The 2015 Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation Scholarship Dinner was again a great success, providing $73,000 to 32 students from the High Desert area of California. For the past nine years, Dr. Reddy and his family have awarded nearly $900,000 to students pursuing a career in healthcare.

This year’s awards dinner was especially meaningful, as Mr. John Morris, an RN from Victorville came to speak to the recipients. John has traveled far and wide, volunteering and providing much needed care throughout areas of Africa, including in Nigeria and Liberia. He has dedicated himself to serving anyone in need of healthcare and currently works with Samaritan’s Purse, which helps to provide equipment, qualified volunteers, staff and training for these areas. Earlier this year, John completed an Ebola training program and is also part of Samaritan’s Global Disaster Assistance Response Team. The room was silent as he enthralled all with stories and advice from the field.

Also in attendance were Dr. Kavitha Bhatia (Reddy) and her mother, Dr. Venkamma Reddy. Dr. Bhatia personally read every scholarship application during the review process and along with her family, is extremely passionate about supporting healthcare education. “It is an honor to be a small part of a long and rewarding journey in healthcare for these remarkable students,” said Dr. Kavitha Bhatia. “Their stories and accomplishments are inspirational and these scholarships so well deserved. We hope to encourage their continued dedication to do great things in the service of others through their futures in medicine.”

Dr. Bhatia’s parents, Dr. Prem Reddy and Dr. Venkamma Reddy, came from a rural area of India, growing up with no electricity and uncertainty surrounding access to education.

Two recipients, Diana Ethaiya and Jeremy Whalen, also spoke. Diana, a 17-year old student from Iraq fought to learn English and make up over a year of school upon her arrive to the U.S. a few years ago. She managed to not only graduate, but completed her studies with honors and a 4.0 grade point average. Diana was this year’s recipient of the iPad and a scholarship of $5,000. Jeremy Whalen also spoke, sharing his story and struggles of studying to become an RN while also a single parent. Students lined up to thank Dr. Bhatia and Dr. Vekamma Reddy for their generosity and support.