Three NMU students have been selected to receive the first scholarships awarded by the Caregiver Incentive Project (CIP), a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of the cared for by supporting caregivers. The recipients—all from Michigan—are Stephanie Enrietti of Ishpeming, Emily Hawkins of Clarkston and Rachel Mitchell of Davison. Each will be awarded $2,000 to help further their education and encourage their future or continued caregiver roles.
Enrietti will graduate from NMU in June of 2021 as an LPN and is a mom of two teenage daughters, her youngest with disabilities. She currently works as a certified nursing assistant at a local facility in Ishpeming and is also a certified medical assistant.
“Being selected to receive this scholarship is truly a blessing for me and my family,” she said. “I have worked very hard throughout the years to get where I am today and this token of appreciation will benefit greatly with financial aid. It also shows me that CIP sees great things within me and I am honored to help with the goal to encourage more health care providers to work within the homes of the community.”
Hawkins is an MBA student at NMU graduating at the end of this month. She has been working as an in-home caregiver for nearly five years and has worked in healthcare for over seven years.
“It personally means a lot that there is a program out there that is choosing to highlight caregivers as important members of our nation's workforce,” Hawkins said. “The demand for caregivers is only going to grow as our population ages. It is important to raise awareness of the shortage of caregivers early so we can enact change.”
Mitchell is a senior at NMU in the BSN program. After graduation, her goal is to become a certified nurse midwife.
“It is both an honor and privilege to be awarded this scholarship,” she said. “It carries meaning far beyond financial support by striving to change a serious problem many don't realize exists until they are seeking care for themselves or a loved one. It is the goal of a caregiver to provide care to their clients as if they are family, and with incentive programs such as the Caregiver Incentive Project in place to help adequately train and compensate caregivers, I am hopeful we will see an increase in caregiver numbers, job satisfaction, and in turn, an overall increase in the quality of care being provided.”
A small, socially-distanced award ceremony was planned for Nov. 6 at the Superior Health Foundation.
This is the first of many scholarship opportunities available through CIP. The scholarship program allows CIP to further its mission of incentivizing students to become or continue working as paid in-home caregivers within the existing systems as they attend school. These initial scholarships are made possible by a grant from Superior Health Foundation and a generous donation from David and Claudia Werner of Dexter, Mich.
Founded by Eric Paad, CIP aims to educate the public regarding the national crisis, provide financial incentives in the way of scholarships and stipends, and provide training for new and existing caregivers.
With the efforts beginning in Marquette and a plan to expand nationally, CIP is working closely with established agencies that serve disabled individuals, the elderly, medically fragile individuals, and others requiring in-home care. CIP is inspired by Dorothy Paad, Eric's daughter, for whom he and his wife are in-home caregivers. Learn more about Dorothy's inspiring story here.
Kylie Bunting, CIP marketing adviser, provided this content.