UMUC's scholarship for caregivers makes furthering education possible

Elizabeth Howe
November 13, 2018 - 12:32 pm

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

Marie Gibson is working towards her Bachelor's degree in Psychology so, as a nurse practitioner, she can better understand her patients and how to help them. But on top of academics, Gibson is also a wife, mother, and caregiver to her husband who is an injured military service member. With the help of University of Maryland University College, Gibson is able to provide for her family, care for her husband, and further her education all at the same time.

"We have to make sure they get to their appointments. If they have surgeries, we take care of them. We have to make sure their medicine has been taken care of. It's a lot, but we have to do it," said Gibson who is a caregiver for her husband. 

Gibson spent more than ten years working as a nurse assistant in Florida before her husband even joined the military. 

"After seeing everything that happens in the hospital, seeing what patients go through and what families go through, I wanted to be a better nurse," Gibson said. "So I wanted to major in psychology so I could better understand how a mind works and how to deal with everything and how to be a better service for that person."

Gibson discovered UMUC's Pillars of Strength scholarship for caregivers of injured or wounded military service members through the Yellow Ribbon Fund. She cried when UMUC called her about the status of her scholarship application. 

"I cried. I was driving when I got the call, and I was in tears," Gibson said. "It meant the world to us. I wanted to keep going to school but didn't know how it would happen — especially after what happened to my husband. We would not have been able to afford this without UMUC." 

Gibson says, with UMUC, she doesn't have to worry about how to pay the bills. 

"They're helping us start over without having to worry about how I'm going to pay for my education. I can do it online, at my own pace, and handle things at home with my husband at the same time. They're helping tremendously," Gibson said. 

The application for the Pillars of Strength scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year is currently open. If you are a caregiver for a military service member or veteran with a disabling wound, injury, or illness that occurred while on active duty after 9/11 you are eligible to apply. 

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