Carol Wheeler, left, is congratulated as the 2012 ABWA Woman of Distinction by last year's honoree, Beth Fager.
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - From dishwasher to registered nurse to vice president.
Carol Wheeler's climb up the career leader earned honors as the 2012 Woman of Distinction from the Career Chapter of the American Business Women's Association.
Wheeler has worked at Stormont-Vail HealthCare more than 40 years.
Money raised at a Tuesday luncheon will go toward scholarships in Wheeler's name, to be awarded to female students at Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology. Wheeler says education is important to her.
"For those women who want to be out in the workplace, want to develop a skill, want to get a degree, we need to help them and provide them with the means to do so," Wheeler said. "With this economy, it is getting more difficult all the time."
Speakers at Tuesday's luncheon in Wheeler's honor included her sister, friends and Stormont CEO Maynard Oliverius. They lauded her as a dedicated employee, loyal friend and caring person who was deserving of such high recognition.
Wheeler also spoke, sharing the story of her mother, who, after Wheeler's father died, told her that you never knows what life has in store, so you must be prepared to take care of yourself and your family.
This is the 30th year for the event, which has resulted in more than $260,000 in scholarships.