As a young medical laboratory student at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Michelle Mantooth learned everything she needed to know about clinical laboratory testing. But under the wing of Mary Eileen Leonard, she learned that working in the medical laboratory technology field wasn’t just a job; it had to be your passion.
"She had an infectious way of distilling a passion for learning and serving, " says Michelle, who is now an instructor in the Medical LaboratoryTechnology program at Trident Technical College. She shares with her students what she learned from her mentor: "the patient is the most important part of your life from now on. Continue your education and make a name for yourself and the profession and never forget what it is to get your hands dirty.”
So every year, through the TTC Foundation Campus Campaign, Michelle makes a gift to the Mary Eileen Leonard Clinical Laboratory Sciences Scholarship, which was established by friends and colleagues in 2004 to recognize Ms. Leonard’s years of service and dedication to the field.
Giving back to the community was important to Mrs. Leonard. Michelle says, “She taught service, compassion and being passionate about those things you endeavor to do in life. If she wasn’t in the lab or the classroom, she could always be found helping kids at Bishop England with their homework or seeing to it that those in the orphanage always had a Christmas.”
Michelle continues to follow in her footsteps and, in addition to volunteering for her church, the American Red Cross and other community organizations, she is currently serving on the leadership team as a captain for the 1516 TTC Campus Campaign. As a volunteer, she encourages her colleagues to make a gift to the TTC Foundation, something she has been doing every year since she started at TTC in 2006.
"I wouldn't be who I am today if I didn't have such an inspiring mentor in Mrs. Leonard. By giving to her scholarship, I can honor her by helping many more students receive an education and feel that same passion in their work."
Last year, 77 percent of TTC employees contributed more than $72,000 to benefit the college. Learn more about the campaign | Learn more about the MLT program | Learn more about TTC Foundation Scholarships