Spending time in the hospital during a health challenge can be unsettling. But during a recent stay at Northwest Community Hospital when Valerie Brown stopped by his room to say hello. This is not the first time Joe and Valerie’s paths have crossed. Valerie is a Harper College nursing alumna and the 2009 recipient of the Sharlene Marchiori Memorial Nursing Scholarship.
The Marchiori Scholarship was established by Joe in 1989 to honor the memory of Sharlene Marchiori—wife, mother of five children, former Harper College student, and active parent within the District 211 schools, where Joe served on the board for nearly 18 years. Sharlene believed deeply in helping others. When she lost her life to leukemia, the scholarship was initiated by the Marchiori family to pay tribute to all nurses. Now in its 22nd year, the scholarship has been awarded to 25 Harper nursing students.
Valerie was a stay-at-home mom, raising two daughters and volunteering widely throughout her community. While this choice presented a financial struggle, the obstacles became more daunting as she faced an impending divorce and life adjustment for her family.
“It helped ease some of the financial burden I was having paying for my nursing education and allowed me to better focus on my nursing studies.”
“The scholarship I received from the Marchiori’s was a blessing,” said Brown. “It helped ease some of the financial burden I was having paying for my nursing education and allowed me to better focus on my nursing studies.”
“I LOVE being a nurse. It is exactly what I want to do. I always thought it was what I wanted during nursing school but since I began working, I am 100 percent confident of my career choice. Knowing that I am able to make a difference for a patient during a difficult time is the most rewarding and important part of being a nurse. Hearing a patient or family member say ‘thank you—you’ve been so good to me or to my mother, wife, husband, etc.’ makes me really feel like I’m making a contribution. Everyone deserves the best care I can give!”
Joe and his wife Sherry, who is also a Harper College nursing alumna, continue to honor nurses in our community through their continual scholarship support.
“Starting the scholarship was a way to honor my late wife, but seeing and meeting individuals who directly benefit continues to reinforce the underlying values and sentiment of our family’s gift. During the struggles of a healthcare ordeal, seeing Valerie’s smiling face and caring nature symbolizes the very heart of our intentions.” — Joe Marchiori