SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS 2020
1. Grady Schroeder
There are several personal factors that inspired me to pursue nursing. At nine, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I struggled to come to terms with it during my childhood and learn how to control my care. The support I received from healthcare professionals helped me learn how to manage and accept my condition. It demonstrated to me the life-changing impact people in the healthcare field have on the lives of others. Then, six years ago my father was diagnosed with liver disease. This lasted for three years and culminated in a life-saving liver transplant. The quality of care and support he received showed how empathy and compassion can comfort people during times of crisis. It is my goal to contribute to that experience, and to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I have always derived a sense of gratification and purpose from helping others, and I believe I can best do that by becoming a nurse.
In addition, it is my goal to become a nurse leader and eventually go on to pursue my DNP. I believe that given my values, previous education experience, and my personal skills and abilities, becoming a nurse leader is another way I can have a positive impact. As a clinical nurse leader, I can demonstrate to others in the importance of patient care. I believe this role could be increasingly vital to the future considering the added pressure being placed on nurses. One such example is the recent pandemic. COVID has shown how quickly and drastically circumstances can change. I believe nurse leaders may be critical in helping navigate those transitions.
After becoming a nurse and a successful CNL, I eventually plan to go on to pursue a DNP. With a DNP, I will be better equipped and enabled to lead, teach, and engage in academic research. By engaging in healthcare research and education, I would be uniquely positioned to contribute to the future of nursing while also inspiring future professionals. As a professor, the research I conduct could help advance the field, while being in the classroom would allow me the opportunity to share my passion with others. Being a professor would also allow me to follow in my father’s footsteps as a teacher. After his liver transplant, because of his weakened immune system, my father is unable to go back to the classroom. Because of the length of his conditioned, he was medically retired. However, because of the new virtual learning environment, he has persevered and continued his passion as a tutor with his former district. I hope that in my life I can show the same strength, courage, and resilience that he has. In summary, there are many reasons I have been inspired to pursue a career in nursing due to both my personal experiences as well as my professional goals. I am excited to approach every day invigorated, just as my father, and to be a part of the innovation and leadership that could transform the world.
2. Daniel Murrow
My dream is to become a trauma surgeon, and I can’t think of a more direct way to make the world a better place than by treating patients who straddle the line separating life and death. They are the ones who need care the most, and I need to be there to provide them with the best there is. There have been two instances in recent years that have reinforced that this is the future I want. Imagine being in the third game of the state championship tournament with your hockey team. An excess of adrenaline in your body and a stomach full of butterflies. You can’t even hear yourself thinking, the screaming and shouting of fans in the crowd is beyond deafening. You’re skating down the ice when you realize everyone has gone quiet; you could hear a cricket chirp. You look towards your bench where everyone is pointing only to see the best player on your team fall backwards off his seat. I am the player watching my teammate being supported by our coaches and athletic trainer.
However, something else was wrong with the situation. I have a natural instinct to help, especially to be involved in life threatening emergencies. I knew nothing though. At that moment in time, I felt utterly useless. I could have been helping my buddy, only I had no idea what to do. That instance only served to solidify my passion to become a great doctor. It is painful for me to see a situation in which I could help save someone, but stand by as an onlooker, useless to whomever is in danger. I am driven to dive in, get involved, and be the difference between life and death. My passion to be a part of the synchronized dance of the emergency room is what gives me the motivation to love learning. Five days ago, I found myself in another emergency situation, at a hockey game, again, but this time my family was involved. Eight minutes into the second period of the game, my brother had to experience what all hockey players hope to avoid. A skate blade had slit his wrist. With all the adrenaline, he hadn’t noticed how serious the laceration was. We went to the bench, and saw he had blood all over his hand. I quickly told our coach we needed a trainer, but one important piece of the puzzle was still missing; the source of the lost blood. I pulled up his jersey sleeve, and there it was. The very moment I saw the gash in his wrist, my subconscious snapped into action. Both my hands clamped on either side of the opening and forced the gash closed. Not more than a few minutes later, the other team’s trainer showed up and took over. This time I was prepared to make a difference. This time I was involved. I would not allow what happened with my other teammate to repeat itself.
3. Madison Morris
My great grandfather has been the most impactful role model of my life. The year I was born, my great grandfather was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, a rare disease which causes failure of the adrenal glands. Despite this diagnosis, he lived a normal life until my teenage years. When I was fifteen years old, his health rapidly declined, and he became completely reliant on others. Seeing him in this state was very difficult. I remember him as strong and invincible, but now he is frail and unable.
When his health declined, it eventually reached the point that we could no longer care for him at home, and he was to be placed in a nursing home for full time care. We visited him as much as possible but his health continued to wane. By this point, he could no longer talk or even move on his own. It was as if he was trapped in his own body.
My family decided to care for him in his home at the end of his life. It was this time that showed me the hard work that is required to care for someone who is unable to care for themselves, and the reward felt in caring for others. I remember sitting with him on multiple occasions, talking about memories I had with him growing up. I could see in his eyes widen and brighten as these memories came back to him despite his inability to speak.
On the morning he passed, I thought my whole world had fallen apart as my greatest hero was gone. However, looking back, I have realized that heroes never truly die but instead live on through the people they have touched. My great grandfather taught me many things such as how to love others, even when it seems difficult. He is one of the primary reasons I want to pursue nursing. He was my greatest inspiration and role model and continues to shape who I am today.
In addition to caring for my great grandfather, I aid in the care of my great grandmother for the past several years, as her health has declined as well. I help her perform everyday tasks such as bathing and cooking, as well as helping her take her medication.
Additionally, in my spare time, I volunteer with an organization called Joni and Friends which partners with special-needs families and provides outreach events with the goal of improving the overall quality of life of these individuals.
The life experiences I have received from the passing of my great grandfather, the decline in health of my great grandmother, and Joni and Friends have guided me toward nursing as a career path. These experiences have shown me that there is no greater accomplishment than to care for someone in their time of need while maintaining their dignity.
4. Justin Peck
"How can I make the world a better place?" This is a question that I have been and still am searching for an answer for. I have always had a passion for the outdoors and for pushing my physical limits. Through my physical journey, I had many injuries and setbacks. I have had much experience with rehab and recovery from my various injuries. It makes sense to me to pursue a career in physical therapy. So to answer my question, the best way I can think of to make the world a better place is to advance my knowledge of the human body and how it works, so that I can help others recover from injury and live their lives to their fullest potential. There is nothing that gives me more joy than seeing and helping others achieve their goals. The best way I think I can do this is by helping others to recover from injury or just become more capable of living a physically active life.
5. Jacob Anthony Fischer
Every day, there are people being rushed to the hospital on the verge of death. These people have families and friends who care for them, and will mourn after their passing. I want to be able to save lives, and prevent hardship for their families and friends. This is why I want to be a trauma surgeon. Of all the professions in the medical field, the trauma surgeon is the professional that challenges death most often and is able to triumph over it. Accidents happen when we least expect it. Just when we think we’re on top of the world, in control of every aspect of our lives, tragedy can strike in an instant and flip your world upside down. I’ve been in the emergency room on various occasions, and when I study others’ expressions it makes me sad. There is tension in the air, and it’s easy to tell that some people are barely keeping themselves together as they wait for news, whether it be good or bad. I am a compassionate person, and I felt like I wanted to help these people, almost as if it was an obligation. I wanted to be the bearer of good news that would relieve the stress they carried. This is when I realized I wanted to work in the emergency room. However, I didn’t know what career would help me achieve that goal. I decided to enter my school’s medical magnet because of this desire to help people. I knew that if I took advantage of the exposure to the medical field the magnet provided, I would be able to find the career I needed to achieve my goal. During my 10th grade year, I saw my first documentary of the emergency room, “Code Black.” In the documentary I saw uncanny similarities between the worried expressions of those being documented and the people I’ve encountered. The documentary also showed something that caught my attention more so, and that was behind the scenes. The professionals who bore the hopes of the families outside, the trauma surgeon. The intensity of the environment, the cohesiveness of the teams and the persistent attitudes they held made me feel as if that was where I belonged. When situations are intense and adrenaline is high, all doubt is removed from my head and I only focus on maximizing all of my moves to the best of my ability. This ability to cast aside doubt and anxiety is what I witnessed in the surgeons, and that is my specialty. Since then I’ve spoken to a trauma surgeon and solidified my desire to pursue this goal; the career in which I can positively impact the lives of as many people as possible. I will push the boundaries of my abilities as a surgeon in order to advance the field and put my all into every patient