Turning dreams to reality

Scholarship support helps a student pursue her dream of becoming a midwife

By Kyra Molinaro

 

Ariana Paige dreams of becoming a midwife and opening a birthing center in her hometown of Henrico, Virginia. Thanks to a new scholarship created during Virginia Commonwealth University’s Invest in Me campaign, she has additional support to help her reach her goal.

The VCU junior is one of the inaugural recipients of the Doug and Cathy Greenwood Scholarship, which supports undergraduate students from the greater Richmond, Virginia, area. Paige says the scholarship has made a huge impact on her life.

“It’s helping my parents and I afford my education while allowing me to focus on my studies as I navigate through my time at VCU,” says Paige, who is majoring in health, physical education and exercise science with a concentration in health science.

Paige is actively involved in extracurricular activities as a member of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students and VCU’s chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action. She also juggles two part-time jobs.  

“Even though I received the scholarship, I still want to work so I can save up money for the future,” she says. “But I’m not having to work nearly as much as I used to.” 

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 2022, Paige hopes to enroll in VCU’s Accelerated B.S. in Nursing program and become a certified nurse midwife. She wants to focus on prenatal and postnatal care for minority women and eventually open a birthing center so she can serve her community.

“Black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth than any other group,” she says. “I want to become an advocate so more women can be heard and have their concerns listened to.”

Cathy and Douglas (M.Ed.’84/E) Greenwood established the Greenwood Scholarship in 2020. The couple, who have both been educators, have always dreamed of providing life-changing resources to someone who might not have had opportunities to succeed.

“A college education is more than books,” Cathy Greenwood says. “It broadens your perspective and the way you see everything in life.”

Paige has met the Greenwoods twice and says she continues to be thankful for the support she received. “It’s such a blessing for me, my family and my future patients,” she says. “I really appreciate it so much.”

To learn more about the Invest in Me campaign, visit support.vcu.edu/investinme.

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