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Sharkey receives Knights of Pillar nursing scholarship

Sharkey receives Knights of Pillar nursing scholarship Pictured is Deanna Sharkey, a Holmes Associate Degree Nursing sophomore who received a $500 Joyce Adams Scholarship from the Knights of Pillars Nurses Association on April 26. Holmes Community College Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) sophomore Deanna Sharkey of Canton received a $500 Joyce Adams Scholarship from the Knights of Pillars Nurses Association (KPNA) during a banquet on April 26.

A student on the Holmes Ridgeland Campus, Sharkey was one of three chosen to receive a Joyce Adams Scholarship to be used for nursing school. A nonprofit corporation based in Canton, the mission of KPNA is to be a beacon in the community by providing emotional, mental and spiritual support to people who have been diagnosed with various health conditions, as well as their family members and caregivers.

"I would like to congratulate Tamara on receiving the Joyce Adams scholarship," said ADN Assistant Director Dr. Alice Austin. "The funds will help her so that she can concentrate on her sophomore courses. We at the Ridgeland Campus are proud of Tamara and wish her luck in the coming semesters."

KPNA president Bertha McGruder explained that the Joyce Adams scholarship was started with a vision she had after the death of a co-worker.

"There were so many of us present," McGruder said. "At that point I realized we only see each other at work or a funeral, especially those who have changed locations. I wanted the nurses to come together once a month just to mingle and have fun. After my friend, Joyce passed on the morning of our first banquet, I made myself a promise to help anyone in nursing, with a passionate heart to follow in her footsteps, for she was an awesome nurse who fulfilled her duties mentally until she passed away.

"Joyce was to be my right hand with KPNA," McGruder said. "She told me in her last words to continue the work that I started. It was a learning experience to get 501-C status; I didn't realize what was all involved. With God's guidance and grace I completed all the necessary documents within a year. I ask God every day to allow us to keep doing the good things for our community."

For more information about KPNA, contact the nonprofit's president, Bertha McGruder, at (601) 953-8769 or

For more information about the ADN program at Holmes, contact Dr. Austin at (601) 605-3419 or


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