40 & 8 Hardy County Voiture 1623 Grants Scholarships To Eastern WVCTC Nursing Students

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(l-r) Jodee Crites, Michelle Adkins, & Whitney Simon, Eastern nursing students, and Jeff Fraley, director of nursing education for 40 & 8 Voiture 1623.

MOOREFIELD, W.Va. – On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, Jeff Fraley, director of nursing education, Warren Kessel, and Ken Bransky, representatives from 40 & 8 Hardy County Voiture 1623, presented four $500 checks from their nursing scholarship to Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College nursing students. The nursing student recipients were Michelle Adkins of Pendleton County, Jodee Crites of Grant County, Crystal Goodwater of Hampshire County, and Whitney Simon of Hardy County. “I am honored and extremely thankful to have been awarded the 40 & 8 scholarship,” said Crites, “As a single mom of two little girls, this money will not only help me but also benefit my daughters while I work towards my nursing degree.  I hope that they see that through hard work and dedication, they too will be able to make their dreams come true.”

“I have been honored to be one of the recipients of the 40 & 8 scholarship recipients the last 4 semesters. By awarding me this scholarship it has helped lessen the financial burden of me working alongside going to school and raising two children,” said Adkins, “The 40 & 8 scholarship has helped with my education pursuits with the support of their scholarship. I’m so thankful to receive this scholarship one last time and wanted to thank the 40 & 8 group for their generosity over the past 2 years.”

Scholarship support is very important for students to make pursuing their education even more affordable, as well as make it easier for those who work while enrolled. “Being able to receive this scholarship for each of my four semesters of this program has been an extreme help to my family and me,” said Simon, “I am beyond thankful to have the honor of receiving the scholarship for one last time during my nursing school journey at Eastern and can’t thank the 40&8 enough for allowing me that opportunity. 

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Representatives of 40 & 8 Voiture 1623 presented $500 scholarship checks’ to four Eastern nursing students.
(l-r) Crystal Goodwater, Eastern nursing student, Whitney Simon, Eastern nursing student, Warren Kessel, representative of 40 & 8, Jeff Fraley, director of nursing education for 40 & 8 Voiture 1623, Ken Bransky, representative of 40 & 8, Jodee Crites, Eastern nursing student, Michelle Adkins, Eastern nursing student, and Micaela Kidwell, nursing faculty.
(back; l-r) Warren Kessel and Ken Bransky, representatives of 40 & 8. (middle) Jeff Fraley, director of nursing education for 40 & 8 Voiture 1623. (front; l-r) Jodee Crites and Michelle Adkins, Eastern nursing students.

“This has been helping nursing students since World War I. That’s where the need was established. The soldiers were coming back and there were not enough nurses,” said Fraley, “that’s when the 40 & 8 stepped up and said, ‘You know what, we can help with this.’ It’s a big-time national program, I mean, it’s not just our local 40 & 8, it’s 40 & 8 around the nation.” The 40 & 8 was founded in 1920 by American Veterans returning from France after World War I. In 1955, they began their support for nursing education. Voiture 1623 of the 40 & 8, based in Moorefield, has been a longtime advocate and supporter of Eastern’s nursing students with this scholarship.

“The 40 & 8 was a huge part of this journey. When selected as a recipient of the scholarship I was overjoyed,” said Goodwater, “now that we are approaching the end of this journey with graduation fast approaching, I am grateful and a little sad this will be the last time these fine gentlemen meet us with our scholarship checks. Their support has made the journey a lot easier. I cannot thank the 40 & 8 enough for believing in me and selecting me as a recipient.” This is the fourth and last time that these students will be awarded this scholarship, as they are graduating soon. They were previously presented with checks in October of 2022, February of 2023, and October of 2023. In support of their nursing scholarship program, members of the 40 & 8 hold several fundraising events each year.

 “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for 40&8’s generous scholarship contribution to our students,” said Ciara Crites, Eastern nursing faculty, “Your commitment to education and the advancement of healthcare does not go unnoticed. Thank you!”

“Your generous scholarship investment doesn’t just fund education; it nurtures the growth of compassionate healers and dedicated caregivers. Your belief in our nursing students is a testament to the impactful journey they are on, and your support ensures that they not only receive knowledge but also carry forward the spirit of empathy and excellence in patient care,” said Alicia Van Meter, nursing program director at Eastern, “Your contribution is a beacon guiding the next generation of healthcare professionals toward brighter and more compassionate futures. Thank you for being a crucial partner in shaping the compassionate heartbeats of our nursing program.”

About the 40 & 8
La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux (The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses) membership is by invitation, and open only to honorably discharged veterans and honorably serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The society was created in 1920 in the wake of World War I, and the name comes from the French railway boxcars that carried most of the soldiers to the front lines. The boxcars featured a sign indicating the boxcar’s capacity: 40 men/8 horses. The national organization’s mission to support nursing education began in 1955.

About Eastern’s Nursing Program
The nursing program at Eastern dates back to 2006 when Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College launched a nursing program division in Moorefield. With Southern’s permission, Eastern later adopted the program’s curriculum and earned independent program accreditation from the WV Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses. The two-year RN program, which admits new students every other year, is also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). For more information, visit https://easternwv.edu/academics/nursing-program/.