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Casey County Nursing student receives Toni Pendley Memorial Scholarship to attend SCC

Dustin Wesley, of Casey County, has been named the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 recipient of the Toni Pendley Memorial Scholarship at Somerset Community College. Wesley is a 2008 graduate of Casey County High School. He will graduate from the Registered Nursing program at SCC in May 2017.

The Toni Pendley Memorial Scholarship was set up by members of two Sunday School classes at First Baptist Church in Somerset. The Encouragers class and the Circle of Friends class joined together to raise money for the scholarship in Pendley's name. Pendley passed away in 2015 after dealing with a lengthy illness. Her husband, David Pendley, serves as church administrator and worship leader at FBC, a position he has held since 2006.

Toni loved to read and loved to learn new things, said David Pendley of his late wife. She was always encouraging people to get an education. She simply loved caring for people. Even when she got sick, she got up every day looking for someone to help.

David Pendley and members of both classes, as well as other friends who contributed to the scholarship, felt that providing funds for an SCC nursing student was the best way to honor the memory of Toni Pendley, who was also a nurse.

Toni Pendley received her LPN from the Owensboro/Daviess County Hospital and then her Registered Nursing degree from Madisonville Community College in 1985, said David Pendley. She and her husband came to Somerset in 1988 and Toni worked as a surgical nurse until her health began to decline.

The desire to help others is what set Toni Pendley apart, and that same desire was also a key factor in Wesleys decision to go back to school.

After graduating from Casey County High School, Wesley went to work on the farm with his father, he said. However, his father became ill and Wesley couldn't continue farming. He decided to fulfill a dream and return to school. A career in nursing, he said, came naturally after watching his mother hold a career in the same field.

I love helping people, Wesley said. If you can make them (your patient) smile just one time, then its worth it.

Wesley said after he finishes his degree at SCC, he plans to enroll in a bachelors program and then work for a few years before enrolling in a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) program. Wesley is the son of Kimberly Wesley and the late Lester Wesley.

To make a donation to the Toni Pendley Memorial Scholarship Fund, contact Cindy Clouse, SCC director of institutional advancement, at (606) 451-6618.

Above: (Back row, left to right): Somerset Community College Scholarship Coordinator JR Thompson; David Pendley, husband of the late Toni Pendley and church administrator/worship leader at First Baptist Church, Somerset; Dustin Wesley, recipient of the Toni Pendley Memorial Scholarship; Dr. French B. Harmon, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Somerset; and Cindy Clouse, director of Institutional Advancement at Somerset Community College.

(Front row, left to right): Lojuanna Roberts, member of the Encouragers class at First Baptist Church, Somerset; Nancy Cox, teacher of the Encouragers class at First Baptist Church, Somerset; and Lula Winchester, Circle of Friends class teacher at First Baptist Church, Somerset.