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By Haley Chi-Sing

Saddleback Medical Center continued the 43rd year of its scholarship program amid the coronavirus pandemic, awarding San Clemente resident Crista Bowman and 16 other employees with scholarships to help complete their education.

All of the recipients currently are frontline workers pursuing their education alongside their job duties during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Many of these recipients have worked long hours on the frontline caring for patients during this crisis,” Saddleback Medical Center Foundation President Cecilia Belew said in a press release.

All recipients were chosen based on applications sent in, detailing their employment at Saddleback Medical, as well as their educational accomplishments and standing.

All applicants were required to have been taking credited courses at an accredited institution while maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or better. Candidates were also asked to submit personal statements and a letter of recommendation along with their applications.

“With the demands of family and work always looming, they still manage to find time to study and continue their education,” said Belew.

The Saddleback Medical Center awarded $28,000 in scholarships among their 17 recipients, utilizing “funds from an endowment for the scholarships.” Each award was distinctly named after specific hospital donors and contributions.

Over the years, the Saddleback Memorial Hospital scholarship program has awarded approximately $1.1 million to employees looking to further their education. Hospital donors have contributed to all scholarship funds.

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