp. Thank you for your service and for the blessing that the Corps gave her, my family and all of the people she helped over her 51 years of service. 

from Russell Riall, Mildred's son
 

Touro Infirmatory, New Orleans, LA
Photo of Rose Arabelle Logue Carter Rose Arabelle Logue Carter

Died March 19, 2011 at the age of 87.

Rose Arabelle (nee Logue) Carter, was a graduate of the USCNC, serving in the burn ward at NTS Sampson (Hospital), Sampson NY, from April to October 1945.

Rose was a student & (Nov ’45) graduate of St Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing, Newark NJ. She served as a visiting public health nurse in the Monmouth County Organization for Social Services (MCOSS) in New Jersey until 1967, when she moved to Florida. She served as a geriatric charge nurse in various hospitals and nursing homes in the Clearwater FL, area until she retired and moved to New Smyrna Beach FL in 1986 to be close to my younger sister and her new family.

St Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing, Newark, New Jersey
Mary Gloria Kelleher

December 18, 1927 - December 8, 2011

Mount Auburn School of Nursing, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Naomi M Whadcook Fitzpatrick

February 9, 1920 - March 1, 2009

Westchester School of Nursing, Valhalla, New York
Agnes Jane Yettke

November 22, 1923 - July 30, 1996

Iowa Methodist School of Nursing, Des Moines, Iowa
Photo of Doris Meharry Doris Meharry

Died January 13, 2012 at the age of 89.

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Traverse City State Hospital School of Nursing, Michigan
Charlotte Katona

March 1, 1924 - February 13, 2010

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Nightingale tribute

Evangelical Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Photo of Betty Gerl Betty Gerl

October 4, 1926 - November 8, 2010

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St. Joseph's School of Nursing, Joliet, Illinois
Photo of Joan Douglas Joan Douglas

March 23, 1923 - April 12, 2011

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Stanford University School of Nursing, Palo Alto, California
Photo of Constance Besch Constance Besch

February 7, 1925 - March 5, 2010

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St. Vincent Charity School of Nursing, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo of Mary Callahan Mary E. Gillespie Callahan

Died February 5, 2010, at age 82.

The shortage of nurses was so great, recalls Mary Callahan of her training days at Chelsea Memorial Hospital, "that the students were running the hospitals. The only Registered Nurses on the floor were supervisors. Everyone else was a student and we had 120 beds." 

The routine of classes and duty in the hospital was demanding, but she acknowledges she may never have been able to pursue a career in nursing without the incentives offered by the government.

Following graduation she worked at the Contagious Disease Hospital in Brighton dealing with patients with polio, cholera and yellow fever "and we had one whole unit full of iron lungs" at the height of the polio crisis.

Married in 1949, she and her husband Paul moved to Baltimore where she worked at the Sinai Hospital for three years before returning to Foxboro where they would raise their five children.

Mary left nursing in 1969 to devote her full attention to caring for Paul, who passed away in 1973. She then went back into the work force full time as nurse manager when the Foxboro Area Health Center opened on Mechanic Street, working there until 1989.

She looks back on a rewarding career and a fulfilled life, grateful for the program that helped make it possible and her opportunity to step forward when her nation called.

-adapted from The Foxboro Reporter, Thursday, November 12, 2009, p. 3 & 5

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Chelsea Memorial Hospital, Massachusetts
Photo of Barbara Louise Hofstra Barbara Louise Hofstra Almy

February 22, 1925 - June 12, 2012

Barbara Lousie Hofstra Almy graduated from Nursing School in 1947 and continued in nursing until she retired from South Shore Hospital Nursing Administration in 1987.

She often spoke of her service as a cadet nurse. Barbara would always joke about how she met her husband under a bed at the MGH.The truth is after the war her husband to be was a volunteer orderly at the hospital. He heard the sound of breaking glass coming from a patient's room and went in to investigate.The patient dropped a glass urinal on the floor so he knelt down next to the bed to clean up the glass not realizing Barbara was knelt down on the other side picking up pieces of glass. She said their eyes met and it was love at first sight.They married August 28,1948. As a prank they would tell people their oldest daughter was born August 21st to see how people would react. Shortly later the would tell the truth; their daughter was born August 21st 1949. Two more daughters and a son came later.Barbara retired as the Quality Care Director at South Shore Hospital in So.Weymouth, about 15 miles south of Boston. They bought their first home in Halifax, MA, near Plymouth in 1965.

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Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, Boston, Massachusetts
Photo of Elaine Etter Emerson Elainne Etter Emerson

October 1926 - June 2010

Elainne took training at the Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing in Alexandria, Virginia.  She traveled from her hometown of Waynesboro, Pa. in 1944 and graduated in 1946.  She stayed in Alexandria where she worked in the hospital ER and married, of all people, a fireman.  She started a family of 3 in 1949 and remained in nursing for 35 years.  Elaine also volunteered in the Alexandria Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary which was made up of many different talents.  The nurses' focus at that time was to provide emergency care "on scene", triage, support for hospital staff called to the incident and rehab for the firemen.  They provided training to the firefighters at a time when basic first aid was the only thing available.  Many of the ladies who graduated after the war, weren't afforded the opportunity to serve in forward theaters,  continued with a purpose, their chosen vocation.   

Alexandria, Virginia, Hospital School of Nursing
Photo of Eileen Elizabeth (Wattman) LaRivee Eileen Elizabeth Wattman LaRivee

September 24, 1925 - April 13, 2011

Born September 24, 1925 in Lynn, MA to Thomas M. Wattman and Elizabeth (Beary) Wattman. Educated in the Lynn Public Schools and graduated from Lynn English High School in 1943. She served with the U.S. Public Health Service Cadet Nurse Corps, which was the largest group of uniformed women to serve in World War II, and did her training and work out of Lynn Hospital until 1945.

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Lynn Hospital School of Nursing, Lynn, Massachusetts
Photo of Sarah Ann Morazzini Richards Sarah Ann Morazzini Richards

August 4, 1925 - February 20, 2010

Recent photo of Sarah RichardsSarah graduated from high school in 1944, and was accepted into the Registered Nursing program of the Cadet Corps, graduating in 1947. Upon graduation from nursing school, Sarah's nursing career was centered in public hospitals. According to her daughter, Nancy Richards-Stower, the cadet program was her mom's way to her nursing career.

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Leominster Hospital School of Nursing, Leominster, Massachusetts
Portrait of Helen Kleinschmidt Olson Helen Kleinschmidt Olson

September 26, 1922 - February 25, 2013

Helen Kleinschmidt Olson was a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II. She entered in 1943 at the Indianapolis City Hospital and graduated in 1946. She served in the tuberculosis ward at the hospital after the war.

Unfortunately, Helen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's ten years ago and hasn't been able to communicate for years. Her daughter, Lisa, is doing all she can as a child of a Cadet Nurse to get the recognition they deserve and is very proud of her mom, what she had to go through and her service to our great country. Lisa hopes that these great women are recognized before all of them are gone. .

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Indianapolis City Hospital, Indiana
Photo of Cadet Mary E Prendergast Mary E Prendergast McNamara

1924 - 2004

Mary E. Prendergast was a 1945 graduate of St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing in Boston MA. After graduation she and 16 of her classmates entered the Cadet Nursing Corps to help meet the Army's and Navy's nursing needs. Mary went on to serve at Lovell General Hospital at Ft. Devens Massachusetts until the end of the war. Following WWII, she married Army SSGT Jim McNamara and raised 11 children in Quincy Massachusetts where among other jobs, she was the neighborhood nurse for tens of kids in the area.

St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing, Boston MA
Geraldine Wagner

Geraldine Wagner died in 1990.

Grant Hospital School of Nursing, Columbus, Ohio
Picture of Jean Butler Booher Jean Butler Booher

March 24, 1927 - April 14, 2011

Clarkson School of Nursing, Omaha, Nebraska
Nancy R. Kasfeldt Blasco

April 7, 1924 - June 2, 2011

The Danbury Hospital School of Nursing, Danbury, CT
Picture of Elsie F Ulrich Szecsy Elsie F. Ulrich Szecsy

September 28, 1925 - June 19, 2005

Elsie Ulrich learned of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps while a student at Pleasantville High School in Westchester County, New York. She and her sister lived with an aunt, who took care of them after their previous caregiver left employment by their father. Her mother died in childbirth when she was 8, and in those days a man was ill-equipped to care for two daughters. Elsie's childhood was difficult, and she received little encouragement to pursue her dreams.

Elsie saw the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps as both a way to serve her country as was a means to improve her prospects as an emancipated adult at a time when achieving this status was difficult for women. She started Nursing School in 1943 and graduated in 1946. Her favorite specialties were surgical and psychiatric nursing. She continued working in the hospital where she trained until she married. When she and her husband moved to Queens, NY, for her husband's work as an industrial nurse with an airline, she continued her work in nursing at Queens General Hospital. When they moved to suburban Long Island and started a family, Elsie resigned her hospital nursing position to pursue a career as homemaker, caregiver, and encourager to her two children in reaching for a better life for themselves. Through her experience with the USCNC, Elsie had the knowledge to equip her children to work hard and do well in school so that they would be prepared for college.

Westchester School of Nursing, Valhalla, NY