Is paying off for Gilpin County Grads!
PRESS RELEASE – When 19 members of the Gilpin County High School class of 2019 received their diplomas on May 18, at least one graduate did so knowing exactly what her next step is in preparing for her dream career. Shania Gonzales’ desire of becoming a trauma nurse began with an injury she suffered during her sophomore year, that prevented her from continuing to play basketball, volleyball or run track. It was her time in the hospital that led Gonzales to develop a passion for health care.
During her junior and senior years, she took classes at Warren Tech, and completed Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training. The 18-year-old is excited to continue her education at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, in the school’s nursing program, this fall.
“The hospital setting feels like home, and the human body interests me. I took human anatomy, biology, and chemistry classes, and it is just all the different parts and functions of the body that really excites me,” she said.
Gonzales will be the first in her family to attend college, but her move to higher education can be celebrated by everyone in the community as a success story. Gonzales will receive a $6,000 City of Black Hawk Scholarship paid in increments of $750 over the next four years. The goal of the Black Hawk Scholarship program is to award scholarships to every Gilpin County high school graduate for college, vocational or trade school expenses.
“Getting the scholarship means I am one step closer to making my goal of being a trauma nurse a reality,” Gonzales said. The small class sizes she has experienced in Gilpin RE-1 since kindergarten are a feature she hopes will continue at the university. “I really like how the teachers get to know you personally,” Gonzales said. “If you need help, they will help you. I still know all my elementary teachers to this day. They are like family.”
The Black Hawk City Council approved the Black Hawk Scholarship Program back in 1994 and increased funding to $6,000 per graduate in 2009. Counting this year’s graduates, a total of 341 Gilpin County students have received scholarships, utilizing over $768,000 of the total amount awarded.