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Amy Okeke

2375

Bold Points

16x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

Bio

Hello, my name is Amy and I am a first-generation American studying to become a nurse. As a child of Nigerian immigrants, it was instilled at an early age the power of education and perseverance, and I challenge myself everyday to learn. This August I will begin a Bachelor in nursing program with the hope of becoming an ICU or Labor and Delivery registered nurse. As a caregiver, I witnessed first-hand health inequities towards underserved and low-income communities. These experiences strengthened my desire to pursue nursing. With my degree, I have the opportunity to bring change through direct patient care and advocacy for my patients. This scholarship will greatly reduce the cost of my out-of-state tuition and will allow me to focus on being the nurse my community needs. I deeply appreciate your support and I am very grateful to be considered for your scholarship. Thank you.

Education

South Dakota State University

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing

Coastline Community College

Associate's degree program
2023 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Human Biology

Santa Ana College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
    • Computer Science

Barstow Community College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other

San Diego State University

Bachelor's degree program
2010 - 2013
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, General

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
    • Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      ICU Registered Nurse, Labor and Delivery Nurse, Bioinformatics

    • Recruiter

      2022 – 20231 year
    • Caregiver

      2017 – 20225 years
    • Foster Youth Visitation Specialist

      Walden Services
      2014 – 20162 years
    • Independent Shop Owner

      Etsy
      2017 – 20225 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Club
    2012 – Present12 years

    Research

    • Cognitive Science

      San Diego State University — Interviewed participants and uploaded data onto database. Also participated in administrative duties as needed.
      2011 – 2012

    Arts

    • Green Dot the Next Great American

      Acting
      2016 – 2016

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Volunteer Match — Participated in various efforts such as diaper, food, and supply drives, community outreach about COVID-19 prevention, nutritional education, and informing people about county and state health services.
      2021 – 2023
    • Advocacy

      Innocence Project — Donated a portion of funds from my online shop. Spread awareness on social media about the injustice against citizens wrongly accused of crimes.
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      LA, SD, and Riverside County — Volunteers for numerous food bank drives while offering emotional support as needed. Have also serve hot meals and water to disadvantaged citizens.
      2014 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Self-started — Created my own mission project by fundraising to create care packages for unhoused citizens. Items included wet wipes, hygiene supplies, socks, undergarments, feminine hygiene products, lip balm, and first-aid supplies.
      2020 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Red Cross — Offered emotional support and information on how to use services. Also volunteered during blood drives, set up booths, and ensured participants were checked in correctly.
      2010 – 2014

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Kalia D. Davis Memorial Scholarship
    While reading the story of Kalia D. Davis, I couldn’t help but see myself in her since we shared the same love for running, traveling, and nature. Reading her story is a reminder on why I enrolled in nursing school, as it provides the opportunity to help people like Kalia. Her values of hard work, compassion, and grit are the values that I embody, and this scholarship will allow me to not only uphold her values through service to my community, but also pursue the education and license required to do so. Despite difficulties obtaining funds to pay for school, my grit to persevere motivates me to continue my path despite obstacles. My plan after my first degree was to further my education, but as the first daughter in my family, I fulfilled my responsibilities of being a full-time caregiver for my grandmother. I took care of her for over five years as she battled a critical neurological disease and advanced diabetes. This experience strengthened my desire to become a nurse, however, as a non-traditional student I am no longer eligible for state or federal grants. This scholarship will significantly reduce the burden of taking out high interest private loans and allow me to focus on becoming the nurse my community needs. Kalia D. Davis’ legacy lives on through people like me who are inspired by her values to maintain ambition, drive, and compassion. As I start nursing school this summer, I am motivated to become the nurse that provides support, empathy, and essential care to improve the lives of my patients. Motivated by Kalia’s values, I honor her memory by diligently pursuing my goals and ambitiously contributing to my community through volunteer work. My plan after nursing school is to specialize in critical care, especially in either labor and delivery or cardiovascular ICU since I have lost loved ones in these units. There are nights when I ruminate and wish I can still talk to them, but I realize they are with me on this journey in spirit. I aim to work tirelessly to achieve my dream because I know there are several people in my community without access to qualified healthcare professionals. Although it has been arduous to find funding for my education, I refuse to give up. I am honored to apply to this scholarship as this would be an investment towards someone who embodies Kalia’s values. With determination to succeed, I continue her legacy by committing to hard work and excellence in pursuit of my goals. As a future nurse, I aspire to provide service, hope, and healing to my patients and this scholarship will make that dream come true. Thank you for taking the time to share her story and consider my application.
    Innovators of Color in STEM Scholarship
    Sometimes life presents us with experiences that change our trajectory. My decision to pursue this field is deeply rooted in witnessing firsthand the challenges and shortcomings of the medical system. As a caregiver and volunteer in my community, I noticed that I could become an advocate for those in need. It is this passion and sense of purpose that inspired me to enroll in a Bachelor’s in Nursing program. My goal is to become a compassionate, culturally competent, and ethical registered nurse to serve disadvantaged communities. The seeds of my career aspirations were sown during moments of vulnerability and despair, as I stood by the hospital bedside of my grandmother battling a neurological disease and advanced diabetes. I watched helplessly as some of her complaints were disregarded. Despite the tireless efforts of some of the healthcare professionals, I couldn't shake off the nagging feeling that something was amiss, especially because cultural barriers prevented a direct translation of how she felt. As a result, it was not uncommon to witness instances of misdiagnosis and delayed interventions, leading to unnecessary suffering and complications. These experiences left an indelible mark on my psyche, igniting a fervent desire to be part of the solution. While volunteering in my community to distribute meals and information on county healthcare services, I got a chance to talk with those who had limited access to healthcare. It was then that I became acutely aware of the alarming shortage of skilled professionals in diverse communities, particularly in high-demand areas such as critical care. The disparities in access to quality healthcare were glaring, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations and people of color. This realization served as a motivator to pursue nursing and address these pressing issues. As I continued to take on more volunteer work, the thought of becoming a nurse was cemented, and I realized just how much my environment and community inspired me to join the field. My goal is to specialize in cardiovascular critical care where patients are grappling with life-threatening conditions. This area has a personal connection to me since I have lost loved ones while they were in intensive units. I am also drawn to the fast-paced nature of intensive care where split-second decisions can mean the difference between life and death. The ability to support patients and their families during moments of crisis is both humbling and profoundly rewarding for me. In addition, I look forward to tackling the persistent challenges of cultural competency and ethnic disparities in healthcare. The times I accompanied my grandmother to hospital visits made me realize how often cultural differences are overlooked in healthcare. Due to growing up in a multicultural household, I can connect with different populations on a cultural level which is crucial in communities that battle with mistrust and hesitation due to past traumas. Another personal goal of mine is to partake in nursing volunteer trips in countries with subpar medical resources. These trips will provide an opportunity to work with patients without access to quality healthcare. In pursuit of my career aspirations, I am eager to immerse myself in hands-on clinical experiences, honing my skills to meet demands. This fall, I will begin an accelerated BSN program, fueled by an intense desire to make a positive change in healthcare. By pursuing this career and serving in critical shortage facilities, I aim to honor the experiences of my loved ones and ensure that no patient suffers due to gaps in the system. With unwavering determination and compassion, I embark on this transformative journey towards healing, hope, and service to my community.
    Sara Jane Memorial Scholarship
    My decision to become a registered nurse is deeply rooted in a desire to improve people’s well-being through patient care. Having witnessed firsthand the challenges and shortcomings of the medical industry, I am driven to advocate for those in need. It is this passion and sense of purpose that inspired me to pursue a career as a critical care nurse, specifically in facilities grappling with shortages and resource constraints. In this career, I can instill hope for my patients through care, compassion, and advocacy during their traumatic experiences. Reading Sara Jane’s story reminded me why I enrolled in nursing school, and I am honestly inspired to emulate her values and work ethic in my career. Just as she encouraged people to pursue more education, her legacy lives on by inspiring me to further my education and become the type of nurse she was- someone who provides service, hope, and healing to patients. To have a successful career, I choose to work in an environment that aligns with my mission to serve disadvantaged communities. One of my goals is to work in rural facilities where the need for dedicated healthcare professionals is most acute. In pursuit of my career aspirations, I am eager to sharpen my skills and expertise to meet demands. Another goal of mine is to partake in nursing volunteer trips in countries with subpar medical resources. These trips will provide additional opportunities to work with patients who have limited access to healthcare. Nursing is one of the few careers where my license can be utilized in different countries, and I am excited to make a medical impact worldwide. Once I gain expertise in my abilities, I will obtain either a PhD or become a Family Nurse Practitioner. A personal accomplishment that helped me pursue my goals was creating my own volunteer project. With a friend’s help, we delivered over 150 care packages to unhoused citizens throughout Los Angeles. I could not find an organization that aligned with my interests, so my friend and I joined together and raised funds to build our own mission project. Each bag was filled with socks, undergarments, hygiene supplies, and feminine care products for those who needed it. Initially it was difficult to raise funds, but we finally reached our goal. This accomplishment made me realize that with a purpose and a plan, I can assist my community beyond my imagination. Some of my past healthcare experience has been through caregiving and volunteer work. For over 5 years, I provided full- time care to my grandmother who suffered from a neurological disease and advanced diabetes. It was an honor caring for her because she did the same for me when I was younger. However, I sometimes wish that I was a nurse during that time so I could have helped her even more. As a volunteer, I have joined organizations throughout my community to distribute diapers, formula, and food. I also volunteered in health education initiatives to spread awareness on nutrition and exercise. Sara Jane’s dedication and values have inspired me. I am motivated to embody her commitment to putting patients first, offering unwavering support, and positively impacting lives. I believe that by upholding these values, I will also achieve a successful and fulfilling career in nursing.