New funds to help nursing students stay on track

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Mary Porcari Brady

The Mary Porcari Brady Fund has made a third $20,000 gift to the FLCC Foundation to help nursing students who are facing unexpected expenses that could force them to leave school.

The first gifts in 2022 and 2023 helped a total of 26 nursing students cover costs such as tuition, textbooks, car repairs, and rent.

Denise Ferrell of Canandaigua is enrolled in the accelerated program for license practical nurses looking to advance in her career to registered nursing. Ferrell has to work to support herself while keeping up with her coursework. She took advantage of the Mary Porcari Brady Fund to cover school expenses and some unforeseen financial challenges.

“The impact of the fund on my academic journey cannot be overstated,” she said. “It has not only relieved the anxieties associated with financial constraints but has also played a crucial role in ensuring that I could dedicate myself fully to my educational pursuits during a pivotal time in the semester.”

The FLCC Foundation, a nonprofit that raises private-sector support for College students and programs, holds the funds while the Nursing Department faculty administer the program.

“The Mary Porcari Brady Fund provides nursing students with a safety net so that when unexpected financial challenges arise, they can continue on with their classes,” said Brie Chupalio, FLCC chief advancement officer. “We are beyond grateful to the Porcari family for their continued commitment to the College and the future nurses of our region.”

Mary Porcari Brady obtained her nursing degree after the loss of her youngest child, Mary Elizabeth, to a rare genetic disorder. During her career, she worked as a registered nurse at Park Ridge Hospital for over 20 years, then at Cortland Hospital while she obtained a second degree at SUNY Cortland. She finished her career at Oswego Hospital. After her passing in 2001, her surviving children pooled resources to create the fund in her memory.

FLCC began accepting applications this week for a new licensed practical nursing (LPN) program. The Mary Porcari Brady funds will also be available to this new group of students. Information about the Mary Porcari Brady Fund is available online at

Author: Lenore Friend

Lenore Friend is the director of public relations and communications at FLCC and the college's liaison with Finger Lakes TV. Contact her at (585) 785-1623 or

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