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Kailey Bender and Evelyn Morales, who work together as members of the evening nursing staff, have each received a scholarship through PMMA’s Employee Scholarship Program to help further their educations.

Kailey, who has been with the community for three years, is a senior at the University of Kansas double majoring in history and sociology with an associate’s degree in women and gender studies. After graduation, she plans to either enter the workforce full time or begin work toward a graduate degree. Whichever direction she chooses, Kailey believes the time she has spent at the community will play a pivotal role in her future success.

“The type of energy Lawrence Presbyterian Manor provides and the teamwork/bonding I have found here is something I’ll take with me wherever I go,” said Kailey. “It will help with work-related issues, projects, teamwork, etc.”

Beyond the professional preparedness she has received at the community, Kailey believes the experience has had an equally profound effect on her as a person.

“I can’t even image where I’d be if I hadn’t been working here—it really opens your eyes to being there for other people,” said Kailey.

Evelyn has also been with the community for three years and plans on using her scholarship to advance her nursing studies. She was persuaded to apply to the program by Executive Director Christie Patrick and nurse Luz Maradona, however, due to a miscommunication, it almost didn’t happen.

“I was in Kansas City the day the application was due because I thought it was due another day,” said Evelyn. “Luz called me and told me to get over there and fill it out, so I just dropped everything and drove back.”

It’s that kind of friendship—and knowing that someone is always looking out for you—that Evelyn enjoys most about her job.

“My coworkers are a big reason why I enjoy my job,” said Evelyn. “Most of us on the evening shift have been here two to three years, so we’ve gotten close. We’ve been through some hard times together and we’ve bonded.”

Moving forward, Evelyn believes the experience she has gained at the community, combined with her ongoing education, will prepare her for the next stages of her career.

“I feel like being proactive, being able to adapt to different types of environments and just being able to adapt to different bosses and expectations, has helped me see how to react on my own and figure out what I need to,” said Evelyn. “In the future, as a nurse, I’ll be able to do a little bit more in helping residents and my coworkers.”

To learn more about the Employee Education Assistance Program, and how you can contribute, contact the PMMA Development Office at or call 800-336-8511.

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