Cuesta College Announces $100K Donation for Nursing and Allied Health Scholarships

In honor of National Nurses Week and today’s International Nurses Day, the Cuesta College Foundation is excited to announce the establishment of the Karen and Jim Clarke Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship. The Clarkes have generously committed to an annual gift of $100,000 to support Cuesta College students pursuing careers in nursing or paramedics.

The donation is made possible through the Sophidion Foundation, named in memory of Jim’s mother, Sophia, who believed in the power of philanthropy and supporting future healthcare workers.

“Karen and I are honored to continue my mother’s legacy of philanthropy by providing a $100,000 annual scholarship through the Sophidion Foundation to support Cuesta College students pursuing nursing or paramedic careers,” said Jim Clarke. “Our goal is to empower these students to achieve their educational aspirations and make a difference in their future professions. We are privileged to be part of this important mission and to contribute to the advancement of healthcare through the education of these dedicated students.”

The scholarship will provide $1,000 to every student who completes the RN, LVN, and Paramedic Programs at Cuesta College. Each student will receive $200 at the program’s start and $800 upon graduation, helping them pay for pre- and post-program fees, such as uniforms and testing.

Jim and Karen recognize the dedication and hard work required to become a registered nurse and the financial strain that pursuing this career path can put on students. This scholarship is designed to help alleviate some of that burden and support students as they work towards their goals.

“On behalf of the Cuesta College Foundation, we express our deepest gratitude to the Clarkes for their unwavering generosity and commitment to our students,” said Cuesta College Foundation Executive Director Shannon Hill. “The Karen and Jim Clarke Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship will make a meaningful impact on the lives of countless students, and we are honored to be a part of this important mission.”

The Class of 2023 RN Pinning Ceremony will occur on the college’s San Luis Obispo Campus in the Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center on Thursday, May 18, at 1 p.m. It will be available via live stream at

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