The SMA Healthcare Foundation (the Foundation) is excited to announce the first ever recipients of the Larry and Joan Kelly Scholarship awards, Kelli Probst and Letisha Tennant.

The Daytona State College award was granted to Kelli Probst, who is pursuing her masters degree while raising three children and working full-time. Upon learning of the award, Kelli shared, “I am honored and so grateful to receive this award and am thrilled to be able to use it to further my education while promoting the values and mission of SMA. One of the main reasons I became a nurse has to do my family’s struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse. Having utilized the resources through SMA, I understand how integral their services are to the community. While I was unable to save some of my family members, I take comfort in the fact that I’m able to offer competent and caring nursing to some of the most vulnerable members of the community.”

Letisha Tennant, an employee in SMA’s WARM Program, received the first, SMA Healthcare employee scholarship. Letisha is a long-term staff member and single mother who has overcome difficult challenges in her life and who has a personal desire and commitment to helping others.

Kelli and Letisha will each receive $1,500 to assist with their education. “We are proud to offer this assistance and help students who are seeking a career or looking to further their career in behavioral health,” stated Jennifer Secor, Executive Director of the SMA Healthcare Foundation.

The Larry and Joan Kelly Scholarship Fund was established in 2019 to support local students pursuing a healthcare degree with a focus on behavioral health. With the lead gift of $10,000 from the Perryman Family Foundation, and successful auction of teddy bears at the Foundation’s annual dinner celebration and auction, the Board of Directors made the decision to offer three awards annually. It was determined that the first two recipients would receive funds for the fall semester, one for a Daytona State College student and one for an SMA Healthcare employee, and the third for the spring semester to a student from St. Johns River State College.

To continue to grow the Kelly Scholarship fund, all donations of $500 or more received through October will have $100 of the donation designated to the fund. Those donors will receive a special edition teddy bear and another bear will be given to a child at the WARM Program. Donations to the scholarship fund, in any amount, are accepted year round. To donate, please visit www.SMAFoundation.com.

The WARM Program (Women Assisting Recovering Mothers) is SMA’s residential treatment center for women. The program utilizes a unique model that provides a wholistic approach to recovery and allows small children to live in residence with their recovering mothers.

If you are interested in supporting SMA Healthcare and the SMA Healthcare Foundation, please contact Jennifer Secor, CFRE, Executive Director, at 386-254-1139 or jsecor@smahealthcare.org.