Klein Leadership Fund Scholarship Lights the Way

A UB nursing student caring for a child

The John A. Klein Leadership Fund has generously given a $25,000 scholarship to UB to support a nursing student.

Named in honor of the late President and CEO of People’s United Bank, the John A. Klein Leadership Fund provides grants that support strategic education and visionary leadership initiatives in Connecticut that help people succeed in life. To further its mission in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trustees of the Fund decided to utilize its grant funding to award a scholarship to a student of color who is pursuing a healthcare career. “COVID-19 has shone a light on the vital work of our frontline healthcare workers, and the racial inequalities that are prevalent in our society,” says Karen Galbo, Executive Director of People’s United Community Foundation and Trustee of the Fund. “We hope this scholarship award will help in addressing the disparities and create a pathway for a successful and rewarding career.”

The University of Bridgeport School of Nursing was the perfect place to make that happen. The values of the university and school alike include a commitment to core values of innovation, excellence, integrity, and diversity. Established in 2015, the UBSN integrated the 130-year old Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing (BHSN) at the University of Bridgeport. While in the program, students gain experience for inter-professional practice in a variety of healthcare settings through career-oriented programs focused directly on the student practitioner.

People’s United Bank and the John A. Klein Leadership Fund have had a relationship with UB for many years. John Klein was always looking for ways to improve Connecticut communities, especially through education. Longtime teacher and trustee of the fund, Carla Klein was not only his inspiration for these goals, but was instrumental in making the decision of how to award this particular grant.

“My husband and I have always been passionate about ensuring equal access to a quality education and career opportunities,” said Carla Klein. “This scholarship award with UB’s School of Nursing exemplifies our shared vision of nurturing educational success and leadership development in an inclusive and supportive environment that promotes life-long learning.”

Carla and the other trustees reached out to Julie Demers in the Office of Corporate, Foundation, Faculty, & Institutional Grants at the University, and together they helped set it up. “This is a timely gift that will honor Mr. Klein’s memory and Mrs. Carla Klein’s shared commitment to ameliorate the financial hardships a student of color experiences in completing his or her education,” says Demers.