Gerardo Gonzalez-Diaz | $2,500
South College | Masters in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. I understand there is a large need in the aging population. They face gaps in our healthcare and a changing landscape. My hope is to become a nurse practitioner to combat these gaps in geriatrics and reachout to marginilized geriatric patients in our area. In the past I have worked with organizations in Latin America to gather medication and supplies providing free consultation to rural towns where healthcare is not available. I hope to work alongside organizations in our area to do the same for our aging population.
Gary Hicks | $2,000
University of Missouri-Kansas City| Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)| Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Gary has focused on the geriatric population since starting his nursing career in 2011. He is passionate about educating and empowering the aging population to manage their health issues outside the hospital. Specifically, his research is focused on improving the health outcomes of elderly diabetic Hispanics in Dallas County. He is becoming a nurse practitioner with a focus on the aging population in hopes of providing comprehensive collaborative ambulatory care to this often overlooked and ever-growing community. He is simultaneously obtaining his DNP with a certificate in nursing education so that he can pursue his dreams of becoming a nursing professor. His goal is to teach nursing students to embrace the complex health issues facing the geriatric population and aid them in their quest for health.
Wendy Mincer | $500
Wendy is currently studying opioid use disorders among older adults. Her research focuses on the widespread addiction issues related to prescribing opioid pain medication for chronic pain, prevalent among this population. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, she plans to provide comorbid counseling for clients who have a substance use diagnosis as well as a mental health diagnosis. She hopes to help implement an Adult Children of Aging Parents (ACAPcommunity) program in Texas. Upon completion of her dissertation, she plans to continue researching evidence-based treatment programs for substance use disorders among the elderly. She is the Clinical Supervisor for the Dallas, Ft. Worth, and San Antonio Area Agencies on Aging, and a counselor with Bray Counseling in Austin, TX.
Tiffany Guard | $1,000
Tiffany understands the importance of a proper doctor-patient relationship. She wants to be a part of that relationship as she continues her education toward medical school in hopes of becoming an Oncologist, where persons over 65 are more at risk for cancer. Tiffany is excited to work with these patients, be able to empathize, and give them the proper care and attention they deserve. She worked as an Activities Assistant and Life Enrichment Manager for Sunrise Senior Living, and took care of her late, elderly father who had been affected by cancer, thus gaining her love for the elderly. Tiffany is delighted to spend her time alongside the senior community.
Brian Oketch | $1,000
While working with seniors impacted by Alzheimer’s disease I’ve grown interest in learning ways on how to help and care for these seniors. I therefore would love to continue my education and learn more about this disease and find ways on how to improve and care for a growing population of our seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s.
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Holley Caldwell | $1,500
Holley is a second degree nursing student in the FastBacc Accelerated program at the Baylor LHSON in Dallas. She gives back to the aging population in Dallas through her work with BvB Dallas, a nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease research and care in North Texas. She has been involved in the organization for six years and was most recently the President of the Board of Directors from 2020-2021, leading BvB to raise $850,000 in that time frame. She understands firsthand the challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and hopes to continue her work with older adults after she becomes an RN. Prior to going back to nursing school, Holley worked in Research Administration at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and hopes to stay in DFW after graduation!
Carolyn A. Dobson, AAP-BC, MT-BC | $1,000
Carolyn has spent 20 years working with older adults with neurodegenerative diseases as a Neurologic Music Therapist. She has a passion to keep everyone physically active and cognitively stimulated. A tireless advocate for the elderly population, she actively engages with legislators in Austin to increase awareness of disparities in health care and develop funding resources for more services. Equally important is her role assisting caregivers and loved ones to feel comfortable facilitating music-based or Montessori-based interventions to address functional goals. With a Masters in Gerontology, Carolyn envisions more opportunities to empower caregivers to keep loved ones musically motivated and Montessori-inspired to live their best life!
Jeff Schaffert, Ph.D. | $2,000
Dr. Schaffert is a post-doctoral neuropsychology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Following completion of his fellowship, he hopes to become a licensed clinical psychologist and eventually will pursue board certification as a clinical neuropsychologist with an emphasis on the assessment of older adults. He also hopes to stay in the Dallas area and work as a neuropsychologist within an academic medical center which will allow him to provide clinical assessment, conduct research, and assist with training/supervision. He works clinically with older adults assessing their brain functioning, diagnosing neurocognitive disorders, and providing education about improving brain health. His main area of research includes risk factors for Alzheimer’s and related dementias, with a primary emphasis on assessing the relationship between head-injury exposure and later-in-life cognitive decline.
Millicent Njeru| $500
I was recently selected as a recipient of the DAGS Scholarship. I am sincerely honored that you found me worthy of your esteemed scholarship. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness. This funding will allow me to pay for my classes as I hope to successfully proceed to obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and to continue working with the aging population. I currently work with geriatric patients, and it is very encouraging to see how important it is to be part of their life and how appreciative they are. I am currently a first-year student with the University of Arkansas. I believe this gift will positively impact my future careers and prospects. Therefore, I will work hard to achieve my success.