The Mid-Coast American Association of UniversityWomen (AAUW) has selected Margaret (“Maggie”) Raymond of Montville as this year’s scholarship recipient. The Hutchinson Center partners with the Mid-Coast AAUW chapter in offering this annual scholarship to a first-time college student (or one who has been out of college for a while and is continuing their education) to cover the cost of one college class, including tuition, fees, books and required materials at the UMaine Hutchinson Center.

At the June meeting of the Mid-Coast AAUW, Raymond was recognized for her outstanding scholarship and continued excellent work in the health care field. Raymond thanked the AAUW members for such a special gift and for their generosity. “Not only is the scholarship a financial blessing, but it also is a recognition that someone believes in you,” she said.

Accepting the award, Maggie explained that she remembered considering being a nurse as far back as childhood. She got started in the medical profession three decades ago, when she earned a degree in medical laboratory science from the University of Maine in Augusta. For 15 years she worked as a technologist.

More recently, she earned her associate’s degree in nursing from UMA in May 2011. She took and passed her board examinations and started working at Waldo County General Hospital full-time on the medical/surgical floor.

“I love my job, I love my shift,” she said. “I feel really lucky – I feel like I’ve landed in a gold mine.” At WCGH, Raymond said, she has learned that being a nurse is not an easy job – she said she did not realize how intense the work could be sometimes. She said she appreciates that the hospital offers a program for new nurses where they can shadow a more seasoned nurse for several months to help them learn the ropes. Though she already has two degrees, Raymond isn’t done with her education. She’s currently working on earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing through the University of Maine, taking classes in Belfast at the Hutchinson Center campus.

Raymond is also appreciative of the support she receives at the Hutchinson Center and encourages other Hutchinson Center students to be sure to ask what’s available. Along with the Hutchinson Center, Raymond said, her family and friends have helped her along the way. She said she thinks those people believed in her more than she did in herself, at times, and she remains thankful for their help. “I couldn’t have done it without my very supportive network,” she said.

For anyone interested in beginning or going back to college, now is the time to begin the process. Call the Hutchinson Center at 338-8000 for an appointment with an academic adviser who can offer guidance every step of the way, and also help with the financial aid and scholarship process.