For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Arainna Ridley

1385

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

This past fall (Fall 2023), I graduated from Georgia State Perimeter College with an associate's degree in Health Science Professions. I am now awaiting acceptance to a nursing program, as I finish my last prerequisite this Spring. I plan to become a Nurse Anesthetist or an Anesthesia Assistant. I hope to work in pediatrics, as I thoroughly enjoy working with children.

Education

Kennesaw State University

Bachelor's degree program
2024 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing

Georgia State University-Perimeter College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other

Lakeside High School

High School
2017 - 2020

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Nurse of Anesthesia

    • Front Desk Receptionist

      2022 – 20231 year
    • Food Expeditor, Servers Assistant, Hostess

      2021 – 20221 year
    • Take orders from customers, prepare drinks, pack orders

      Chick-fil-a
      2017 – 20181 year

    Sports

    flag football

    Varsity
    2020 – 2020

    Ultimate Frisbee

    Varsity
    2019 – 20201 year

    Arts

    • Visual Arts
      2020 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Independent — Prepare charts for the next day, restock gowns, prepare rooms at the end of the day for the following morning, clean and make beds
      2017 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Trees for Tuition Scholarship Fund
    Winner
    I am currently finishing my last prerequisite for dental hygiene school. I first learned about the dental hygiene profession from my mother, an OR nurse who often works with dentists or dental assistants. Full transparency, I hadn’t thought about dental hygienist or their role in healthcare, but I did know I wanted a career in healthcare. Soon after that conversation with my mom, I began hearing more and more about dental hygiene and how oral hygiene plays an important role in your body’s health. A couple of weeks later, I had an appointment at the dentist’s office, and I was able to have an interesting talk with my hygienist about her experience in DH school, the board examination, finding a job after graduating, and her career currently. This conversation is what made me truly decide to pursue dental hygiene. It is important to me that I find a career that is interesting, while also being able to help the general public. Although several healthcare careers are interesting, dental hygiene sticks out to me because I will have the chance to educate my patients on the importance of oral health. When I think of doctors and nurses, their jobs are no doubt vital, but they focus more on the presenting symptoms and how to fix them. As a hygienist, I will be able to educate my patients on how their oral health affects the rest of their body which will work in collaboration with their primary care. There is a common misconception that oral health is for aesthetic purposes. When in actuality, oral infection or disease can affect your heart and other parts of your body. In fact, oral hygiene has been linked to sepsis, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. This is because bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause infection or inflammation in other parts of your body. As you may know, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for all adults. But did you know that 47% of African American adults have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease? In fact African Americans are around two times as likely to get cardiovascular disease than White Americans. However this increased risk is not due to any biological differences. It is due to factors such as poverty, lack of education, and poor diets. As a hygienist I hope to educate patients in my community on the link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease, while also teaching them how to improve their oral hygiene. Additionally, I will have the chance to screen my patients for something like hypertension, while taking their blood pressure at their appointment. For some patients, this may be the only opportunity for this screening, if they do not regularly visit their primary care doctor. Although I intend to increase racial diversity in the dental hygiene field, I believe it is important to increase racial diversity in healthcare in general. Not only would this increase make the BIPOC patient's more comfortable and more likely to return, but it would also allow for healthcare workers who specialize in BIPOC's health. Although we are all human, there are some conditions that BIPOC are predisposed to or more likely to have. These conditions are often looked past because of the lack of diverity in health studies and clinical trials. The healthcare industry has a significant amount of progress to make towards racial diversity, and I intend to be a part of this progress.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    In my junior year I became a dual enrolled student. I didn’t have many friends because I was only at my school for half the day. This is when my feelings of depression began. Previously, school was my time to escape from home, where I felt overwhelmed with my mother’s own depression. Although my mother is a very strong woman, she’d recently separated from my father, and I was the only person she had to lean on. With my depression came a constant feeling that my heart was racing. I became increasingly uninterested in school. I felt unstable and I was constantly sad. I even began to have suicidal thoughts. I didn’t realize how serious it was until we learned about mental illness in my psychology class. I knew then that I needed to seek help. As soon as I told my mother that I was having suicidal thoughts, she found a therapist and then a psychiatrist. Despite this huge change, I stayed on top of everything and did not let my school work fall behind. Beginning my recovery with the normal pressures of high school wasn’t easy. However, I had no idea that it would soon get worse. COVID-19 entered the U.S in March of my junior year. School closed and once again, my break from all the difficulties at home was stripped away. I was forced into isolation with all of my overwhelming emotions and like so many others, I had to adjust to school being virtual after 12 years of in-person learning. Finishing my junior year online was hard, but beginning my senior year without any idea if we would ever be able to meet in person again was terrifying. Despite it all, I managed to find the motivation to get up from my bed, move to the desk in my room, and log onto class to learn. In the face of all these challenges, I came out mentally tougher than ever, with two life-long friends, and in the top 20% of my class. These were all huge accomplishments for me. More than anything, these accomplishments gave me hope for my future. As you know, mental illness is a recurring thing. I continue to struggle with my mental illness everyday. However, I now know that the storm will calm eventually, and there will be sunlight again. Since high school, I've met a handful of perople who struggle with their mental health as well, and don't have the access to therapy like I do. I continue to check up on these people, and remind them that the pain is temporary, and they are not alone. More importantly, I talk to them through the tools I learned in therapy. I hope that this not only helps them in the moment, but also sticks with them, so that they are able to apply these tools in the future when they are alone.The stigma around mental illness has caused those struggling to try to hide it, when in actuality, there are more people struggling than we know. Only when we continue to have the conversation about mental illness, will people gain the confidence and comfortability to speak up and seek help.
    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
    I am currently finishing my last prerequisite for dental hygiene school. I first learned about the dental hygiene profession from my mother, an OR nurse who often works with dentists or dental assistants. Full transparency, I hadn’t thought about dental hygienist or their role in healthcare, but I did know I wanted a career in healthcare. Soon after that conversation with my mom, I began hearing more and more about dental hygiene and how oral hygiene plays an important role in your body’s health. A couple of weeks later, I had an appointment at the dentist’s office, and I was able to have an interesting talk with my hygienist about her experience in DH school, the board examination, finding a job after graduating, and her career currently. This conversation is what made me truly decide to pursue dental hygiene. It is important to me that I find a career that is interesting, while also being able to help the general public. Although several healthcare careers are interesting, dental hygiene sticks out to me because I will have the chance to educate my patients on the importance of oral health. When I think of doctors and nurses, their jobs are no doubt vital, but they focus more on the presenting symptoms and how to fix them. As a hygienist, I will be able to educate my patients on how their oral health affects the rest of their body which will work in collaboration with their primary care. There is a common misconception that oral health is for aesthetic purposes. When in actuality, oral infection or disease can affect your heart and other parts of your body. In fact, oral hygiene has been linked to sepsis, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. This is because bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause infection or inflammation in other parts of your body. As you may know, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for all adults. But did you know that 47% of African American adults have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease? In fact African Americans are around two times as likely to get cardiovascular disease than White Americans. However this increased risk is not due to any biological differences. It is due to factors such as poverty, lack of education, and poor diets. As a hygienist I hope to educate patients in my community on the link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease, while also teaching them how to improve their oral hygiene. Additionally, I will have the chance to screen my patients for something like hypertension, while taking their blood pressure at their appointment. For some patients, this may be the only opportunity for this screening, if they do not regularly visit their primary care doctor. Although I intend to increase racial diversity in the dental hygiene field, I believe it is important to increase racial diversity in healthcare in general. Not only would this increase make the BIPOC patient's more comfortable and more likely to return, but it would also allow for healthcare workers who specialize in BIPOC's health. Although we are all human, there are some conditions that BIPOC are predisposed to or more likely to have. These conditions are often looked past because of the lack of diverity in health studies and clinical trials. The healthcare industry has a significant amount of progress to make towards racial diversity, and I intend to be a part of this progress.
    She Rose in Health Scholarship
    I first learned about the dental hygiene profession from my mother, an OR nurse who often works with dentists or dental assistants. Full transparency, I hadn’t thought about dental hygienist or their role in healthcare, but I did know I wanted a career in healthcare. Soon after that conversation with my mom, I began hearing more and more about dental hygiene and how oral hygiene plays an important role in your body’s health. A couple of weeks later, I had an appointment at the dentist’s office, and I was able to have an interesting talk with my hygienist about her experience in DH school, the board examination, finding a job after graduating, and her career currently. This conversation is what made me truly decide to pursue dental hygiene. It is important to me that I find a career that is interesting, while also being able to help the general public. Although several healthcare careers are interesting, dental hygiene sticks out to me because I will have the chance to educate my patients on the importance of oral health. When I think of doctors and nurses, their jobs are no doubt vital, but they focus more on the presenting symptoms and how to fix them. As a hygienist, I will be able to educate my patients on how their oral health affects the rest of their body which will work in collaboration with their primary care. There is a common misconception that oral health is for aesthetic purposes. When in actuality, oral infection or disease can affect your heart and other parts of your body. In fact, oral hygiene has been linked to sepsis, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. This is because bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause infection or inflammation in other parts of your body. As you may know, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for all adults. But did you know that 47% of African American adults have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease? In fact African Americans are around two times as likely to get cardiovascular disease than White Americans. However this increased risk is not due to any biological differences. It is due to factors such as poverty, lack of education, and poor diets. As a hygienist I hope to educate patients in my community on the link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease, while also teaching them how to improve their oral hygiene. Additionally, I will have the chance to screen my patients for something like hypertension, while taking their blood pressure at their appointment. For some patients, this may be the only opportunity for this screening, if they do not regularly visit their primary care doctor. So many people do not learn about the importance of dental hygiene until they are older, or they never learn at all. The effect that poor oral hygiene can have on the rest of your body is real and important. As a dental hygienist I hope to educate as many people as possible in my community on these risks, and help them to achieve their perfect smile. This scholarship will help to cover the fees of my dental instrument kit, loupes, uniform and other fees totaling over $7,000 that I will encounter before I enter the program.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    My grandmother was my number one fan and my best friend. When she got sick, I knew I had to cherish each moment we had left but I still was not prepared when her time came. I had never grieved the death of someone who was so close to me. I felt like no one would understand the pain I was feeling, even though my family was going through the same situation. Instead of pushing my school work aside, I hyper-focused on it to avoid slipping into a depression. I made it through my freshman and sophomore years, but the feelings of pain and grief never really went away. In my junior year I became a dual enrolled student. I didn’t have many friends because I was only at my school for half the day. This is when my feelings of depression began. Previously, school was my time to escape from home, where I felt overwhelmed with my mother’s own depression. Although my mother is a very strong woman, she’d recently separated from my father, and I was the only person she had to lean on. With my depression came a constant feeling that my heart was racing. I became increasingly uninterested in school. I felt unstable and I was constantly sad. I even began to have suicidal thoughts. I didn’t realize how serious it was until we learned about mental illness in my psychology class. I knew then that I needed to seek help. As soon as I told my mother that I was having suicidal thoughts, she found a therapist and then a psychiatrist. Despite this huge change, I stayed on top of everything and did not let my school work fall behind. Beginning my recovery with the normal pressures of high school wasn’t easy. However, I had no idea that it would soon get worse. COVID-19 entered the U.S in March of my junior year. School closed and once again, my break from all the difficulties at home was stripped away. I was forced into isolation with all of my overwhelming emotions and like so many others, I had to adjust to school being virtual after 12 years of in-person learning. Finishing my junior year online was hard, but beginning my senior year without any idea if we would ever be able to meet in person again was terrifying. Despite it all, I managed to find the motivation to get up from my bed, move to the desk in my room, and log onto class to learn. In the face of all these challenges, I came out mentally tougher than ever, with two life-long friends, and in the top 20% of my class. These were all huge accomplishments for me. It marks recovering from a mental illness, finding myself again, finding friends who love me and give me the motivation to keep going, and most importantly, putting my best foot forward throughout it all.
    @GrowingWithGabby National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship