Rutgers Marine Veteran Recipient of Pat Tillman Scholarship

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

A local military veteran, who is also a student at Rutgers University-Camden, received a top honor in the academic community on Tuesday, September 12th, to help support continuing her education.

Nursing student and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Laura Tolver has been named the 2017 Tillman Scholar by the Pat Tillman Foundation.

The foundation provides financial support for higher education for active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses. Tolver is one in only five nursing students to receive the honor, and only 61 students throughout the country received the highly competitive scholarship this year.

Everything that I've been through, to be recognized on this level, for people to value the struggles that I've endured, is an amazing feeling.

After overcoming numerous challenges in her life — including the death of her mother, her father suffering a brain injury, and a sexual assault during her time in the service — Tolver said it's those experiences that made her who she is today.

"Everything that I've been through, to be recognized on this level, for people to value the struggles that I've endured, is an amazing feeling," said Tolver.

"I just want to make the people around me — the people who have planted seeds in me — I want to make those people proud."

Tolver received her bachelor of science in nursing in May from Rutgers, and is now working toward her doctorate of nursing.

She recently began a career as a trauma ICU nurse at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, and hopes to one day be able to provide primary care to her community, especially fellow veterans. 

Watch: 'Celebrating Our Veterans'


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