The Patricia Francis Scholarship Fund
The Patricia Francis Scholarship Fund provides a $1,000 one-year award to an Orange County High School graduate who is pursuing a career in nursing. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, a commitment to the nursing profession and evidence of diligence in their studies. Preference is given to applicants who have participated in nursing classes during high school.
The Fund has been sustained by the Orange County Recreation Women’s Volleyball League since Ms. Francis’ passing on January 2, 2007. Ms. Francis was an avid participant in the League for many years until diabetes ended her life at the very young age of 53.
Patricia Lee “Pat” Francis experienced all the loves and frustrations of being a nurse. She truly loved being a nurse at Culpeper Memorial Hospital.
Ms. Francis was born in Washington D.C. on February 3, 1955. She graduated from Orange County High School, where she excelled at basketball and track. She was president of the Girls Athletic Association and belonged to the nursing club. After high school, Ms. Francis attended Germanna Community College and the University of Virginia en route to earning her degree in nursing and her certification as a Registered Nurse.
Ms. Francis enjoyed life, and she loved spending time with her many friends in the community and at the hospital. In addition to playing volleyball with her friends, Ms. Francis enjoyed travel. Though diabetes robbed her of many years, she truly lived life to the fullest, according to her friends. The following quote was submitted by her friends in her memory:
You will never be bored. You will always be frustrated. You will be surrounded by challenges. You will carry immense responsibility and very little authority. You will step into people’s lives and you will make a difference. Some will bless you. Some will curse you. You will see people at their worst, and their best. You will never cease to be amazed at people’s capacity for love, courage and endurance. You will see life begin…..and end. You will cry a lot. You will laugh a lot. You will know what it is to be humane.
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Whitney Henderson, pictured with Shelia Lewis, received the Patricia Francis Scholarship. Whitney plans to attend Bridgewater College. When asked how she felt about winning the award she responded, “This scholarship will make it so much easier for me to go to Bridgewater College. I am so excited. I want to become a hematologist. This will get me started, thank you so, so much.”
Allie Fincham (Left) received the Patricia Francis Scholarship from Sheila Lewis during the Orange County High School Senior Awards Night program on June 4, 2012. “When I got the scholarship I was in shock,” Fincham stated. “I heard the $2,500 figure mentioned and thought, ‘that can’t be for me, I am just a regular student.’ And then they called my name. I am so grateful and so happy. This money will go straight to tuition at Lynchburg College where I plan to study pre-med. It will really ease the financial burden on me and my family now and in the future. I am so thankful. This Francis scholarship is so important to me.”
Brianna Knicely (Right) received the Patricia Francis Scholarship from Sheila Lewis during the Orange County High School Senior Awards Night program on June 4, 2012. “I plan to use my scholarship to further my education at Piedmont Virginia Community College and after I finish there, I’ll go on to UVA,” said Knicely. “This scholarship will help me reach my dream of being a nurse and take some of the burden off my Mother. I am so grateful for this opportunity. It means the world to me and my family.”