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Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing graduates pave way for new nurse

Posted on May. 8, 2019 ( comments)

When RJ Mareham came to the United States from the Philippines at 17 years old, he wasn’t sure what he’d want to do after high school. His mom worked as a caregiver for most of his life, so he was inspired to follow in her footsteps.

Mareham started his career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at a nursing home. A year later, he was offered a CNA position at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.

He soon decided he wanted to become a registered nurse (RN) and began taking prerequisite courses at Tacoma Community College in 2014, then transferred to Yakima Valley Community College to complete his nursing program in 2017.

Because Mareham’s family lives in the South Sound and he wanted to keep his job working at Tacoma General on the weekends, he lived between Tacoma and Yakima while finishing school.

The expenses from commuting back and forth added up quickly.

Mareham applied for and received a scholarship through the Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing (TGHSON) Education Endowment Fund. His scholarship helped cover his tuition and living expenses for two quarters.

TGHSON was founded in 1895. Although the nursing school no longer exists today, there are more than 800 living TGHSON alumnae who support future nurses through donations to the TGHSON Education Endowment Fund. The endowment has distributed more than $1 million in educational scholarships and grants for nurses.

Mareham graduated from nursing school in 2019 and hope to pursue a full-time job working as an RN for the Tacoma General Hospital intensive care unit.

“I’m just so thankful because it really helped me not only with my finances, but with relieving the stress I was under,” Mareham says. “Having that scholarship money allowed me to pay for the extra gas, my food, tuition, books — everything. I just want to say thank you to everyone who makes this possible.”

You can contribute to the future of nursing at MultiCare by making a donation to the TGHSON Education Endowment Fund.

About The Author

McKenna Ownby

McKenna Ownby writes stories that connect readers to the impact of philanthropy.

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