Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship


The Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship fund for nursing students has been established by Nyack College/ATS Trustee, Dr. Carolyn Tonge, in memory of her mother, Cassilda Downs. Mrs. Downs passion for the profession came together in a nursing career that lasted for all the working years of her lifetime. She was committed to serving God and serving others.

Mrs. Downs completed her nurse’s training in 1929 at Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. She spent an additional nine months in training as a midwife before returning home, where she became the first registered nurse on the east coast of Nicaragua. She served her island community tirelessly by treating the most severe illnesses as well as the minor things that ailed her patients. There are thousands of fortunate men, women, children, and especially babies, who benefitted from her selfless and loving ministry of healing. Nursing was not what Cassilda did; a nurse was who she was.

The Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the nursing program from either Central or South America who is in financial need.

Comments from the Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship recipients:

“I chose Nyack College because of the mission focus of the school. This scholarship will help me accomplish my goal of becoming a missionary nurse. I hope that in the future, I can go to South or Central America to spread God’s word while giving people the medical attention that they really need.”

 “My goal is to start an orphanage for street children so that they cannot only have a bed and food every day, but also be loved. I want to help orphans get adopted into loving families, while first meeting their physical needs. This scholarship was an answer to my prayer as God provided a way for me to finish paying for my last year of school.”