Taylor Memorial Scholarship re-established at PCCUA
Posted Date: 5/3/23
Honoring the life of her late husband, Tanya Taylor-Edwards, of Clarksdale, MS, has announced a gift to the Phillips Community College Foundation to re-establish the Taylor Memorial Scholarship at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA)-Helena.
Taylor-Edwards, who began her nursing journey at PCCUA, chose to honor the memory of her husband, George "Goose" Taylor, Jr., who was a man of integrity and honor and who lovingly devoted two years of his life helping her become a registered nurse. He passed away in 2010, following a long battle with colon cancer.
In making the gift, she noted that Taylor was well-respected as a father, mentor and community leader and worked over 33 years for the U.S. Railroad/Illinois Central Railroad and Transportation System before retirement.
“George was a devoted family man, who always put his family first,” she said. “After his retirement, he spent countless hours hunting, fishing, visiting the sick, and driving for the elderly.”
A 2008 graduate of the nursing program at PCCUA, Ms. Taylor-Edwards credits the PCCUA nursing program with providing the solid foundation, from which she has built her nursing career. From Phillips, she went on to complete her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing.
“I started my career in the non-profit sector, then education, and back to non-profits, but I was never fulfilled until I got the calling to become a nurse,” she said. “One day, the CEO of a local hospice organization asked me to join the company as the chief administrative officer. That’s when I witnessed what it meant to be a nurse – their compassion, comfort and care. I believe they were doing what God called them to do.”
She described going through two years of tears, anxiety, and long study nights, while working toward her associate’s degree at PCCUA, but she never gave up.
After I graduated from nursing school with my associate’s degree, I felt that I could change the world one patient at a time,” she said.
In the beginning of her nursing career, she found that there was stress on the job among co-workers, as well. Through it all, she persevered.
“I kept my nose to the grindstone and remembered the words of my late husband, ‘You’re there to do a job to the best of your ability. You can’t be involved in petty, insignificant stuff. That’s not your purpose,’” she stated.
Today, Taylor-Edwards works as a travel nurse and has authored a children’s book, “Help! My Nana Looks Funny,” which is a learning tool to help teach readers to identify whether someone is having a stroke. She also does local volunteer work with the Delta Diaper Collection program, which provides low-income families and teen mothers with needed supplies.
The newly re-established Taylor Scholarship will be awarded beginning with the fall 2023 semester. Applicants must have a minimum ACT score of 18, be accepted to the PCCUA RN program on the Helena campus, and be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours. The Taylor Scholarship provides $500 annually ($250 per semester) to recipients and is designed to assist high school students within Phillips County and its surrounding areas. Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in order to keep the scholarship.
If you would like to contribute to the re-established Taylor Scholarship Fund, send payments to Taylor Memorial Scholarship, PCCUA, P.O. Box 785, Helena, AR 72342.