Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild Awards Scholarships to Five Area Graduates

Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild has awarded $1,500 scholarships to five area high school seniors: Aubrey French and Anna Lail, both of Schuylerville High School; Brooke Henderson of Stillwater High School; Sophia Ostrander of Ballston Spa High School; and Quinn Ragan of Saratoga Springs High School.

Now in its 32nd year, the Guild's program provides scholarships to students based on academic achievement, community service, and a desire to pursue a career in health care.

"This year's scholarship recipients are amazing students and individuals," said Terry White, Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild president. "Despite the challenges and disruption of the pandemic, they continued to excel, give back and, perhaps most important, commit to careers of service."

Aubrey French has been a junior volunteer at Glens Falls and St. Peter's hospitals. As a member of the youth group at Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga Springs, she has served in the soup kitchen and volunteered with Code Blue and Rebuilding Together Saratoga County. French will pursue a dual degree—a bachelor's in natural science-health and a master's in physician assistant studies—at Daemen University in Amherst, New York.

Anna Lail tutored a middle school student, served as a peer mentor in the Schuylerville Central School District's special education program, and was a junior member of the Bay Ridge Rescue Squad in Queensbury. In addition, she was a crew leader for Vacation Bible School at her church, where she also served as a Sunday School assistant for children who benefit from individualized attention. Lail will major in pre-medical studies and community health at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Brooke Henderson moved from Arizona to the Saratoga region in 2020 and immediately became involved in her new community, volunteering with local food drives and preparing meals for those who are homeless. She also worked as a childcare provider and as a counselor at a summer day camp. In Arizona, Henderson helped collect 700 pounds of soccer gear to bring on a mission trip to Malawi, Africa, where she organized a multi-village soccer tournament. A member of Banner Health's Pediatric Advisory Council, she participated in the Arizona health system's annual symposium and provided feedback on her experience as a pediatric surgery patient. She will study nursing at Siena College.

Sophia Ostrander gained firsthand nursing experience at Ellis Hospital through her high school's Professional Career Internship program. She also served as a caretaker for an elderly relative for the past four years. Ostrander volunteers in the food pantry and as a counselor for Vacation Bible School. She will study nursing at the University of Rhode Island.

Quinn Ragan's interest in medicine and his community involvement stem from his father's battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Ragan is a spokesperson and volunteer for the St. Peter's ALS Regional Center and has helped raise funds to provide medical care for patients with this degenerative disease. He also has volunteered at the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, preparing and serving meals to benefit local charities. A student in the New Visions Health Careers Exploration program, Ragan will continue working toward his medical degree by studying molecular and cellular neuroscience and conducting undergraduate research at Florida State University.

"Now, more than ever, our community and our health care system need people with the dedication, talent, and character of our scholarship recipients," White said. "It is a privilege to help them pursue their dreams."