Press Release

Porcari Family Helps MCC Student-Nurses Complete Degrees, Provides Protective Equipment

Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund grants more than $50,000 via MCC Foundation to support future nurses for Rochester

BRIGHTON, N.Y. –April 27, 2020—With the need for registered nurses growing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family of Monroe Community College alumna Mary Porcari Brady, RN is inspiring MCC student-nurses to complete their degrees and overcome financial challenges that lie between them and their careers. The Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund’s (MPB Fund’s) $50,386 grant to the Monroe Community College Foundation will provide access to virtual clinical experiences and supply kits as well as cover the licensure exam fees for students preparing to graduate in May 2020.

The grant includes $10,000 to support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the upcoming academic year as well as replacement equipment, made necessary after MCC’s Department of Nursing donated its entire supply to Rochester-area hospitals in March.

“Monroe Community College guided our mom to a successful career helping others as a registered nurse; today’s student-nurses are educating themselves to do the same,” said Chuck Porcari (Cheverly, Md.), who along with his three siblings co-founded the MPB Fund with the MCC Foundation in 2006. “In May, more than 50 of these dedicated students will graduate and begin their professional careers amid a terrible pandemic. Our obligation is to help them in any way possible. It’s a small down payment on the thanks they will receive from their future patients and the community.”

The grant will cover virtual clinical program costs for 250 MCC student-nurses, supply kits for 140 students, and National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) registration fees for the 53 students preparing to graduate this spring. Without the grant, student-nurses would be responsible to cover the costs themselves prior to graduating and joining the area’s health care workforce.

According to Laurie J. Palmer RN, MS, chairperson of MCC’s Department of Nursing, COVID-19 restrictions greatly impacted access to required clinical rotations in area hospitals. The virtual clinical program provided by the grant allows MCC student-nurses to complete the clinical course outcomes required to earn an MCC associate in applied science nursing degree and take the national licensure exam.

“The economic burden the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our students right now is staggering,” said Palmer. “This financial support means so much to our students and the Rochester health care community. The Mary Porcari Brady Fund has been an integral partner in supporting MCC students dream of becoming a registered nurse. The timing of this grant is especially appreciated as 2020 is the Year of the Nurse, underscoring the added importance of nursing careers at this time.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the registered nurse career field is projected to grow by 12 percent through 2028. According the MCC Career Coach, registered nurses in Rochester start their careers earning around $52,000 annually. Highly experienced workers can earn approximately $83,000 annually.

“The Porcari family wanted their philanthropy to make an immediate, material impact during the coronavirus crisis that has put so many of our nursing graduates on the front lines,” said Mark J. Pastorella ’90, MCC Foundation chief development officer. “Created by a family that stays connected and continues to give back to their hometown, the Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund is another example of the character of people raised in the Greater Rochester area, no matter where they currently live.”

Established in 2006 by the four surviving children of Mary Porcari Brady RN, a member of the MCC class of 1972, the MPB Fund has helped hundreds of students continue their education when costs outside the classroom threaten their ability to complete their studies and enter the nursing workforce. The MPB Fund is a 501(c)3 with no overhead expenses – 100 percent of donations go to students. Initially benefiting students through the Monroe Community College Foundation, the MPB Fund has since expanded to the Onondaga Community College School of Nursing in Syracuse and raised over $500,000 to date for the support of nursing students in Upstate New York.

For more information and to support the Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund at the MCC Foundation, please visit or call (585) 292-3680.

About the Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund
Following the loss of her youngest child, Mary Elizabeth, to a rare genetic disorder in 1969, Mary Porcari Brady obtained her nursing degree at MCC and embarked on a long career of service as a registered nurse at the former Park Ave. Hospital, then Park Ridge Hospital, while raising her family in Rochester. She also volunteered for various Rochester-area charities including Rochester Area Multiple Sclerosis (RAMS) and the March of Dimes. After her passing in 2001, her surviving children Jinny Porcari (Michael) Keough of Atlanta, Ga., Jim (Vicky) Porcari of Alpharetta, Ga., and John (Heidi) and Chuck (Jennifer) Porcari, both of Cheverly, Md., pooled resources to fund a commitment in her memory in the community they will always call “home.”

Note to editor: If you are interested in pursuing this news, we can arrange interviews with Chuck Porcari, MCC Department of Nursing representatives, and student-nurses.

The Monroe Community College Foundation seeks philanthropic investment to advance academic achievement, innovation, and the mission of excellence at the college.

Press Contacts:
Monroe Community College
Cell: 585.249.0789

Monroe Community College Foundation
Cell: 585.750.0248