May 26, 2019

Paddle for Heroes Scholarship Awarded

Paddle for Heroes
Leonardtown Rotarians Sandy Currie, Ray Dodson, CSM Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Student Equity and Success and Rotarian Teresa Jones, CSM student Stephen Vallandingham, Leonardtown Rotarians Michael Blackwell, Barbara Thompson, and CSM Foundation Lead Executive Assistant of Advancement Toni Kruszka celebrate the $1,000 scholarship presentation by the Rotary.

College of Southern Maryland student Stephen Vallandingham has been awarded the Paddle for Heroes Scholarship by the Leonardtown Rotary Club.

Mr. Vallandingham is a volunteer with the St. Mary’s County Advanced Life Support, Seventh District Volunteer Fire Department, and Seventh District Emergency Medical Services. He is currently pursuing his EMS Paramedic Certificate at CSM.

The Paddle for Heroes Scholarship was established in 2017 by the Leonardtown Rotary Club. It is funded through the club’s annual kayak and paddle race to support local students who are first responders, or a dependent of a first responder, and who live in St. Mary’s County. Mr. Vallandingham, who is employed as a federal firefighter at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, received the $1,000 scholarship to help pay for his books and tuition.

“This scholarship is invaluable to me,” he said in a press release from the college. “With my job, family, kids, and volunteering, it can be overwhelming and this scholarship helps my family more than I can explain.”

Mr. Vallandingham’s wife Brittany is also a student at CSM, studying nursing. She will graduate from CSM in spring 2019 and Stephen is on track to follow with his paramedic certificate in fall 2019.

“I can’t say enough about the instructors at CSM,” Mr. Vallandingham said in the release. “People thank Brittany and me for being out in the community making a difference every day, but the fact is our CSM instructors are the reason we’re both able to do what we do.

“We owe the Leonardtown Rotary Club and the CSM Foundation a great deal for helping us achieve our dreams and helping us give back to our communities,” he said.

tLives often depend on the fast reaction and competent care of emergency medical Technicians and paramedics. College of Southern Maryland’s EMS Associate of Applied Science degree program gets graduates ready to provide emergency medical care to those who have sustained potentially life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Graduates who enter the field will see the employment of EMTs and paramedics grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for every other occupation, according to the US Department of Labor and Statistics.

Completion of the college’s program qualifies students to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic (NREMT-P) exams. Students receive instruction in the classroom and laboratory, plus clinical training in a variety of pre-hospital and hospital settings. The program goes along with the National Education Guidelines developed by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more about CSM’s Health Sciences Division and the various areas of study offered by the division, including EMS, health information management, nursing, medical assisting, massage therapy, medical lab technology, pharmacy technician, and pharmacy assistant, visit CSM online.

For information about the Leonardtown Rotary Club, visit the group’s website.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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