Carson High grad receives scholarship honoring Parkland shooting victim
University of Nevada, Reno student Hannah Golik, a 2018 Carson High School graduate, last week was named a scholarship recipient by the Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation of Coral Springs, Fla.
The foundation was formed in honor of Gina Rose Montalto, one of the student victims of the mass shooting that occurred on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., where armed gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19 at the time, opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle and killed 17 staff members and students and injured approximately 17 others.
Cruz was arrested an hour later in Coral Springs, northwest of Ft. Lauderdale, and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, and the shooting itself has been listed as one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
Gina Montalto, a member of Douglas High’s color guard, a Girl Scout, an athlete and a church volunteer during her time in school, was among the 17 students and staff killed. Her parents, Tony and Jennifer Montalto, established the foundation and awarded their first scholarships last year for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the arts and a Girl Scouts Gold award to recognize academic areas, efforts and organizations Gina supported.
Golik was chosen as one of 17 recipients for the foundation’s 17 for Gina’s 17th nursing scholarship.
Golik, now attending the UNR Orvis School of Nursing, said she found the scholarship online and applied earlier this fall. She confirmed that she had been contacted by text that she was a finalist and that she was attending UNR. Then, candidates for the Montaltos’ scholarships also were interviewed briefly via FaceTime, Golik said.
“I thought it was a great, sad story, but a great way to honor someone, so I applied,” she said. “I’m really grateful and honored and thankful.”
She hopes to start a medical career in Reno when she graduates from the university.
“I have a passion for wanting to help people and just being compassionate, and nursing is that merge between the health sciences and helping people,” she said. “I see friends and families struggle in this community and in Reno, and it makes me nervous to become a nurse, to help patients and to be with them in any part of their lives and at the end of their lives.”
Golik said she also would consider other branches such as pediatrics as she also loves children and will serve where she’s needed. She credits her education in her Advanced Placement courses at Carson High, where she said her classes were rigorous and her teachers were excellent in preparing her for college.
“I’m honored to remember Gina, the victim of the shooting,” Golik said. “It sounds like she was a pretty young woman. She loved the arts and dancing and the STEM field. I’m really honored her parents thought I was a good enough candidate to represent her daughter with the scholarship.”
For information about the foundation, visit https://ginarosemontaltomemorialfoundation.org.