Nursing students at Terra State Community College are required to complete community service and fundraising projects as part of their education in serving others.
Their efforts recently surprised one of their professors, Sue Kajfasz. At their pinning ceremony in December, the students took the opportunity to present Kajfasz with a check for $350 to go to the scholarship fund named for her late grandson, Aaron.
“I was so touched and delighted, and for them to take time away from their special moment to present that gift was so moving,” Kajfasz said. “I was totally taken by surprise.”
The son of Alex and Sheila Kajfasz, Aaron died before his third birthday in April of 2011 due to complications from an infection. Kajfasz established a scholarship fund in his name shortly after. It is targeted to veterans because her son is in the military.
“I can’t tell you how meaningful it is to Alex and Sheila. That’s what really makes me happy,” Kajfasz said. “Sheila is just in awe of the generosity and so happy that Aaron is not forgotten.”
It was profound for the students as well.
“Some of the students who graduated this fall were here when Aaron died,” said Meghan Rich, former president of the Terra Student Nursing Association. “We remembered when it happened. This also allows us to pay tribute to one of the favorite nursing faculty.”
For the Terra College Foundation, the donation is very much appreciated.
“From a college foundation standpoint, it really doesn’t get any better that this,” said Lisa Williams, Executive Director of the Terra College Foundation. “This is students helping other students by paying it forward.”
In addition to the check, the December 2013 class of nursing graduates also presented Kajfasz with a plaque.
For more information on establishing a scholarship fund or donating to an existing one at Terra State, contact Jill Simpson at 419-559-2362.