Gift from Mary Porcari Brady Fund to Support Cayuga Nursing Students

Nursing students at Cayuga Community College now have access to an emergency fund supporting their efforts to complete their education thanks to a donation by the Mary Porcari Brady Fund.

The generous $10,000 gift will establish an emergency fund for students in Cayuga’s Nursing program, allowing them to apply for funds due to a financial emergency that may threaten their ability to remain in the program. The gift from the Mary Porcari Brady Fund was matched by the Cayuga County Community College Foundation.

“The Mary Porcari Brady Fund is a tremendous supporter of nursing students and programs, and we are incredibly appreciative of their belief in our students and their potential as registered nurses,” said Cayuga Professor and Program Director Mary Driscoll. “We are confident this fund will allow our students to overcome unexpected financial burdens to earn their degree and continue pursuing their goal of helping those in need.”

“We remember how difficult and stressful it was for our mother to attend class, study nights and weekends, and raise four children at the same time,” said Jinny Porcari Keough of Atlanta, Ga., Mary Porcari Brady’s eldest surviving child. “We hope the Fund will help Cayuga nursing students complete their degrees and pay it forward as nursing professionals. Mom was born in Oneida and grew up in Oswego. We spent much of our childhood with our Oswego grandparents and extended family. Our family ties to the area remain strong and we are proud to support Cayuga’s nursing students.”

The emergency fund is specifically designed to cover unexpected financial costs, with awards usually issued for one-time matters that may prevent students from continuing their education and graduating. These financial emergencies include, but are not limited to, costs such as rent, daycare, medical expenses, testing fees, or utility bills.

Students submit an application to receive the emergency funds, with applications reviewed by Cayuga faculty prior to dispersal. Students from Cayuga’s campuses in Auburn and Fulton are eligible to apply for the emergency funds.

Cayuga’s Nursing program is one of the top associate degree Nursing programs in New York, with all graduates from 2021 to 2023 passing the NCLEX on their first attempt. The program prioritizes professional standards, patient care and advocacy, and provides a variety of clinical settings for students to gain experience caring for patients of any age.

The gift to Cayuga’s Nursing program is one of several the Mary Porcari Brady Fund has awarded over the past decade to community colleges. Started in 2006 by her children, the fund was established to honor Mary Porcari Brady after she completed nursing school in 1971 following the death of one of her children due to a rare genetic disorder.

She started her nursing career at Park Avenue Hospital in Rochester before working at Old Forge Medical Center, Cortland Hospital and Oswego Hospital before retiring in 2001.

For information about Cayuga’s Nursing program, visit For details on the Mary Porcari Brady Fund, visit