ttuhsc campus - Photo courtesy of TTUHSC

TTUHSC El Paso Students Benefit from New Scholarships Created Ahead of Hunt School of Nursing’s 10-year Anniversary

A trio of future health care heroes at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC) are being recognized for their strong work ethic with new scholarships.


This comes as TTUHSC El Paso is set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hunt School of Nursing’s opening and its mission of addressing the critical shortage of nurses in the Borderplex region.


The first two recipients are second-semester nursing students Victoria Parker and Pablo Lucero Jr. As students of the only Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program in the region where students earn a degree in just 16 months, they will graduate in December. The recipient of the Foster School of Medicine scholarship will be selected in May.


The scholarships were established by a $50,000 gift from Kelly Tomblin, president and CEO of El Paso Electric, in memory of her father, Archie Tomblin. Her generosity is being matched, in part, by El Paso Electric and TTUHSC El Paso, for a total of $75,000 for medical and nursing students. The scholarship will target first-generation students who have financial need and a strong work ethic to serve their community.


For Lucero, an electrocardiogram (EKG) technician, the scholarship will provide much-needed relief as studying has forced him to adjust his work schedule, meaning he’s working and getting paid less.


“Since school started, I’ve had to cut my hours quite a bit, so I need to budget my money really tight,” Lucero said. “In addition to helping me pay for necessary educational materials, the scholarship will also help me focus on studying instead of worrying whether I can afford food and gas.”


Lucero is a first-generation college student and said he was inspired by the nurses he worked with at The Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus, who served courageously through the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives.


“One of my responsibilities as an EKG tech is to respond to codes in the hospital. During these codes, I watched nurses immediately provide life-saving interventions, such as performing chest compressions or administering medications,” Lucero said. “It was in these moments I found myself wanting to get more involved in the patient’s care. I want to do more; I just want to go to work one day and not have anyone die.”


Parker’s motivation came as a child when her cousin and grandfather were ill. She spent much of her youth visiting hospitals and watching her loved ones deal with their ailments. It motivated her to become a caregiver.


“With my cousin, I remember thinking, ‘I wish I could take care of her’ and ‘I wish she could go home and I could be her nurse,’” Parker said. “I saw what nurses did for her and later, other members of my family. I want to be that inspiration for patients and their families who are battling in hospitals.”


Now married to a sergeant who is stationed at Fort Bliss, Parker’s goal is to become a psychiatric nurse. She aspires to help active-duty soldiers and reduce stigmas associated with mental health. As a child of a military family, she believes it’s her duty to give back to the military community, and the new scholarship will help her become a voice for active-duty soldiers.


“When I found out about receiving the scholarship from Mrs. Tomblin, I cried tears of joy. My husband has been working night shifts delivering food to help support me while in nursing school. It’s inspiring to know that someone who I never met believes in my dream and is invested in my future,” Parker said. “With support like this, my peers and I are able to join the health care workforce, work hard and take care of members of our community during their greatest time of need.”


El Paso Electric has been a longtime supporter of TTUHSC El Paso and the Hunt School of Nursing, while Tomblin began supporting our students and community immediately upon arriving to the region. She has also served as a member of the TTUHSC El Paso President’s Development Council.


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