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January 6, 2020 Eye Associates

Nicholas A. Pennipede Memorial Scholarship Winner: Brittany McDonald, Fall 2019

Congratulations to Brittany McDonald, a sophomore at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee, who is our Fall 2019 Nicholas A. Pennipede Memorial Scholarship winner! Brittany plans to transfer to Middle Tennessee State University in Fall 2020 to major in psychology, with a long-term goal to pursue a medical career in psychiatry, and will receive $1,000 from Eye Associates to apply toward her education.
 

We were moved by Brittany’s essay about losing her father to alcoholism and drug addiction, and wanting to use her education to help other children and families suffering from a parent’s substance abuse. She wrote, in part:
 

We were moved by Brittany’s essay about losing her father to alcoholism and drug addiction, and wanting to use her education to help other children and families suffering from a parent’s substance abuse. She wrote, in part:
 

As I grew older, my father’s alcoholism and drug addictions gradually worsened. Hide-and-seek became a game he played to keep his vodka bottles hidden from our family. I helplessly watched my father turn into a person I didn’t recognize. A parent is the person who is supposed to love and support their children unconditionally, but instead my father was draining me, mentally and emotionally.
 

Throughout my entire childhood, I watched my father struggle with an agonizing battle of addiction. Losing my father to his addictions gave me the ability to be resilient. His disease made me a stronger, more compassionate person. Because I come from such a rural area, seeking professional help and guidance was next to impossible. I found inner peace in studying and running, both healthy coping mechanisms that I found for myself.
 

And I now have my father’s addiction to thank for helping me find my aspiration to become a psychiatrist. I want to help others suffering from addiction as well, including families. Addiction has become such a widespread epidemic that it affects most people in some way. I wish more than anything that no child has to watch their parent subconsciously choose a substance over them. I am excited about my future goal of helping others to gain their lives back, and also helping others regain their loved ones.


It is truly an honor for us to offer annual financial assistance to compassionate, hard-working students like Brittany. Eye Associates provides two Nicholas A. Pennipede Memorial Scholarships each year (spring and fall). For Spring 2020 application information, please visit our scholarship page.

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