At UMRC & Porter Hills, we value each of our team members for the important and inspiring difference they make each day in the life of an older adult. In November, the UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation launched a competitive Scholarship program for team members at Porter Hills, emulating the program started in 2014 at UMRC. The Team Member Support Services fund allows us to elevate and encourage our team members in the vital role they play in caring for older adults like family. This includes helping team members – like Erica Pledger – reach their educational and career goals. “I’ve always wanted to help people,” says Erica. “Since I was a little girl, it has been my dream to become a nurse and follow in the footsteps of several of my family members, including my aunt who was a Director of Nursing.” For the last 2 ½ years, Erica has worked full-time as an LPN at UMRC & Porter Hills, providing long-term nursing care for older adults. She also works per diem at another nursing home, while attending Baker College full-time to complete her BSN degree. The mother of two growing sons, ages 7 and 11, it is a lot to keep up with, and college is expensive. “The Team Member Scholarship program has been life-changing for my family and me,” says Erica. “The opportunity for scholarships has allowed me to attend school and pay for classes, without worrying about paying my bills. It has been a four-year journey of working toward my Bachelor’s degree in nursing, which I completed in December 2020! I will take my test to be an RN later this month. I am so thankful for the Team Member Scholarship program. Not only will my degree allow me to grow in my career, it has also given me the confidence and knowledge to help me better care for the wonderful residents who call UMRC & Porter Hills ‘home.’” You can support success stories like Erica’s with a gift to the Team Member Support Services fund! To learn more, visit umrcfoundation.umrcph.com or porterhillsfoundation.umrcph.com or call 734.433.1000 ext. 7502 or 616.577.2297.