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Brittany Johnson

2145

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

8x

Finalist

3x

Winner

Bio

I am a junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force for ten years. As a person who struggled with a mental health diagnosis, I wasn't sure how far I could go. I am first generation student, so I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving a scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. My acceptance to nursing school as an African American Nursing major was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Accepting such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics improving patient outcomes.

Education

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Computer Science
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
  • Minors:
    • Data Science

University of South Carolina-Columbia

Bachelor's degree program
2014 - 2016
  • Majors:
    • Public Health Education and Promotion

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Data Science
    • Psychology, Other
    • Computer Science
    • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Nurse

    • Dream career goals:

      Juvenile Corrections Nursing

    • Medical Logistics Officer

      U.S Army
      2014 – 20173 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Junior Varsity
    2018 – 20202 years

    Awards

    • Heisman Trophy 2019

    Soccer

    Varsity
    2020 – Present4 years

    Awards

    • Varsity Player of the year

    Volleyball

    Junior Varsity
    2014 – 20162 years

    Research

    • Public Health Education and Promotion

      Independent — Research Assistant
      2015 – 2016

    Arts

    • Hawaii Youth Symphony

      Music
      2019 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Breast Cancer Society of Hawaii — Executive Research Assistant
      2020 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Institute of Human Services- Oahu — Mental Health Case Manager
      2017 – 2019

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Ben Brock Memorial Scholarship
    I’ve always been attracted to STEM. In high school, I took plenty of classes surrounding programming and computer science in hopes of gaining insight into the technology industry. One of these classes as taught by a Navy veteran who would always share stories about his experiences in the Navy. One day, I had the chance to ask about his journey and was astonished by all of the things he had gained through his military service. After dedicating hours of research, I finally decided to enlist in the Army. The journey from a military career to the tech world is unique and challenging, one that I have personally navigated. During my six years with the military Security Forces, I developed disciplines, skills, and values that have proven invaluable in my coding career. I aim to share these experiences, illustrating how the rigor and structure of military life can be a powerful foundation for success in the tech industry. I'll delve into specific practices and mindsets honed during my service and how they have shaped my approach to coding and technology. The transfer of these skills is not always straightforward, but with the right mindset, they can become your greatest assets in the tech industry. The qualities of discipline, precision, and adaptability learned in the military can be effectively translated to the tech world. The military service taught me the value of developing a broad skill set. Skills not directly related to my primary military role, such as strategic thinking and adaptability, have been incredibly beneficial in tech. Enhancing my abilities in areas like math, writing, and public speaking has enriched my tech career. These interrelated skills, fostered in the military, have opened new doors and provided a well-rounded approach to problem-solving in the tech industry. The ability to think strategically, a skill honed in the military, has been crucial in navigating the complexities of the tech world. Adaptability, essential in the ever-changing environment of military operations, is equally valuable in the fast-paced tech industry. In the military, learning and adapting to new tactics was a constant requirement; a similar mindset is vital in tech. Understanding Programming Design Patterns, for instance, is crucial for coding success. Embracing continuous learning and viewing each challenge as an opportunity to grow is pivotal in keeping up with the fast-paced evolution of technology Being the avid Reddit lurker that I consider myself to be, I stumbled upon a post that described a veteran's experience at an Ivy League institution. This institution turned out to be the School of General Studies at Columbia. I was intrigued by the rigorous Ivy League experience catered towards nontraditional students and decided to apply to Colombia University. Coming from a place that upholds the culture to adapt and overcome has made the transition to Columbia less strenuous. The task of completing a mission in a designated time frame has translated to submitting assignments on time and planning my day-to-day activities. I make sure to assign a sufficient amount of time for exam preparation and to make time to look after my mental health. Cultivating healthy time management skills has done wonders for me during my time at Columbia thus far. The transition from military service to a tech career might involve different fields, but the core competencies and principles often overlap. The disciplines practiced in the military are invaluable in coding, paving the way for success in the tech industry for veterans. This journey is a testament to the versatility and applicability of the skills and values learned in the military, demonstrating their transformative potential in the tech industry.
    Debra Victoria Scholarship
    As I reflect on my journey to my admittance into nursing school, at the age of 29, I credit the military for my new founded strength in overcoming lifes ever-changing seasons. My mom is my greatest inspiration in this life, as a single mother of two raising her children on the southside of Chicago, strived to make a better life for her children in contrast to her upbringing. My mom would join the military at the age of 18, and my sister and I would be known as the new kids on the block every 4 years until we graduated high school. I am now 32 years old about to graduate from nursing school. I grew up somewhat stable as far as having our basic needs met with the occasional vacation or two. This felt like the American dream achieved in contrast to what I had seen in the African American community around me. Financial and basic life literacy skills were missing from people who looked like me. I set out on a mission to change that for myself and my community. Growing up, I put my all into academics, because my mother had told us that there was no money for college, and we basically had to figure it out. I took a liking to the field of science in high school, but still had financial hurdles to go through to afford the college that I dreamed of. I would later join the Air Force at the age of 18, and scored the lowest possible score on the ASVAB to get it. I didnt mind it much, because that was my ticket to the next part of my life. Sometimes all we have in this life is a vision to get us started. College was on the backburner for now, and later I would find myself traveling from South Carolina to Wichita Falls, Texas to complete Electrician training for the Air Force. Have you ever met a scared electrician? Well.. me either. , and that happened to be who I was at the time. Working on Air craft electronics, super scared, and having a blast with my fellow Airman. I didn't know just how valuable of a skill that would be later on in life. I graduated from technical training and wired up my mom's new house, with a few hiccups, but came out proud of myself. This job had nothing to do with science, but I saw it as a foundation to build my leadership skills, and as chance to gain a tangible skill that would be useful for the world. I served 4 years on active duty for the Air Force, and now had the money to pay for an undergrad at the University of South Carolina for a bachelors degree in Public Health. . I was not yet sold on the nursing field as of yet. I was 24 years old when I gradated and then decided to commission in the U.S Army as a Chemical officer. The job was picked for me based on my science background. I did not enjoy this job as much, but yet again, I placed service to country before self. I deployed to Iraq when I was 27, and was assigned to a medical battalion and that was where I fell in love with nursing. Both military and nursing professionals must act quickly, remember training and remain calm in chaotic, stressful situations where a misstep can mean the loss of life. I am drawn to the lifelong adventure of service to others before myself.
    Sigirci-Jones Scholarship
    Transitioning careers at 36 while managing a family and household wasn't a walk in the park. Yet, despite the challenges, I found immense fulfillment in my decision. The love I have for my new career as a nurse surpasses the difficulties I faced to get here. If given the chance, I'd undertake this journey all over again. My hope now is that by sharing my story, I can offer guidance and inspiration to those who, like me, aspire to become nurses but feel hindered by various reasons. My fascination with healthcare traces back to my childhood days spent engrossed in medical shows like "Rescue 911." The allure of doctors and nurses sparked a dream within me to one day join their ranks. However, life had a different path in store. While I always considered myself reasonably bright, my teenage years in high school were marked by a sense of disengagement. Although my grades were decent, they weren't exceptional enough for scholarships, let alone medical or nursing school. To pave the way for college, I enlisted in the military, finding myself in the telecommunications field, a job that suited me at the time. Post-military service, I worked with Sprint in telecommunications for 14 years. Throughout those years, my passion for all things medical persisted. I avidly followed medical TV shows and supported friends through their nursing school journeys. Despite this fervor, the idea of returning to school for a medical or nursing degree seemed implausible due to my age, financial responsibilities, and the time commitment nursing school demanded. Doubts swirled: How could I afford schooling? How would I balance work and education? After years of feeling unfulfilled in my telecom job, I reached a pivotal moment. Conversations with my wife and advisors at the local community college spurred me to take a leap. I began by enrolling in nursing prerequisite courses—ethics, college composition, philosophy, anatomy, and physiology—juggling 2-3 online courses alongside my full-time job. The flexibility of online and evening classes allowed me to maintain my work schedule. Days were long and draining; work consumed 10 hours, followed by 3-4 hours of nightly coursework. Balancing family time became a challenge, yet my determination to pursue my dream kept me going. A year into prerequisites, I applied to nursing school and was accepted on my first attempt—an exhilarating step forward. However, the real challenge loomed ahead. Nursing school demanded a minimum commitment of 20-30 weekly hours between classes and clinicals, forcing me to confront financial concerns. Navigating this hurdle, I nervously approached my employer, explaining my intent to balance work and school for the next two years. Surprisingly, they offered support, accommodating my schedule changes and reassuring me of job security until my transition. Nursing school commenced, and it was grueling. Days began at 4 am, juggling work, classes, and clinicals, often leaving me feeling like a mere shell of myself. Yet, amidst the exhaustion, my family provided unwavering support. I meticulously organized my schedule to reserve Sundays for family time—a cherished reprieve amid the chaos. Two years rushed by in a blur of relentless dedication. Nursing school, with its challenges and life-changing clinical experiences, culminated in my graduation at 38, achieving high marks. Securing my dream job in the ICU/CCU at the local hospital felt like the crowning achievement. My journey stands testament to the possibility of overcoming obstacles to pursue a nursing career. Dedication and focus are vital; the path is strenuous but rewarding. At 32, I navigated nursing school while juggling a full-time job, financial obligations, and a family. It wasn't easy, but it was possible.
    Joseph Joshua Searor Memorial Scholarship
    As I reflect on my journey to my admittance into nursing school, at the age of 29, I credit the military for my new founded strength in overcoming lifes ever-changing seasons. My mom is my greatest inspiration in this life, as a single mother of two raising her children on the southside of Chicago, strived to make a better life for her children in contrast to her upbringing. My mom would join the military at the age of 18, and my sister and I would be known as the new kids on the block every 4 years until we graduated high school. I am now 32 years old about to graduate from nursing school. I grew up somewhat stable as far as having our basic needs met with the occasional vacation or two. This felt like the American dream achieved in contrast to what I had seen in the African American community around me. Financial and basic life literacy skills were missing from people who looked like me. I set out on a mission to change that for myself and my community. Growing up, I put my all into academics, because my mother had told us that there was no money for college, and we basically had to figure it out. I took a liking to the field of science in high school, but still had financial hurdles to go through to afford the college that I dreamed of. I would later join the Air Force at the age of 18, and scored the lowest possible score on the ASVAB to get it. I didnt mind it much, because that was my ticket to the next part of my life. Sometimes all we have in this life is a vision to get us started. College was on the backburner for now, and later I would find myself traveling from South Carolina to Wichita Falls, Texas to complete Electrician training for the Air Force. Have you ever met a scared electrician? Well.. me either. , and that happened to be who I was at the time. Working on Air craft electronics, super scared, and having a blast with my fellow Airman. I didn't know just how valuable of a skill that would be later on in life. I graduated from technical training and wired up my mom's new house, with a few hiccups, but came out proud of myself. This job had nothing to do with science, but I saw it as a foundation to build my leadership skills, and as chance to gain a tangible skill that would be useful for the world. I served 4 years on active duty for the Air Force, and now had the money to pay for an undergrad at the University of South Carolina for a bachelors degree in Public Health. . I was not yet sold on the nursing field as of yet. I was 24 years old when I gradated and then decided to commission in the U.S Army as a Chemical officer. The job was picked for me based on my science background. I did not enjoy this job as much, but yet again, I placed service to country before self. I deployed to Iraq when I was 27, and was assigned to a medical battalion and that was where I fell in love with nursing. Both military and nursing professionals must act quickly, remember training and remain calm in chaotic, stressful situations where a misstep can mean the loss of life. I am drawn to the lifelong adventure of service to others before myself.
    Ilya Flantsbaum Memorial Scholarship
    To me, Hispanic Heritage Month means to advocate, celebrate, and educate. Hispanic Heritage Month gives me the opportunity to advocate for my community and showcase what we can do. It is also a time to celebrate who we are. There are so many different cultures that fall under this umbrella term “Hispanic.” During this time, we can come together to celebrate the beauty of our cultures and how truly diverse we are. It is also an opportunity to celebrate everything we’ve overcome and accomplished throughout history. Lastly, it is about educating. We have the opportunity to educate others on the many different traditions that exist within the Hispanic culture. It is also a time to educate the community on the challenges we still face and how we can come together to overcome those challenges. I always tell people; I have the best of three worlds. I am half Puerto Rican and half Mexican, yet I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Three very distinct cultures with different food, music, and even languages. I grew up speaking Spanish and English. My Saturday mornings consisted of cleaning with my mom while listening to music that ranged from Luis Miguel, salsa, merengue to even Prince. All three cultures have shaped me into the person I am today. My parents came to the United States looking for a better life. They struggled, persevered, and ultimately provided me with me a better life. There is a reason I am proud to say I am a Latina because it reminds me of all the struggles, challenges, and adversities that the people before me experienced but most importantly it reminds me of the resiliency. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the sacrifices my family made. My roots and my identity are huge part of who I am and have played a pivotal role in my success. I was raised by hard-working parents, who made sacrifices so that I can have the best education. Because of these sacrifices, I was able to excel at Arizona State University and graduate with a Business Management degree. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to either work for a non-profit or work in corporate America. When I joined Vanguard, I knew little to nothing about finance and struggled a bit to understand the processes needed to do my job. Because of my family’s resiliency, I accepted this challenge head on and continued to push myself to learn. In 5 years, I have held several client servicing roles, served as a supervisor, and helped with strategic work and execution as a project manager. Although I was one of the few Latinas in my department, it didn’t matter to me. I made sure to embrace that and I hope I have been able to open doors for others who are trying to find a career in finance. In college, I had a friend who lived by the following: Advocate, Celebrate and Educate. I have continued to live by these three words, and they have honestly helped guide me through my career. Advocate for yourself and for others. Whatever you choose to do, remember you deserve to be in that space and your voice matters.
    Mental Health Scholarship for Women
    I didn’t realize how much school affected my mental health until my Freshman year of college. I was sitting in my dorm, listening to my heart pound in my chest at the mere thought of doing poorly on my next physics exam and wondering how I had let my stress get so out of control. “Fun Fact: the average person can throw a baseball at least 3 giraffes high” Unfortunately, this cute giraffe fact that my professor put on our first physics exam did not make me feel any better about my exam grade. I have a tendency to beat myself up about my academic performance. In high school, my friends would roll their eyes and assume I was humble-bragging whenever I complained about missing one or two questions on an exam, but every little mistake made me think, I am lazy and stupid and just not trying hard enough. My transition to college was hard in many ways I had never anticipated. I was struggling to understand the content in some of my classes, which I never experienced in high school. Every time I bombed a physics test or couldn’t figure out how to make my code work for my programming class, I felt like a fraud and a failure. It got harder and harder to find the motivation to do things I actually enjoyed. Tasks like studying concepts I hadn’t understood in lecture or solving problems that would take me hours to figure out seemed totally insurmountable. At times, just the mention of school left me spiraling. This is hopeless. Life is exhausting. The only way I kept up with my school work was by leveraging my fear that I will be an even bigger failure to force myself to be productive. Although college was not the cause of my mental health problems, being in a high-stress academic environment far from my support system exacerbated my underlying depression and anxiety beyond what I could handle on my own. Learning to acknowledge and cope with mental illness has been a long, often challenging process, and I am still figuring out how to manage my mental health with academics and extracurricular activities. Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned (so far) about balancing mental health with college life: Learn Your Low Points Having a mental illness can be incredibly isolating. My depression makes it hard for me to believe that I deserve help and even harder to find the motivation to seek it out. That means it is important for me to be conscious of signs that I need help and make an extra effort to connect with the resources I need. On the mental health side, I keep tabs on my mood and look for indicators that I need another therapy appointment. More recently, I reached out to my primary care physician for medication to help me manage some of my more severe symptoms. Make a Plan of Action At the beginning of the semester, I put all of my major assignment due dates in a Google calendar. I also add in volunteer shifts, club meetings, appointments, and other scheduled events as they arise. Treat Myself Right Self-compassion means forgiving myself when things don’t work out perfectly. It means treating myself with kindness instead of derision when my depression or anxiety starts to feel insurmountable. Balancing mental health with college life will probably never be easy. I’m still far from having everything figured out, but I’m starting to feel like I’m heading in the right direction.
    Cheryl Twilley Outreach Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up amidst socioeconomic adversity has been a defining aspect of my life, shaping my beliefs, relationships, and aspirations. As I navigate this journey, I am driven by a resolute commitment to effecting positive change within my community and school, driven by the transformative power of empathy, education, and advocacy. From an early age, witnessing the struggles of families in my community battling economic hardships instilled in me a deep-seated determination to make a difference. The realization that socioeconomic barriers often dictate one's opportunities ignited a passion within me to dismantle these barriers and create pathways to equality. My experiences have underscored the importance of education as a catalyst for change. Despite facing economic challenges, I embraced education as a means of empowerment. This belief propelled me to initiate educational support programs within my school. By organizing peer tutoring sessions and advocating for resources, I aimed to level the playing field for students facing similar adversities, fostering a culture of academic support and inclusivity. Moreover, my engagement in community service initiatives has been instrumental in addressing socioeconomic disparities. Volunteering at local shelters and food banks has provided firsthand insight into the struggles of marginalized individuals. It reinforced my conviction to create sustainable solutions and led me to spearhead campaigns for food and clothing drives, engaging both students and community members in collective efforts to alleviate hardships. Experiencing socioeconomic adversity has profoundly influenced my beliefs and relationships. It has ingrained in me an unwavering commitment to empathy and understanding. My interactions are rooted in compassion, fostering genuine connections and eradicating biases. These relationships transcend socioeconomic boundaries, uniting individuals in a shared goal of creating a more equitable society. Furthermore, my personal experiences have fortified my resolve to pursue a career dedicated to social impact. I aspire to study community development and policy, equipped with the knowledge and tools to drive systemic change. My goal is to advocate for policies that address socioeconomic disparities, ensuring equitable access to resources, education, and healthcare. In addition to policy advocacy, I aim to establish sustainable community-driven initiatives. Collaborating with local organizations and stakeholders, I envision creating programs that offer skill development, mentorship, and entrepreneurship opportunities to empower individuals from underserved backgrounds. By fostering economic independence and self-sufficiency, I aim to break the cycle of generational poverty. Looking forward, I am committed to leveraging my experiences to inspire change within my community and beyond. My advocacy will center on amplifying voices, advocating for equitable policies, and fostering collaborations to build resilient communities. In conclusion, experiencing socioeconomic adversity has shaped my identity and aspirations. It has ignited a fervent passion for effecting positive change, fostering empathy, and advocating for equal opportunities. My journey has reaffirmed my commitment to education as a catalyst for empowerment and has solidified my determination to champion initiatives that dismantle barriers, foster inclusivity, and create pathways to a brighter, more equitable future for all.
    Empowering Motherhood Scholarship
    I worked at a car dealership for 5 years leading up to my pregnancy. I bailed on going back to my job 3 days before maternity leave was set to end and tearfully informed my boss that I was going to stay home with my son and pursue my education. He wasn’t thrilled, but he was understanding and supportive. I began my nursing school journey when my son was just 4 months old at my local community college. My partner would meet me at the parking lot from work and we’d swap our sweet little boy. He would wait around until my break because my son needed to be nursed every few hours. So we tucked away in a quiet hallway of my school, and back to chemistry lab I would go. My little boy would come to daytime advisor meetings, interviews for nursing school, study sessions, you name it. Oliver was by my side. As he has grown older, and especially with the pandemic, we have shifted into a new phase (as many of us have). For instance, I’ve become a pretty darn good one-handed typist because I will never deny a snuggle session. I have also learned to ALWAYS have my study material handy, because you never know when a two hour “car nap” will happen. Thank goodness I can register my textbooks with Evolve and have access to everything on my tablet! Multitasking has become second nature. Having helpful resources has been vital to my success in maintaining straight A’s while being a full-time mommy. I particularly love the Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN to practice those tricky questions. Most of my schoolwork gets done after his bedtime (my prime homework/study hours fall between 9:00pm-1:00am). And seemingly in the blink of an eye Oliver is bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:00am. Countless times I have studied for an exam or completed a homework assignment as my little boy was asleep in my arms. Oliver has also attended some Zoom lectures right alongside me. My sweet little guy. And you know what? Going through all of this is what FUELS me. To see that innocent, peaceful face right in front of me as I’m taking steps to accomplish my goal is what drives me to continue doing it. I’ll be honest, some days, it is just plain TOUGH. We don’t have a lot of help (and even if we did, the pandemic has made that difficult to impossible in many circumstances). Luckily, I have an amazingly supportive and helpful partner. We truly operate as a team and I am extremely grateful for that. But we still feel tired, we get burned out, we sometimes need breaks. And that’s OKAY. So, to my mama’s AND to everyone else, find your “why” and use it to motivate you. Take breaks if you need them and as a wise fish once said, “just keep swimming”.
    Girls Ready to Empower Girls
    I am forever grateful for my community college experience. Growing up I used to think that going to a 4 year college was the only way to go. My best educational experiences regarding teaching and class size came from Leeward Community College. I was in persuit of completing my prereqs required for admission to nursing school. I am now a senior at Chaminade University of Honolulu, and could not have accomplished such without the strength and influence from my mother. My journey to becoming a nurse has been profoundly shaped by the unwavering inspiration of my mother. Her resilience, compassion, and tireless dedication to caring for others have been the guiding light illuminating my path toward a career in nursing. From an early age, I witnessed my mother's selfless commitment to nursing and the U.S Army. At time, my mother was in command of an all male crew overseas. She would come home and tell me stories and lessons that she learned from commanding various egos, and found it hard to do her job with very little support from anyone that looked like her. Her days were filled with endless compassion, tirelessly tending to patients with a warmth that extended far beyond medical care. Her ability to connect with individuals, to comfort them in moments of vulnerability, left an indelible mark on my heart. Her stories illuminated the profound impact a nurse could have, not just in healing wounds but in offering solace, understanding, and a steady presence during life's most challenging moments. Her empathy and genuine concern for each patient transcended the confines of a hospital room, resonating deeply with me and igniting a passion for nursing within my soul. More than her professional endeavors, it was her ethos of kindness and selflessness that shaped my aspirations. She taught me that nursing isn't solely a profession but a calling—an opportunity to serve humanity with boundless empathy and unwavering dedication. Her tireless work ethic and perseverance through challenging times became my compass. In moments of doubt or adversity, I draw strength from her example, reminding myself of the resilience required to navigate the demanding yet rewarding path of nursing. My mother's influence has also manifested in my approach to patient care. She taught me the significance of treating every individual with dignity, respect, and empathy—values that form the bedrock of nursing practice. I strive to emulate her ability to listen attentively, to understand beyond symptoms, and to provide holistic care that nurtures both body and spirit. Her legacy of compassion and dedication motivates me daily. As I embark on this noble path, I carry her lessons within me, aiming not only to follow in her footsteps but to carve a unique journey that echoes her spirit of selflessness and empathy. In moments of uncertainty, I envision the strength and grace with which she faced challenges, and it propels me forward. Her unwavering support and belief in my capabilities serve as a constant reminder that I, too, can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others through nursing. In conclusion, my mother's unwavering dedication to nursing has been the cornerstone of my career aspirations. Her compassion, resilience, and commitment to serving others have instilled in me a deep sense of purpose and a fervent desire to follow her footsteps on this transformative journey in nursing.
    Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship
    I am a future nurse informaticst and passionate about marrying healthcare with technology. I wanted to start this essay prompt with an introduction to my journey from the clinical setting to the informatics world. As I interned through various floor nursing specialties for the last three years, realized I wanted a challenge. I chose the Medical intensive care unit and being a MICU nurse was the biggest challenge I ever faced as a nurse. I loved being in the MICU and learned so much each day. But after three years, I needed a change. I was burned out. I knew there had to be another specialty out there that I would enjoy. I reflected and concentrated on my strengths and what I liked to do. I am a self taught computer geek. My goal for my next career was to be in technology but I still wanted to stay in the healthcare field. I wanted to utilize my nursing career with technology. I researched and found nursing informatics. After learning more about nursing informatics, I knew this new career was my calling. It was the perfect career: my two loves rolled in one job! To date, there were only two graduate schools on the island of Oahu for nursing informatics: I applied and got accepted. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Nursing Informatics at Chaminade University. So, what exactly is nursing informatics? According to the Nursing Informatics Scope and Standards of Practice, nursing informatics is a specialty within nursing that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. I’ve been interning in the nursing informatics field for two years on and off. I kept my eyes open even when I was working as a nurse student and nursing assistant. Nursing informatics touches many other specialties, such as administration, research, and education. For example, nursing administration is interested in reports. My previous job was an Apache coordinator for the medical-surgical intensive care units. Apache is an acronym that stands for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation. Once a month I ran APACHE reports to measure the estimate of ICU mortality based on patient’s criteria such as laboratory values – sodium, potassium, and hematocrit to name a few. I presented my findings to the critical care committee comprised of physicians and nursing leadership each month. These findings were important for cost containment and to judge the outcome of ICU admissions. The field of informatics is becoming in demand especially since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. Many hospitals in the United States are on board since it will help hospitals attain a certain standard. The government’s goal is to have every hospital be paperless by 2024. In order for the hospitals to be paperless by 2024, hospitals need people to perform the work. Moreover, while healthcare recruiters favor nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and other clinicians, it is quite challenging to fill all of the available positions. Nursing and healthcare informatics is certainly a growing field. Nursing informatics is listed as one of the top 10 careers for the future. Hospitals administrators compare hospitals to the financial industry. They want patient care computerized just like banking. But hospitals face many obstacles in implementing an electronic medical record.
    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Recovery from heroin addiction is a profound journey that transcends sobriety—it's a testament to rediscovering life's vibrancy. For me, it's an ongoing saga of redemption, resilience, and unwavering determination. Heroin gripped my life, shrouding everything in a haze of despair. It robbed me of joy, fractured relationships, and shattered my identity. Yet, recovery symbolizes a resurgence—a rebirth from the ashes of addiction. It means unshackling myself from the chains of dependency, reclaiming autonomy, and rebuilding trust, both within myself and with loved ones. Recovery embodies hope and courage, a daily commitment to self-discovery and healing. It's about embracing vulnerability, seeking support, and confronting inner demons with unwavering resolve. Each day of sobriety heralds a triumph—a testament to my strength and resilience in navigating life's tumultuous seas. To me, recovery isn't just abstinence; it's a metamorphosis—a profound evolution towards a life fueled by passion, purpose, and connection. It's a promise to myself—to nurture my well-being, cherish every moment, and rewrite the narrative of my life, one step at a time. Recovery means an altruistic affection that transcends traditional conceptions of love. Where else can you walk into a room completely broken and find men and women ready to walk with you on the road to redemption?What recovery means to me isn’t just perseverance. When a person has been biochemically altered to literally require a substance to feel normal, yet decides to walk away from the very thing that was more important to them than food and water, that’s something else altogether.
    Once Upon a #BookTok Scholarship
    I spend way too much time on tiktok (more than I’m willing to admit), and I’m on all different sides of it. But the one constant and of course my favorite side of tiktok is Booktok. So, let’s get right into it. I love hearing or reading reviews on books especially ones I am on the edge about. I’m not a picky reader, but there are things that I can’t stand. Sometimes, I just want to know what other people think before I invest my time and, more importantly, my money into a book. Also, Booktok is just a fun place to be when aimlessly scrolling on your phone. There are several books that I always see on there all the time, but sometimes I’m worried that they are just really hyped up. 1. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller I am actually currently reading this book right now! I won’t give too much away because it will be a future blog post, but also because I am not that far into yet. But so far so good, I’m really liking it! It’s a re-telling of the myth of Achilles more or less. 2. We Were Liars by E. Lockheart Everyone says this book is so sad and you will cry your eyes out. I mean, it is sad, what happened in the book is really sad, but honestly, its very predictable. I didn’t cry and my soul didn’t break reading this. It’s still good for a YA book, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it. There’s just something about it that turns me off from it. This is about a huge family who has their own island oasis up north where they stay for the entire summer. Well, one summer something tragic happens and everyone refuses to talk about it. We all know some secrets just can’t be kept. 3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab If you’ve read past blog posts, you know how I feel about this one. I’m not a fan. I think this book was way too hyped up. It was just really boring and not for me. It’s about a woman named Addie LaRue who is cursed by the Gods so no one can remember her. I don’t recommend. 4. The People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read- Emily Henry I LOVED this book. I thought it was so well written, the characters were relatable, the plot made sense, basically everything you could want in a book. It was so cute and so perfect for the summer. I normally don’t go for the friends to lovers trope, but this was so well done. I can’t say enough good things! I wrote a book review on The People We Meet on Vacation if you want to know more about the book. I also bought Beach Read, I haven’t read that yet, but I can’t imagine not loving it. 5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne I wasn’t a fan of this book. I actually didn’t end up finishing (although, I was more than halfway through, so I probably could’ve). Everyone said it had a good enemies to lovers trope which I usually love. It’s just the characters didn’t feel connected to me. It felt forced. If you want to know more about this book, I wrote a review a couple of posts back. 6. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover Honestly save your breathe. This book and pretty much all of Colleen Hoover's books with the exception of Verity are not that great. You can find much better content somewhere else.
    Diverse Abilities Scholarship
    As a future psychiatric nurse with a disability, my dream job encompasses a deeply personal commitment to advocacy, empathy, and the promotion of inclusivity within the healthcare field. My envisioned career path is not solely about providing exceptional care but also about championing disability accommodations and fostering an environment where individuals of all abilities feel valued, supported, and empowered. For me, being a psychiatric nurse with a disability isn't just a profession; it's a testament to the strength of diversity within healthcare. It involves navigating challenges while leveraging personal experiences to better understand and empathize with patients facing similar hurdles. My dream job revolves around creating an inclusive healthcare environment where patients and colleagues alike feel seen, heard, and respected regardless of their abilities. One of the fundamental qualities I seek in a career as a psychiatric nurse with a disability is a commitment to genuine inclusivity. I envision working in a setting that not only embraces diversity but actively promotes disability accommodations. This includes physical accessibility, accommodations for diverse communication needs, and a culture that values the unique perspectives and contributions of individuals with disabilities. Moreover, a career that prioritizes flexibility and understanding regarding disability accommodations is paramount. This entails an environment where reasonable adjustments are not only offered but celebrated as integral components fostering a more inclusive workspace. Flexible scheduling, adaptive technology, and an open-minded approach to individual needs would be crucial factors in my ideal workplace. In my future career search, these qualities will significantly influence my choices and shape the environments I seek to be a part of. I am drawn to institutions that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Organizations that actively promote accessibility, provide reasonable accommodations, and cultivate a culture of understanding and support for individuals with disabilities align with my aspirations. Additionally, I am passionate about contributing to initiatives that raise awareness about disabilities within the healthcare system. I seek opportunities to advocate for policies that promote inclusivity, encourage education and training on disability-related matters, and actively work towards breaking down barriers that individuals with disabilities often face in accessing healthcare services. My personal experiences navigating life with a disability have instilled in me a deep sense of empathy, resilience, and determination. These qualities will undoubtedly be assets in my career as a psychiatric nurse. They enable me to connect with patients on a profound level, understanding not just their medical needs but also the emotional and psychological challenges they may encounter due to their disabilities. In conclusion, my dream job as a psychiatric nurse with a disability is a blend of empathy, advocacy, and a commitment to fostering inclusivity within healthcare. I am dedicated to contributing to a healthcare landscape that celebrates diversity and actively supports individuals of all abilities. Guided by these values, I am eager to embark on a career path where I can make a meaningful difference in the lives of both patients and colleagues while advocating for a more inclusive and supportive healthcare environment.
    William Griggs Memorial Scholarship for Science and Math
    My decision to pursue a degree in nursing was made because I died! Well... almost! At the age of 11 years, a routine visit to the community health center became a near-fatal event. I had a severe anaphylactic reaction after receiving an antibiotic to prevent complications of atopic dermatitis. This life-threatening event changed my life and defined my career path. At that moment, I pledged to choose a career in which I could help humanity. In high school, I excelled in the sciences and was given a unique opportunity to take a computer class as an elective, which at that time, and in a third-world country, was an opportunity of a lifetime. After high school, I enrolled in nursing school and completed a hospital-based diploma in general nursing. All along, I walked around with my paper medical records which displayed the following words in red ‘ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN.’ This was my attempt to prevent getting a second dose of that deadly medication. Finding a Better Way with Education: On my journey to become a registered nurse, I found myself in a paper-laden healthcare system. While at the bedside, I felt inadequate because of limited access to information necessary to provide safe care to my patients. Having previous exposure to computers and technology, I knew there was a better way. Also, I still needed a solution to make my paper records portable. This motivated me to enroll in a two-year data science internship offered by my school, where I learned about computing and information technology. The irony of attaining my Python certification is I had no opportunity to utilize the knowledge gained about technology in the healthcare sector because there was no bedside technology in my home country. So, I took a job in the business sector, part-time while attending school, to develop my technology skills while maintaining my GPA in nursing school. All this time I longed for an opportunity to improve documentation and communication in healthcare through technology adoption. Merging Education, Technology and Nursing: I relocated to the United States searching for a way to merge nursing and technology. My quest led me to look into an MSN degree specializing in nursing informatics. I am now set to graduate in May and have a job in which I work with clinicians to align technology with clinical workflows, select and design clinical documentation systems, implement and support clinical systems, and use system-generated data to optimize care. While working with clinicians, I noticed a gap in education and research about how technology can create value in nursing care. I have spent the last three years working with an incredible organization, leading a talented team and working with great leaders. It is a fantastic opportunity to continue my professional growth, leading close to 100 different applications across a growing organization. I gained new knowledge about systems, infrastructure, integration, interoperability and leadership The desire to improve technology solutions, with enhanced quality, safety and efficiency for both clinicians as well as for patients motivates me daily.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    Bipolar disorder is a serious mood disorder and mental illness that causes periods of depression and mania. It’s a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment and lifelong management. This illness is treatable, and with extended therapy, medication, and positive lifestyle changes, it is possible to live a normal, satisfying, and independent life with bipolar disorder. Families play an important role in how they are impacted by the condition and in helping a loved one manage it. My sister, Annie, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a year ago. This illness changed our lives, at first for the worse but now for the better. Going through this ordeal with her, our family has become closer, more aware of our own mental health, and more supportive of each other. And it’s all thanks to the wonderful residential treatment she got and in which we all participated. None of us—my parents, my brother, or I—knew anything about bipolar disorder, only that it had something to do with depression. And depression was what we thought was wrong with my older sister, Annie. She came home after graduating from college because she couldn’t find a job. I think we all assumed she was struggling with that, not that she really had depression. She would spend her days in her room, not even taking a shower for several days in a row. But then Annie would have these days where she was the opposite: positive, upbeat, energetic, ready to do anything. One day, she stayed up all night working on her resume, and by the morning she had 20 versions. She crashed the next day and seemed depressed again. Then, every family’s worst nightmare came true for us: One night while the rest of us were out, Annie took a handful of pills she found in our parents’ bathroom. She nearly died. We now know that suicide is a possible complication of bipolar disorder and how close we came to losing Annie. After being hospitalized for two days, Annie got a diagnosis of bipolar and our parents sent her to a residential treatment program. As soon as Annie went through intake at the treatment center, we all began our own form of treatment. The facility allowed family to participate in several ways, which started with learning about bipolar disorder and what my sister was going through with this illness. We learned that Annie is not alone. More than 2.5 percent of people in the U.S. get diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We found out that Annie had a type of bipolar that caused serious depression episodes as well as periods of mania that made it seem as if she had rebounded from feeling down. The therapists confirmed what I suspected, which was that the manic periods were not healthy. Annie always seemed happier during those times, but that was just compared to her depression. Generally, her moods were unstable and this was causing all kinds of issues: Annie and our brother used to be so close, but they grew apart during her year back at home. Her unstable moods scared and alienated him. Treatment was, of course, most important and life-changing for Annie, but it really helped all of us. She benefitted from one-on-one behavioral therapies, a nutrition and exercise program, medication and medical care, and support groups with therapy. As a family, we participated in an education program to learn about bipolar disorder and how best to help Annie but also in family therapy to improve our relationships with each other. We learned and practiced better communication, and Annie and our brother started rebuilding their close friendship.
    Veterans & Family Scholarship
    As I take the time to reflect on the life events that have brought me to Hawaii, the majority of it was influenced by the military. I often giggle when someone asks me, “Where are you from”. I hardly know how to respond at times. “Military Brats” oftentimes don’t know how to answer that question. The beauty within the struggle of moving every 4 years, is that I felt as if I had mini families, all around the country. Now I can spot military housing and haircuts from a mile away. It's funny to think of it now, military bases are sort of designed so you don’t have to leave. It’s a weird, yet insightful conundrum because I have seen more of the world in comparison to those within my close friend group. The military gives something to not only the service member but also to their families. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, which was my mother’s favorite duty station. I don’t remember much from that place, other than my mother saying that it was super cold. My mother had met my father while serving in the Army, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out. My mother found out she was having twins and entered into the journey of single motherhood. Without funding from the military, I believe that we would have been impoverished. She had come from poverty growing up, and stated that “she would never let us suffer as she did”. I am forever grateful to the military for allowing my mother to show us what financial stability meant. At the age of 6, we moved to Michigan, where my mother had served at a naval base. I remember making monthly trips to the commissary, which was an hour away from our home. We had a small budget for the family, so I would often be reminded not to “eat all of the snacks at the beginning of the month”. My sister and I were often involved in MWR youth activities after school, most of the kids were military-related. My childhood friends and I would talk about which duty stations we had been to, and cry over whoever was coming next. Unbeknownst to me, I had learned the importance of comradery at a young age. The military gave my family a sense of meaning and purpose, that my mother never experienced growing up. My sister and I were afforded various opportunities that would not have been possible, without military affiliation. At the young age of 17, my sister would go on to join the Marine Corps, while I went away to the Air Force. We would often call each other and discuss our shared experiences from boot camp and lessons learned during deployments. At the age of 32, we have both exited the military, and both serve in the healthcare sector now. Post graduation in May of 2024, I have high hopes of becoming a Labor and Delivery Nurse at a military hospital.
    Pratibha Pandey Merit-Based Scholarship
    I was in elementary school when I first became aware of environments of racism. It was something I read about in books, and it was something I witnessed firsthand while growing up in the Richard Allen projects. At the ages of 10 and 14, I saw people in my neighborhood murdered for resisting arrest. I remember thinking that I needed to step up and raise people’s levels of consciousness about these issues to stop these environments of racism. I began reading Malcolm X in elementary school and learned that he intervened in incidents of police brutality to help people. I discovered that some people hate each other because of their differences. I decided that instead, people should unite, love each other, and stand firm. My success meant nothing if I wasn’t using it to help someone else. I involved myself in social activism and started my social activist group with my Uncle Wayne in 2014. Our group, called the Unitarian Universalist Activism Social Lounge for a Wealthy Mind and Conscience (UUA), battles white supremacy and black supremacy through protesting, sign-holding, and good works. We meet every Thursday and encourage people to see that wealth comes from the heart and mind — not the pocket. Black or white, it’s not the dollar that validates your group; each individual’s intelligence and awareness of their own heart and consciousness. A lot of people are joining us and becoming social activists now. Still, others are hesitant to participate because they fear getting locked up for protesting. That’s a real possibility, but no one from my group has gotten locked up. Sometimes, the police will even honk their horn for support and justice when they drive by. This is astonishing; many police are changing their ways and protecting the community. I use my platform as a social activist to love my community. Outside of the work I do with my group, I often offer spare rooms in my apartment to house people in need. More people should do things like that. Black or white, it’s horrendous that people have to endure homelessness and poverty. Community members should step up and help people experiencing homelessness by being kindhearted (assisting people in getting programs) and having faith that we can help them get back on their feet. In addition to my social activism, I work as a private contractor and a library volunteer at Mcpherson Square Branch. At the library, I try to be an example to the kids. I want them to know that if they want to be a social activist, they can do it, too. Whatever they want to be, they should go for it and pursue their dreams. In Kensington, the need for social activism is enormous. Kensington is one of the most dangerous areas in Philadelphia right now, and two specific needs here are to stop violence and drug use. These problems make me upset. People on drugs still deserve to live a good life, but it feels like they are not listening to reasoning and logic and overlooking the benefits of stopping drug use. However, I believe there must be a break to this vicious cycle one day. Preventing drug use could raise their consciousness and allow them to make better decisions about life. It’s only a matter of time. The goal is to both motivate to inspire my community. Motivation is only temporary while inspiration can stay with someone forever and enable them to change within themselves.
    Financial Literacy Scholarship Award
    I don’t think about money the way I used to. I used to think money was more important than just about everything else in life. So I sacrificed to make money, and then I sacrificed more to make more, and then I sacrificed, even more, to make even more, working too many hours, forsaking my health, forsaking the people closest to me, forsaking everything important in pursuit of the almighty dollar. The more things I forsook, the more important the money became. Something was missing. I made good money—nay, great money—during my days in the corporate arena, but the problem was I spent even better money. And that was a serious source of dissatisfaction in my life, one that would haunt me for most of my twenties. When I was nineteen, I worked six or seven days a week, and I earned more than $50,000 a year, which for a degree-less poor kid from Dayton, Ohio, that’s a lot of money—more money than my mother ever earned. The problem was that when I was earning 50 grand, I was spending 65; and then when I was earning 65, I was spending 80. Eventually, I’d worked my way up the corporate ladder, working 362 days a year (literally), and I was earning a six-figure salary. That sounds great, but I was still spending more than I was bringing home, and that equation never balances. So instead of bringing home a great salary, I brought home debt, anxiety, and overwhelming amounts of discontent. My love and hatred of money (love of spending it, hatred of never having enough) was, in fact, my largest source of discontent. Call me stupid. Go ahead, you should. I was stupid. I wasn’t stupid just because I was wasting my income, though—I was far more stupid because of the value I gave to money. I told myself I was a number, there was a dollar sign on my head, I could be bought. I told others they could take my time and my freedom in exchange for green pieces of paper with dead slave owners’ faces printed on them. That changed when I stopped giving such importance to money. I need money to pay rent, to put food on the table, to put gas in the car, to pay for health insurance—but I needn’t struggle to earn money to buy crap I don’t need. Minimalism has allowed me to get rid of life’s excess so I can focus on what’s essential. And now, at 32, I make less money than my ignorant nineteen-year-old self, and yet I’m not in debt, I’m not struggling, and most importantly, I’m happy. Now, before I spend money, I ask myself one question: Is this worth my freedom? Is this car worth $20,000 of my freedom? In other words, am I going to get more value from the thing I’m about to purchase, or am I going to get more value from my freedom? Don’t you think it’s a question worth asking yourself? These days I know every dollar I spend adds immense value to my life. There is a roof over my head at night, the books or the music I purchase bring me joy, the few clothes I own keep me warm, the experiences I share with others at a movie or a concert add value to my life and theirs, and a cup of tea with my best friend becomes far more significant than a trip to the mall ever could. I no longer waste my money, and thus it’s far less important to pursue it endlessly.
    Students with Congenital Heart Defects Scholarship
    Triumphing Over Adversity: Navigating Higher Education with a Congenital Heart Defect My journey with a congenital heart defect (CHD) has been a testament to resilience, determination, and the pursuit of dreams against all odds. Living with a condition that shapes every heartbeat has not only influenced my physical well-being but has also imparted profound lessons that extend far beyond the confines of my heart chambers. From a young age, the pulsating rhythm of my heart was a constant reminder of the fragility of life. The surgical scars etched across my chest bore witness to battles fought within, each one a testament to the strength required to face the world as a student with a congenital heart defect. The journey through primary and secondary education was marked by countless hospital visits, missed classes, and the anxiety of navigating an educational landscape where physical limitations set me apart from my peers. Despite these challenges, I confronted each obstacle with unwavering determination. The palpable fear of falling behind academically fueled my drive to excel. I sought additional support from teachers, embraced technology to bridge educational gaps during prolonged hospital stays, and developed a resilience that transformed every setback into a stepping stone toward my goals. As a result, my academic achievements became not just a reflection of my intellect but a testament to the indomitable spirit that defines my approach to life. The statistics highlighting the academic challenges faced by children with CHD resonate deeply with my own experiences. The struggle to meet standardized academic benchmarks in math and reading was a reality I faced, but it only strengthened my resolve to defy expectations. Through hard work and perseverance, I not only met but exceeded these standards, proving that the rhythm of my heart did not dictate the melody of my achievements. This scholarship represents more than financial assistance; it symbolizes the empowerment of individuals like myself who have faced the unique challenges of navigating education with a congenital heart defect. It recognizes the triumphs, both big and small, that define our academic journeys and celebrates the resilience that propels us forward. My aspiration to pursue higher education has been met with skepticism and doubt, but this scholarship serves as a beacon of support, dispelling the shadows of uncertainty. It allows me to dream without limitations, envisioning a future where the rhythm of my heart harmonizes with the pursuit of knowledge and the realization of aspirations. With this scholarship, I am not just a student with a congenital heart defect; I am a symbol of perseverance, an advocate for overcoming obstacles, and an embodiment of the belief that every heartbeat carries the potential for greatness. In conclusion, my journey with a congenital heart defect has shaped not just the physical contours of my existence but has forged an unyielding spirit that propels me toward academic success. This scholarship is not only a recognition of my struggles but a powerful affirmation that individuals with CHD can and will triumph over adversity to pursue their dreams. It is an investment in the potential that beats within our hearts. Living with CHD has been an intimate and transformative journey, exposing me to the profound impact compassionate healthcare providers can have on the lives of individuals facing medical challenges. Inspired by the dedicated nurses who played pivotal roles in my own care, I am driven to contribute to the field, aspiring to be a beacon of support for patients facing similar medical challenges, with a commitment to delivering holistic and empathetic healthcare.
    West Family Scholarship
    Paving the Path to Equality: Navigating Affirmative Action as an African American Nursing Student from Chicago's Inner City In the realm of healthcare, where diversity is vital for effective and empathetic patient care, I, as a nursing student hailing from the inner city of Chicago, am fervently committed to addressing the complexities surrounding affirmative action. This commitment has materialized through both my academic pursuits and active engagement in projects and organizations seeking to dismantle barriers and promote inclusivity within the healthcare profession. One illustrative example of my dedication to promoting affirmative action in nursing education is my involvement in the "Beyond Boundaries Scholarship Initiative." Recognizing the financial obstacles that often impede underrepresented minorities from pursuing higher education, I collaborated with faculty and community leaders to establish a scholarship program specifically tailored to African-American students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This initiative not only provides financial support but also includes mentorship components, connecting recipients with experienced healthcare professionals who guide them through their academic journey and career development. Furthermore, I have actively participated in the "Chicago Health Careers Advancement Program (CHCAP)," an organization committed to increasing diversity in healthcare professions through mentorship, academic support, and exposure to the healthcare industry. In my role as a mentor, I have shared my journey, offering guidance and encouragement to aspiring nursing students from underprivileged communities. Through interactive workshops and informational sessions, CHCAP endeavors to demystify the complexities of the healthcare profession, ensuring that individuals from all backgrounds can envision and pursue careers in nursing. Moreover, I spearheaded a collaborative initiative between my nursing school and local healthcare institutions to establish a mentorship program focusing specifically on addressing affirmative action challenges. This program connects BIPOC nursing students with seasoned professionals who have navigated similar obstacles in their careers. The goal is not only to offer guidance on academic and professional pursuits but also to create a supportive network that empowers students to overcome systemic barriers and biases prevalent in the healthcare sector. Additionally, my commitment to addressing affirmative action extends beyond educational initiatives. I actively contribute to organizations like the "Equality in Healthcare Task Force," which advocates for policy changes within healthcare institutions to promote diversity and inclusion. Through this platform, I have engaged in discussions with administrators, proposed strategies to enhance affirmative action efforts, and collaborated with other healthcare professionals to develop best practices for fostering a more inclusive and representative workforce. In conclusion, as an African American nursing student from Chicago's inner city, my advocacy for affirmative action in healthcare education and practice is deeply rooted in both personal experiences and a profound understanding of the systemic challenges that underrepresented minorities face. Through initiatives such as the "Beyond Boundaries Scholarship Initiative," active participation in CHCAP, establishment of a targeted mentorship program, and contributions to the Equality in Healthcare Task Force, I am actively working to dismantle barriers, foster inclusivity, and pave the way for a healthcare landscape that reflects the rich diversity of our society.
    Jeanie A. Memorial Scholarship
    To date, I am a senior nursing student at Chaminade University of Honolulu. My dream is to become an obstetrics nurse upon graduation in May 2024. I once read that everyone is given exactly as many hardships as they can handle. This has become a kind of mantra for me, which I firmly believe in. Was I scared to enter nursing school in my 30s with a child by my side? Yes, I was. But, as I said, I chose to believe that I could overcome any difficulty on my way. I am sure I will get my degree and become the best-registered nurse imaginable. However, my path is not easy, and I want to inspire other single moms with my story about life as a nursing student that came with extra challenges as described below. Life as a Nursing Student When You Also Have a Kid: All in all, every nursing student faces numerous pressures and deals with lots of responsibilities in nursing school. These include demanding studies, ongoing, complex nursing essays, and practical training, to name just a few. And, if you add to all of this the role of a single parent, everything becomes even more difficult and frustrating at times. Every day, I face my own unique set of challenges. Here’s a brief glimpse into my life as a nursing student and a mother of an amazing junior school-age boy. Demanding coursework: College life as a nursing student means dealing with complex subjects, medical terminology, and a lot of coursework all the time. I spend long hours studying, attending lectures, and participating in clinical rotations. Practical training: One of the most important parts of nursing education is the practical experience we gain during clinical rotations. Learning how to care for patients and give them medication while staying late at the hospital is both rewarding and challenging. During these rotations, I often have to ask someone to stay with my child. Relationships with peers: Having good relationships with classmates is beyond important. When you are studying one of the BSc courses (Hons), group study sessions can be a lifeline. However, it is not always easy for me to find time to participate fully in them because I have to take care of my child. Morning rush. A nursing student’s morning always starts extremely early; my mornings start even earlier. Before classes, I have to take care of my child first and foremost. Having a peaceful morning coffee is something I haven’t had in a long time. After-school care: Due to the specifics of my studies and my part-time job, I am unfortunately often away from home. I have to take care of my son’s after-school care to make sure he is safe while I am at school or work. Early mornings and Short Study Breaks: My day begins with the first light of dawn. I find that early mornings are the most peaceful time for studying. Before Louis wakes up, I save the first couple of hours to review lecture notes, read textbooks, and prepare for the day ahead at the university. My aspiration to work in obstetrics nursing stems from a profound appreciation for the transformative impact that compassionate and skilled healthcare providers can have during the vulnerable and pivotal moments of childbirth. Inspired by personal experiences and driven by a desire to contribute meaningfully to maternal and infant well-being, I am drawn to the unique challenges and rewards that obstetrics nursing offers, where I can apply my resilience and empathy to support women and families through the remarkable journey of childbirth.
    Promising Pathways-Single Parent Scholarship
    To date, I am a senior nursing student at Chaminade University of Honolulu. My dream is to become an obstetrics nurse upon graduation in May 2024. I once read that everyone is given exactly as many hardships as they can handle. This has become a kind of mantra for me, which I firmly believe in. Was I scared to enter nursing school in my 30s with a child by my side? Yes, I was. But, as I said, I chose to believe that I could overcome any difficulty on my way. I am sure I will get my degree and become the best-registered nurse imaginable. However, my path is not easy, and I want to inspire other single moms with my story about life as a nursing student that came with extra challenges as described below. Life as a Nursing Student When You Also Have a Kid: All in all, every nursing student faces numerous pressures and deals with lots of responsibilities in nursing school. These include demanding studies, ongoing, complex nursing essays, and practical training, to name just a few. And, if you add to all of this the role of a single parent, everything becomes even more difficult and frustrating at times. Every day, I face my own unique set of challenges. Here’s a brief glimpse into my life as a nursing student and a mother of an amazing junior school-age boy. Demanding coursework: College life as a nursing student means dealing with complex subjects, medical terminology, and a lot of coursework all the time. I spend long hours studying, attending lectures, and participating in clinical rotations. Practical training: One of the most important parts of nursing education is the practical experience we gain during clinical rotations. Learning how to care for patients and give them medication while staying late at the hospital is both rewarding and challenging. During these rotations, I often have to ask someone to stay with my child. Relationships with peers: Having good relationships with classmates is beyond important. When you are studying one of the BSc courses (Hons), group study sessions can be a lifeline. However, it is not always easy for me to find time to participate fully in them because I have to take care of my child. Morning rush. A nursing student’s morning always starts extremely early; my mornings start even earlier. Before classes, I have to take care of my child first and foremost. Having a peaceful morning coffee is something I haven’t had in a long time. After-school care: Due to the specifics of my studies and my part-time job, I am unfortunately often away from home. I have to take care of my son’s after-school care to make sure he is safe while I am at school or work. Early mornings and Short Study Breaks: My day begins with the first light of dawn. I find that early mornings are the most peaceful time for studying. Before Louis wakes up, I save the first couple of hours to review lecture notes, read textbooks, and prepare for the day ahead at the university. My aspiration to work in obstetrics nursing stems from a profound appreciation for the transformative impact that compassionate and skilled healthcare providers can have during the vulnerable and pivotal moments of childbirth. Inspired by personal experiences and driven by a desire to contribute meaningfully to maternal and infant well-being, I am drawn to the unique challenges and rewards that obstetrics nursing offers, where I can apply my resilience and empathy to support women and families through the remarkable journey of childbirth.
    Zakita D. Bond Memorial Scholarship
    Resilience in Harmony: Navigating Overwhelm as a Single African American Mother In the intricate tapestry of my life, the role of a single African American mother weaves a story of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of education against all odds. The Zakita D. Bond Memorial Scholarship not only stands as a tribute to the indomitable spirit of Zakita Bond but also as a beacon of support for mothers like me, who, amid the complexities of single parenthood, are relentlessly working to secure an education and a better future. As a single mother navigating the challenging terrain of academic pursuits, financial constraints, and the demands of motherhood, the need for effective techniques to reset and refocus becomes paramount. In the mosaic of my experiences, several strategies have emerged as essential anchors, enabling me to weather the storms and emerge stronger in the pursuit of my educational goals. One cornerstone of my resilience strategy is the cultivation of a robust support network. Recognizing the power of community, I have forged connections with fellow single mothers, friends, and mentors who understand the unique challenges I face. These relationships serve as pillars of strength during moments of overwhelming stress. Engaging in open conversations, sharing experiences, and seeking advice from those who have walked a similar path provides not only emotional support but also practical insights on balancing the roles of student and mother. Moreover, time management has become an art form in my journey. Juggling coursework, parenting responsibilities, and perhaps part-time employment demands meticulous planning. Creating a structured schedule that allocates dedicated time for studying, quality moments with my child, and self-care has been instrumental. Embracing the philosophy that time is a precious commodity has allowed me to optimize each moment, fostering a sense of control even in the face of chaos. The sanctuary of self-care emerges as a vital retreat in the landscape of overwhelming responsibilities. As a single mother, it is easy to overlook personal well-being amid the demands of parenthood and academia. However, I have come to understand that investing in my mental and physical health is not a luxury but a necessity. Whether it's a brief meditation session, a rejuvenating walk, or indulging in a favorite hobby, these moments of self-care serve as a reset button, allowing me to approach challenges with renewed vigor. Financial constraints often cast a looming shadow, threatening to derail the pursuit of education. To navigate this challenge, I have become adept at resourcefulness. Researching and applying for scholarships, exploring financial aid options, and seeking out community resources have become integral aspects of my strategy. By proactively addressing financial concerns, I can alleviate a significant source of stress, enabling me to focus more wholly on my academic endeavors and the well-being of my child. The Zakita D. Bond Memorial Scholarship represents not only financial assistance but a recognition of the multifaceted challenges faced by single mothers in pursuing education. It acknowledges the importance of resilience and the need for effective coping mechanisms. As I apply for this scholarship, I reflect on the techniques that have allowed me to reset and refocus amidst life's overwhelming moments. It is not just about weathering storms but about emerging stronger, with an unwavering commitment to education and a deep sense of gratitude for the support that allows me to transform challenges into stepping stones toward a brighter future for myself and my child.
    “The Office” Obsessed! Fan Scholarship
    The Dwight Within: A Journey of Humor and Workplace Insights In the comedic tapestry of "The Office," a realm where paper is more than a mundane office supply, one character has etched his eccentric persona into the fabric of my identity - Dwight K. Schrute. The Assistant to the Regional Manager at Dunder Mifflin Scranton, with his peculiar blend of ambition, idiosyncrasies, and unconventional wisdom, resonates with me in a way that transcends the screen. My connection with Dwight not only shapes my sense of humor but also offers profound insights into the intricacies of workplace dynamics. Dwight's character is a mosaic of contradictions, a kaleidoscope of quirks that extends beyond the realm of traditional workplace archetypes. His unwavering loyalty to Dunder Mifflin, coupled with his aspirations for regional management dominance, reflects a unique brand of ambition that, despite its eccentricities, commands a certain respect. Dwight's resilience and unapologetic pursuit of his goals inspire me to embrace my own ambitions with authenticity and tenacity. Moreover, Dwight's idiosyncratic sense of humor, often dry and laced with an unmatched confidence, aligns with my own appreciation for wit that borders on the absurd. From his deadpan delivery to his offbeat antics, Dwight brings a distinctive comedic flavor to "The Office." This shared sense of humor has become a source of connection and camaraderie with friends and colleagues, transcending the boundaries of the fictional Scranton office and becoming a part of our own lexicon of inside jokes. "The Office" has served as a comedic mirror, reflecting the absurdities and nuances of workplace dynamics. Dwight's character, with his unorthodox management techniques and unfiltered authenticity, acts as a prism through which I view the complexities of office culture. His interactions with colleagues, from the tumultuous relationship with Jim Halpert to the camaraderie with Pam Beesly, offer insights into the delicate balance between professionalism and genuine human connection in the workplace. One episode that particularly resonates with me is "Product Recall" from Season 3, where Dwight is entrusted with organizing a team-building event. The absurdity of Dwight's methods, from his rigorous fire safety protocol to his unexpected CPR training, serves as a humorous commentary on the often futile attempts to enforce team cohesion through contrived activities. The episode, while comedic, sheds light on the inherent challenges of fostering genuine connections in the workplace, illustrating that true camaraderie often emerges organically. Dwight's character has also influenced my perspective on leadership. While his managerial style is far from conventional, his dedication to his team and his ability to adapt to unforeseen challenges showcase a form of leadership that transcends traditional hierarchies. The juxtaposition of Dwight's unorthodox methods with moments of genuine concern for his colleagues underscores the complexity of leadership, highlighting that effective leadership requires a delicate balance between authority and empathy. In conclusion, my resonance with Dwight from "The Office" goes beyond mere entertainment; it's a connection to a character whose eccentricities mirror the nuances of real-life workplace dynamics. Dwight's ambition, humor, and unapologetic authenticity have become touchstones in my own journey through professional landscapes. The show, with its blend of humor and insights, has shaped my perspective on workplace dynamics, urging me to navigate the complexities with a dash of humor and an unwavering commitment to authenticity, much like the Assistant to the Regional Manager himself.
    “Stranger Things” Fanatic Scholarship
    Defying the Supernatural: Forging an Unlikely Alliance In the tapestry of my imagination, where the realms of reality and fiction intertwine, the prospect of facing a new supernatural threat is met with excitement and contemplation. If I were to form a squad to confront this ethereal adversary, the eclectic trio of characters I would choose hails from the realms of television fiction – Sherlock Holmes, Daenerys Targaryen, and Eleven from "Stranger Things." This unlikely alliance, each with their unique set of skills and experiences, symbolizes a convergence of intellect, strength, and otherworldly capabilities that I believe would form an unparalleled force against any supernatural menace. The first member of my supernatural dream team is the enigmatic detective, Sherlock Holmes. From the brilliant mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the modern adaptations, Holmes has been a paragon of deductive reasoning and intellectual prowess. His ability to dissect complex problems and unveil hidden truths is unparalleled. In the face of a supernatural threat, Sherlock's analytical mind would serve as the squad's strategic compass. He would meticulously piece together the puzzle, unraveling the supernatural intricacies with a keen eye for detail. Holmes embodies the power of the human intellect, a force that, when unleashed, can challenge even the most arcane of adversaries. To complement Holmes' intellectual acumen, I would enlist the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen. The epic saga of "Game of Thrones" introduced Daenerys as a character with a rare combination of resilience, leadership, and, of course, three formidable dragons. Her journey from exiled royalty to a force to be reckoned with showcases not only her strength but also her ability to inspire loyalty and lead with compassion. In the face of a supernatural menace, Daenerys brings the power of dragons, a symbol of both destruction and protection. These mythical creatures, under her command, would add a dimension of both firepower and strategic advantage to the squad, making them a formidable force against supernatural adversaries. The final member of this eclectic trio is Eleven from "Stranger Things." Possessing telekinetic and telepathic abilities, Eleven represents the bridge between reality and the supernatural. Her experiences with the mysterious parallel dimension known as the Upside Down have equipped her with a unique understanding of the supernatural. Eleven's powers would be invaluable in navigating the unseen and confronting adversaries that defy the laws of nature. Moreover, her resilience and the camaraderie forged with her friends in Hawkins, Indiana, exemplify the strength that arises from human connection. In the face of a supernatural threat, Eleven brings not only her extraordinary abilities but also a reminder of the power that lies within human bonds. This squad is more than a convergence of fictional characters; it symbolizes a union of human intellect, strength, and supernatural prowess. Sherlock Holmes, Daenerys Targaryen, and Eleven, each in their own way, bring a unique set of skills and experiences to the table. Together, they form a squad that transcends the boundaries of their respective stories, converging in a narrative where the supernatural meets the tangible. In facing a new supernatural threat, this dream team exemplifies the potential that arises from diversity and collaboration. Holmes' intellect, Daenerys' dragons, and Eleven's supernatural abilities create a synergy that goes beyond the sum of its parts. The squad not only challenges the supernatural threat head-on but also symbolizes the resilience and strength that can emerge when diverse individuals unite for a common purpose.
    Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship
    In the realm of pixelated adventures and virtual camaraderie, my fondest memories have crystallized around the vibrant world of Nintendo games, where friendships were forged, and laughter echoed through countless multiplayer sessions. Amidst the myriad choices, one game stands out as the beacon of shared joy and unforgettable moments – "Super Mario Kart." The allure of "Super Mario Kart" lies not just in its nostalgic charm but in the seamless fusion of competition and cooperation that defines its co-op mode. It was during one memorable multiplayer session that this game etched its place as my all-time favorite, creating a tapestry of shared laughter and camaraderie. Gathered in the cozy embrace of my friend's living room, the air buzzed with anticipation as we prepared for another round of karting chaos. The familiar jingle of the game's intro resonated, signaling the beginning of an adventure that would embed itself in our collective memory. The screen split into four, each player assuming control of their chosen character, ready to navigate the whimsical tracks of the Mushroom Kingdom. What makes "Super Mario Kart" special in co-op mode is the delicate balance between competition and collaboration. The race to the finish line is fraught with obstacles and unpredictable twists, but it is the shared pursuit of victory that transforms the experience into a tapestry of camaraderie. As I navigated the colorful tracks with my friends, the competition was not just about claiming first place but also about reveling in the chaos, swapping power-ups, and plotting strategic alliances against common adversaries. It was during one particularly intense race that the true magic of "Super Mario Kart" unfolded. As we hurtled through Rainbow Road, the iconic track suspended in the cosmos, a cacophony of laughter and shouts filled the room. In the final lap, my kart teetered perilously close to the edge, threatened by the gravitational pull of the abyss below. Sensing an opportunity, a friend deployed a perfectly timed lightning bolt, shrinking our competitors and catapulting us into the lead. The room erupted in cheers as we sailed over the finish line, a triumphant alliance against the whims of Rainbow Road. This moment, bathed in the glow of the television screen, encapsulates the essence of my favorite multiplayer game. It's not just about the pixels on the screen; it's about the shared laughter, the spontaneous alliances, and the collective triumphs that transcend the digital realm. "Super Mario Kart" became more than a game; it became a conduit for building memories. Beyond the pixels and power-ups, the allure of "Super Mario Kart" lies in its ability to transform a casual gaming session into a shared narrative. In the world of Mushroom Kingdom racing, friendships are solidified not just through victories but through the shared challenges, the collaborative strategies, and the unscripted moments of joy. The beauty of this game is not just in its design but in its capacity to create an enduring tapestry of shared experiences, where each race is not just a competition but a chapter in a story written by friends. In conclusion, "Super Mario Kart" holds a special place in my heart not just for its gameplay mechanics but for the memories it has woven into the fabric of my friendships. The laughter that echoed through Rainbow Road, the strategic alliances forged against common foes, and the shared triumphs have elevated this game beyond mere pixels. It is a testament to the power of gaming to transcend the virtual realm and become a canvas for shared experiences, turning moments of play into memories that endure far beyond the glow of the screen.
    First-Gen Futures Scholarship
    Paving the Way: A First-Generation Odyssey into Nursing Embarking on the journey to pursue a nursing degree has been more than a personal choice for me; it's a commitment rooted in my identity as a first-generation African-American college student. In the face of numerous barriers to education, financial constraints, and systemic challenges, I have forged a path toward nursing with unwavering determination, resilience, and an indomitable spirit of ambition. As a first-generation college student, the barriers to education were not just hurdles but formidable mountains that required strategic navigation. Navigating the college application process was a daunting task without familial guidance or precedent. Overcoming this challenge involved extensive research, seeking guidance from counselors, and reaching out to mentors who generously shared their insights. Each step in the application process became a triumph over the prevailing uncertainty, a testament to my commitment to break the cycle and pursue higher education. Financial constraints loomed as a significant obstacle, threatening to derail my aspirations. The cost of tuition, textbooks, and living expenses presented a formidable challenge. In response, I became adept at seeking out scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities. Every rejection became a motivation to refine and strengthen my applications. Through persistence and determination, I secured various scholarships that not only eased the financial burden but also affirmed the viability of my educational dreams. The First-Gen Futures Scholarship, specifically tailored to support first-gen students, represents a beacon of hope and acknowledgment of the unique challenges faced by individuals like myself. It is not just a financial aid program; it is a recognition of the uphill battle that first-generation college students navigate and a validation of our capacity to overcome adversity. The journey to a nursing degree demanded sacrifices and a tireless work ethic. Balancing academics with part-time employment to alleviate financial strain became a delicate dance. Late nights of studying were coupled with early mornings at work, illustrating the multitasking prowess that characterizes many first-generation college students. This juggling act not only honed my time management skills but also solidified my commitment to my educational goals. Moreover, the scarcity of role models and mentors within my immediate circle added another layer of complexity. The absence of familial guidance in navigating the intricacies of higher education compelled me to seek mentorship from faculty members and professionals in the nursing field. These relationships provided invaluable insights, offering both academic and emotional support as I forged ahead in uncharted territory. The systemic challenges inherent in the educational landscape served as a backdrop to my journey. Navigating through academic institutions that may not be equipped to address the unique needs of first-generation college students requires adaptability and resilience. Despite these hurdles, my determination to succeed remained unyielding. I actively engaged with campus resources, formed study groups, and sought out support networks to bridge the gaps in my academic journey. In conclusion, the decision to pursue a nursing degree as a first-generation African-American college student is a testament to the resilience, determination, and hard work that characterize our community. The barriers to education, financial constraints, and systemic challenges are formidable foes, but they do not define us. Instead, they become the crucible in which our ambition and perseverance are forged. The First-Gen Futures Scholarship serves not only as a financial bridge but as a recognition of the tenacity within first-generation college students, affirming that our journey is not just about breaking barriers but about creating a future that transcends limitations for ourselves and our families.
    Hyacinth Malcolm Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of life, Hyacinth Malcolm emerged as a beacon of hope, an unwavering advocate for education, and a beloved mother whose legacy continues to inspire. Born from the crucible of adversity, Hyacinth triumphed over challenges, weaving a narrative of resilience and determination. This scholarship, dedicated to her memory, embodies the transformative power of education and aims to provide a stepping stone for aspiring African American undergraduate students with a minimum 3.52 GPA as a senior nursing student, such as myself. Hyacinth's journey was a testament to the belief that education is the key to unlocking opportunities and reshaping destinies. Her indomitable spirit propelled her from a challenging background to a place where she could craft a better life for herself and her children through the gateway of higher education. This scholarship is a tribute to her enduring legacy, a means to extend the ladder she climbed so that others may ascend to greater heights. As an African American undergraduate student aspiring to become a psychiatric nurse, this scholarship holds profound significance in my educational journey. The financial support it provides will alleviate the burden of tuition and associated costs, enabling me to focus wholeheartedly on my studies and professional development. In doing so, it will catalyze my pursuit of becoming a psychiatric nurse—an ambition rooted in a fervent desire to contribute meaningfully to mental health care and community well-being. The road to becoming a psychiatric nurse is both intellectually demanding and emotionally charged. With the Hyacinth Malcolm Scholarship as my ally, I will be equipped to engage wholeheartedly in the academic rigors and clinical experiences essential for mastering the complexities of mental health care. The financial stability it affords will enable me to participate in internships, attend conferences, and acquire resources that enhance my understanding of the human psyche and the nuances of mental health treatment. Moreover, this scholarship is not just about monetary support; it is a testament to the belief in the potential of individuals, especially those who have faced adversity. It represents a community that values diversity and actively invests in the education of underrepresented individuals. By awarding this scholarship, the committee is not merely providing funds; they are acknowledging the resilience, tenacity, and potential within each applicant, honoring Hyacinth's vision of education as a catalyst for positive change. In conclusion, the Hyacinth Malcolm Scholarship is not merely a financial aid program; it is a beacon of empowerment, a torchbearer for the transformative power of education. As a prospective psychiatric nurse, this scholarship will not only propel me toward my educational goals but also enable me to contribute meaningfully to the field of mental health. With gratitude and determination, I embark on this journey, committed to honoring Hyacinth's legacy by making the most of this invaluable opportunity.
    Priscilla Shireen Luke Scholarship
    In the heart of our community lies the spirit of service, a force that drives individuals to come together, fostering growth, understanding, and a sense of belonging. Engaging in community service has been an integral part of my life, shaping my values, perspectives, and aspirations. Through countless hours of dedicated volunteering, I have witnessed the transformative power of service, leaving an indelible mark on both the recipients and the givers. This essay delves into my experiences, highlighting the impact of community service and emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of compassion and empathy. One of the most profound moments in my community service journey occurred during a food drive for a local homeless shelter. As I handed a warm meal to a grateful elderly gentleman, his eyes sparkled with appreciation and dignity. In that moment, I realized the immense significance of even the smallest acts of kindness. These encounters have taught me that community service is not merely about providing material aid; it is about restoring hope, dignity, and self-worth to those who have been marginalized by society. Through organizing food drives, clothing donations, and community meals, I have aimed to alleviate immediate needs while fostering a sense of community among the recipients, reminding them that they are valued members of society. My involvement in tutoring programs for underprivileged children has further emphasized the transformative power of education. Witnessing a struggling student grasp a difficult concept and seeing their face light up with understanding is a testament to the impact of education in breaking the cycle of poverty. Through personalized tutoring sessions, I have worked with students to improve their literacy skills, boost their confidence, and ignite a passion for learning. These experiences have reinforced my belief in the potential of education to empower individuals, equipping them with the tools they need to overcome challenges and pursue their dreams. Community service has also provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with diverse groups of people, fostering a sense of unity and understanding among different cultures and backgrounds. One of the most memorable projects I was involved in was organizing a cultural exchange event that brought together individuals from various ethnicities to share their traditions, cuisines, and stories. Through these interactions, stereotypes were shattered, and bonds of friendship were formed, creating a harmonious atmosphere within the community. These experiences have taught me the importance of embracing diversity and promoting inclusivity, values that are essential for building a strong and resilient society. Furthermore, my engagement in environmental conservation projects has instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility towards our planet. By organizing tree planting initiatives, beach cleanups, and recycling drives, I have contributed to creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment for future generations. These initiatives have not only beautified our community but also raised awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship. Encouraging individuals to adopt eco-friendly practices and nurturing a sense of environmental consciousness are vital steps towards creating a greener and healthier world. In conclusion, community service has been a transformative and enriching journey that has shaped my character and outlook on life. Through my experiences, I have learned that the true essence of service lies in fostering compassion, empathy, and understanding among individuals. It is about reaching out to those in need, embracing diversity, and nurturing a sense of community and belonging. As I continue my community service endeavors, I am committed to making a positive impact on the lives of others, fostering a culture of kindness and generosity, and working towards a more harmonious and inclusive society.
    Minority/Women in STEM Scholarship
    In the pursuit of my nursing education as a woman of color, I have confronted multifaceted challenges that have only strengthened my resolve and sharpened my focus on making a lasting impact on the world through STEM education. As an African-American woman navigating the often arduous path of higher education, I have encountered disparities in resources, opportunities, and representation. These challenges, while daunting, have fueled my determination to create a more equitable and inclusive future, both within the field of nursing and the broader spectrum of STEM. One of the most significant challenges I faced was the lack of representation in my nursing education. The scarcity of role models who shared my background made it difficult to envision myself succeeding in the field. Overcoming this obstacle required resilience and self-belief, as I persevered through moments of self-doubt and embraced my identity as a source of strength. Through my journey, I have come to recognize the importance of representation in inspiring future generations. As a woman of color in STEM, I am committed to becoming a visible and accessible role model, demonstrating to aspiring young minds that they too can excel in these fields. By mentoring and guiding underrepresented students, I aim to dismantle stereotypes and pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive STEM community. Another challenge I encountered was the lack of access to resources and opportunities. Limited financial support and educational resources often placed additional burdens on my academic pursuits. However, these challenges have fostered resourcefulness, innovation, and creativity. In response, I sought out scholarships, grants, and mentorship programs that provided invaluable support. Now, as a recipient of the prestigious Harvard scholarship, I am deeply aware of the transformative power of educational opportunities. I plan to establish scholarship programs and mentorship initiatives for women of color pursuing STEM education, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder their academic aspirations. By empowering others with the tools to overcome obstacles, I hope to create a more level playing field, allowing talented individuals to thrive regardless of their socioeconomic background. In the world of nursing, I have confronted biases and stereotypes related to my identity as a woman of color. Cultural competence and empathy, essential qualities in healthcare, have been my guiding principles in overcoming these challenges. By embracing diversity and promoting cultural understanding within the healthcare system, I aim to improve patient outcomes and foster a more inclusive environment for both patients and healthcare professionals. I plan to engage in community health initiatives, offering healthcare services to underserved communities and promoting health education tailored to diverse cultural backgrounds. Through my nursing practice, I aspire to bridge gaps in healthcare disparities, ensuring that all individuals receive compassionate and culturally sensitive care, regardless of their race or ethnicity. My vision for making a positive impact on the world through STEM education extends beyond borders. I am passionate about global health and plan to collaborate with international organizations to address healthcare disparities in underserved regions. By leveraging my STEM education, I aim to develop innovative solutions for healthcare challenges, enhancing access to medical services, and improving health outcomes for marginalized communities worldwide. Through research, advocacy, and hands-on interventions, I intend to contribute to the global effort to create a healthier, more equitable world. In conclusion, through STEM education, I am poised to break barriers, dismantle stereotypes, and create opportunities for underrepresented individuals. By fostering diversity, promoting inclusivity, and advocating for equitable access to education and healthcare, I aspire to leave a lasting legacy, empowering future generations and creating a positive impact on the world.
    Clevenger Women in Foster Care Award
    My life story is woven from threads of resilience, determination, and the unwavering spirit of a single mom who emerged from the foster care system. As an African-American woman, the challenges I faced as a foster child and single mother have gifted me with a unique set of skills and perspectives. These experiences have not only shaped my identity but have also ignited a burning passion to create transformative change in the inner city of Chicago and the nursing career field. Growing up in the foster care system, I learned the importance of adaptability and perseverance. Moving from one home to another, I mastered the art of adjusting to new environments, cultivating a sense of empathy for others facing instability. As a single mom, I became adept at multitasking, time management, and resourcefulness. Juggling parenting responsibilities, education, and work demands honed my organizational skills and enhanced my ability to remain calm under pressure. These skills, forged through the crucible of my life experiences, form the foundation upon which I intend to build a future of positive change. In the heart of inner city Chicago, I see a community yearning for hope and opportunity. My mission is to leverage my unique background and skills to address the healthcare disparities that plague this community. Through community outreach initiatives, I plan to provide essential healthcare services and education to empower individuals to take control of their well-being. By establishing health clinics offering free screenings, vaccinations, and preventive care, I aim to improve the overall health outcomes of families in underserved areas. Moreover, I intend to organize workshops focusing on nutrition, mental health, and parenting skills, nurturing a sense of self-sufficiency and resilience within the community. My journey as a foster child and single mother has imparted a profound understanding of the importance of mental health support. Many individuals in marginalized communities grapple with the invisible wounds of trauma and anxiety. As a future psychiatric nurse, I am determined to break down the barriers surrounding mental health care in these communities. I will create safe spaces for individuals to seek therapy, counseling, and support groups tailored to their unique experiences. By promoting mental wellness, I hope to facilitate healing, strengthen families, and foster a sense of belonging among community members. In the nursing career field, I am committed to being a catalyst for change and inclusivity. African-American nurses remain underrepresented, particularly in leadership roles. I aim to shatter this glass ceiling by becoming a trailblazer and advocate for diversity within the nursing profession. Through mentorship programs, workshops, and awareness campaigns, I intend to inspire aspiring nurses of color, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and reach for leadership positions. By fostering a supportive environment, I hope to empower future generations of nurses, fostering a more inclusive and diverse healthcare workforce. In conclusion, my journey as a single mom emerging from the foster care system has endowed me with resilience, compassion, and an unyielding determination to make a difference. I am driven by the belief that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves access to quality healthcare, education, and support. Armed with my unique skills and perspectives, I am poised to advocate for change, uplift the inner-city Chicago community, and contribute meaningfully to the nursing profession. Through my efforts, I aspire to create a ripple effect of hope, empowering individuals to overcome adversity and embrace a future filled with promise and opportunity.
    Project Kennedy Fighting Cancers of All Colors Scholarship
    The specter of cancer has cast its ominous shadow over my life, transforming my trajectory and propelling me toward a career in nursing. This deeply personal encounter with the disease became the catalyst for my passion, instilling in me an unwavering determination to make a difference in the lives of those battling similar afflictions. My experience with cancer has profoundly impacted my nursing education and career goals, shaping my perspective, enhancing my empathy, and fortifying my resolve to provide compassionate care to patients in their moments of vulnerability. Witnessing my loved ones endure the physical and emotional turmoil of cancer treatment served as a poignant introduction to the world of healthcare. As a caregiver, I found solace in the supportive role I played, offering comfort, understanding, and encouragement. This experience ignited a fervent desire to delve deeper into the realm of healthcare, driving me to pursue nursing education. Each moment spent in the hospital room, witnessing the dedication of nurses and the impact they made on patients' lives, further solidified my resolve to become a beacon of hope for others. Throughout my nursing education, my personal encounter with cancer has provided me with unique insights and an unparalleled depth of empathy. I vividly remember the frailty of my grandmother's hands as she clung to mine, her eyes reflecting a mixture of fear and determination. This memory serves as a constant reminder of the vulnerability that accompanies illness, compelling me to approach my nursing education with renewed dedication and focus. The knowledge gained from textbooks was complemented by the invaluable lessons taught by real-life experiences, imparting a profound understanding of the holistic needs of cancer patients. My career goals in nursing have been intricately woven with my encounter with cancer. I aspire to specialize in oncology nursing, aiming to provide comprehensive and empathetic care to cancer patients and their families. I envision myself as a source of strength, offering unwavering support during their arduous journey, just as the nurses did for my family. My personal experience has ignited a passion for patient advocacy, inspiring me to champion for improved access to quality healthcare services, early detection, and patient education regarding cancer prevention and treatment options. Additionally, my encounter with cancer has instilled in me a fervent desire to contribute to cancer research and innovation. I aspire to bridge the gap between bedside care and scientific advancements, actively engaging in research initiatives to enhance treatment modalities and improve patient outcomes. My goal is to play a pivotal role in the ongoing fight against cancer, leveraging my nursing education and experiences to make meaningful contributions to the field of oncology. In conclusion, my experience with cancer has been the driving force behind my nursing education and career aspirations. It has equipped me with a profound understanding of the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges faced by patients and their families. Through my journey, I have emerged with an unwavering commitment to alleviating their suffering and advocating for their well-being. My encounter with cancer has not only shaped my nursing education but has also defined my purpose, inspiring me to embark on a fulfilling career dedicated to compassionate care, patient advocacy, and groundbreaking research in the field of oncology.
    Doña Lupita Immigrant Scholarship
    Growing up, I struggled with my identity. I was raised in a predominantly white suburb of Chicago as a child of Chinese/ African-American immigrants and was always left with a sense that I was different from my peers. When I started preschool, I couldn’t even fully understand English, and I was terrified. I became aware of how I couldn’t effectively communicate with others, and as I got older and tried to find myself, the struggle morphed into multiple identity crises involving my appearance, my beliefs, my struggle with learning two languages, my social life, and even the food I eat. How do you navigate assimilation without losing connection to your former culture? Throughout all this, my parents have always been there for me. They are my rocks; my solid ground to stand on and lean on for support. As I’ve gotten older and reflected on my experiences, I’ve come to realize how much my family has shaped me. They have taught me—through their words, actions, and personal experiences—some very important life lessons that I will hold onto and hopefully pass along to my own children. I would say the way I’ve been raised is interesting. While it has many things in common with other immigrant children’s upbringing, parenting is extremely personal. As an adult, I now see the choices and sacrifices my parents have made for the benefit of their kids. I am extremely grateful for the foresight and self-awareness my parents have that helped me to become who I am today. Below you will find two major lessons that I learned from my parents that I would pass on to my children: The Art of a Good Hustle: Moving to a completely new country halfway across the world is hard—like, really hard. My dad was determined to make a better life for himself and his family, so he busted his ass to do so, taking test after test and applying to graduate schools in the United States until he finally got accepted. That was his ticket to success. but the hard work didn’t stop there. He continued to work tirelessly, providing for our family of four, and doing his best so that we could live comfortably. He’s shown me the value of working hard for what you want to accomplish your dreams. It takes guts and it takes perseverance. Some of my biggest fears in life are failure and rejection; it’s what stops me from making more daring decisions. But when I’m reminded of my family, I can reach inside of me and emulate their strength, finding myself reaching higher and higher, taking steps to achieve my dreams. Love can appear in many different forms: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my parents and through our culture is how everyone may show love differently. In some Eastern cultures, it is more typical that we show love through our actions rather than our words. My mom happily helping me with laundry or cooking food for me was an act of love, not just an act of obligation or devotion. But from living in the United States for so long, my parents have, over time, learned how to become more communicative as well. They’ve gotten much better about verbalizing how they feel and I love seeing how they change and grow as people. That desire to connect with their kids through their words showed their love as well. They wanted to bond with us and express their love in a way that their Westernized children could better understand. People can show love and affection in different ways.
    GUTS- Olivia Rodrigo Fan Scholarship
    Adolescence is a tumultuous journey, marked by a rollercoaster of emotions and challenges that shape us into the adults we become. Olivia Rodrigo's song 'GUTS,' with its poignant lyrics, resonates deeply with my own teenage experience, offering a powerful reflection of the essence of adolescence and the difficulties that accompany it. One lyric, in particular, encapsulates the essence of my teenage years: "Tried so hard to numb the pain, but growing up just hurts like hell." Adolescence is a phase of self-discovery and growth, where we attempt to find our place in the world while battling the onslaught of emotions and uncertainties. The lyric from 'GUTS' reflects the universal truth that adolescence is not always the carefree, blissful period often portrayed in media. Instead, it's a time when we grapple with intense emotions and seek ways to cope with the challenges we face. As a teenager, I vividly remember the pressures of academic success. I aimed for perfection in every subject, striving to meet the expectations of my parents and teachers. However, this pursuit of excellence took a toll on my mental and emotional well-being. I tried to "numb the pain" by burying myself in my studies, believing that success would be the antidote to my anxieties. Yet, I soon realized that growing up was not the pain-free journey I had imagined. Adolescence is a time of navigating a labyrinth of challenges, from peer pressure to identity crises. Olivia Rodrigo's lyric beautifully captures the essence of these struggles. We often engage in self-destructive behaviors, whether it's seeking solace in unhealthy relationships or using substances to escape the weight of our problems. We do these things in an attempt to make the pain more bearable, not realizing that the real solution lies in acknowledging our feelings and growing from them. Like many teenagers, I also faced the challenge of peer pressure. I was desperate to fit in and be accepted by my peers, even if it meant compromising my values at times. I sought refuge in a group of friends who engaged in risky behavior, believing it would help me "numb the pain" of not feeling like I truly belonged. It wasn't until I realized the toll this was taking on my mental health that I understood the significance of "growing up just hurts like hell." Despite the hardships and pains of adolescence, the lyric from 'GUTS' reminds us that growing up is a process of resilience and growth. It's about learning from our mistakes, facing our challenges head-on, and emerging stronger on the other side. The pain we experience during this phase is not in vain; it's a crucial part of our journey towards maturity. My teenage years were indeed challenging, but they also taught me valuable lessons. I learned that true growth comes from confronting our fears and embracing our vulnerabilities. Instead of trying to numb the pain, I started seeking healthier ways to cope, such as talking to a trusted friend or practicing mindfulness. These strategies helped me develop the resilience I needed to face the challenges of adolescence head-on. In Olivia Rodrigo's 'GUTS,' the lyric "Tried so hard to numb the pain, but growing up just hurts like hell" encapsulates the essence of adolescence and the challenges that come with it. My own teenage experience mirrors the struggles and lessons conveyed by this lyric, emphasizing the importance of resilience, self-discovery, and personal growth. Adolescence may indeed hurt like heck at times, but it is through these pains that we find the strength to become the best versions of ourselves.
    Jillian Ellis Pathway Scholarship
    Resilience, the unwavering determination to overcome adversity and achieve one's goals, has been the cornerstone of my journey as an African American nursing student. Throughout my life, I have encountered challenges that have tested my resolve, but each obstacle has only fueled my determination to uplift others from underrepresented communities through nursing. Growing up in a disadvantaged neighborhood, I witnessed firsthand the disparities in healthcare access and outcomes that affect marginalized communities. This exposure ignited a passion within me to be part of the solution. However, my path to nursing school was far from easy. Financial obstacles loomed large on my journey to higher education. My family's limited resources meant that paying for tuition, textbooks, and living expenses was a constant struggle. However, I refused to let financial hardship deter me from my dream of becoming a nurse. Through relentless research and countless scholarship applications, I secured scholarships that eased the financial burden. The financial support I received was not just a gift; it was a lifeline that allowed me to pursue my nursing degree. In addition to financial hurdles, I encountered a lack of representation in my academic and clinical environments. As an African American nursing student, I often found myself in the minority. Despite these challenges, I have embraced the opportunity to be a trailblazer, knowing that my presence can pave the way for others. I actively engage with faculty and administrators to advocate for greater diversity and inclusion within my nursing program, aiming to create an environment where every student, regardless of their background, feels valued and supported. My resilience extends beyond my personal journey; it is the driving force behind my commitment to uplifting underrepresented communities through nursing. With my nursing degree, I plan to make a meaningful impact by: Community Health Initiatives: I aspire to work in community health settings, providing care to underserved populations. Whether it's conducting health screenings in low-income neighborhoods or offering preventive education, I aim to improve healthcare access and outcomes for those who need it most. Mentorship and Education: I recognize the importance of mentorship in overcoming challenges. I plan to become a mentor for aspiring African American nursing students, sharing my experiences and providing guidance to help them navigate the complexities of higher education. Advocacy for Equity: I am committed to being a vocal advocate for healthcare policies and practices that prioritize equity and inclusivity. By participating in healthcare advocacy organizations, I will work to dismantle systemic barriers that disproportionately affect underrepresented communities. In conclusion, my journey as an African American nursing student has been defined by resilience, driven by a deep desire to uplift underrepresented communities. Financial hardships and a lack of representation have only strengthened my determination to make a difference. With my nursing degree, I aim to provide healthcare access, mentor future healthcare professionals, and advocate for equity, all while uplifting others and inspiring them to pursue their dreams. Resilience is not just a personal trait; it's a commitment to creating a brighter future for those who have been marginalized and underserved. Through nursing, I aspire to be a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change in the lives of countless individuals and communities.
    Rev. and Mrs. E B Dunbar Scholarship
    Overcoming Obstacles to Empower My Community Through Nursing As an African-American nursing student, my journey toward higher education has been marked by challenges that have strengthened my resolve to give back to my community through healthcare. Despite facing numerous obstacles, I am committed to using my education to make a lasting impact. One significant obstacle I encountered was financial hardship. Coming from a low-income background, the cost of pursuing higher education seemed overwhelming. To overcome this challenge, I tirelessly sought scholarships, grants, and part-time work opportunities to help me overcome my fianancial burdens. Another obstacle I faced was a lack of representation within the field of nursing. Throughout my academic journey, I often found myself among a small minority of African-American students in my classes and clinical rotations. This underrepresentation fueled my determination to become a role model and advocate for diversity in healthcare. In the future, I plan to use my nursing education to give back to my community in several concrete ways: 1. Community Health Clinics: I aspire to work in community health clinics in underserved neighborhoods, where access to quality healthcare is limited. By providing healthcare services to those in need, I can address health disparities and improve the overall well-being of my community. 2. Health Education Programs: I am passionate about health education and its power to prevent diseases and promote wellness. I plan to develop and lead health education programs that empower individuals with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their health. 3. Mentorship: Recognizing the importance of mentorship in my own journey, I intend to mentor aspiring African-American nursing students. I will share my experiences, offer guidance, and provide unwavering support to help them navigate the challenges of higher education. 4. Advocacy for Equity: I will actively engage in advocacy efforts to address healthcare disparities and advocate for policies that prioritize equity and inclusivity. By participating in healthcare advocacy organizations, I can work towards dismantling systemic barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized communities. In conclusion, my pursuit of higher education as an African-American nursing student has been characterized by resilience and a commitment to creating positive change in my community. I have overcome financial obstacles and lack of representation to achieve my educational goals. With my nursing education, I am poised to make a meaningful impact by providing healthcare services, offering education, mentoring future healthcare professionals, and advocating for equity. I believe that education is a powerful tool for transformation, and I am dedicated to using it to uplift and empower my community.
    Dounya Discala Scholarship
    Breaking Barriers in Nursing: A Journey of Tenacity and Resilience The field of nursing is a noble profession that demands compassion, skill, and unwavering dedication. However, for an African-American female like myself, pursuing a nursing degree in an environment that lacks diversity and inclusion posed a unique set of challenges. In this essay, I will recount a defining moment when I demonstrated tenacity in the face of adversity, share the challenges I encountered, explain how I persevered, and highlight the profound philosophical lessons I have learned on this remarkable journey. The Challenge: Navigating a Homogeneous Landscape As I embarked on my nursing education, I found myself in a predominantly homogenous environment. The lack of diversity within my nursing program was striking and often left me feeling like an outlier. The underrepresentation of African American individuals, particularly women, in the nursing profession was palpable, and the burden of representation weighed heavily on my shoulders. One particular challenge that I faced was the prevalence of implicit biases and microaggressions. On several occasions, I encountered assumptions about my abilities, stereotyping, and subtle forms of discrimination. These instances chipped away at my self-esteem and left me questioning my place within the nursing field. Perseverance: Rising Above Adversity In the face of these challenges, I made a conscious decision to channel my inner strength and tenacity. I refused to be defined by the biases or prejudices of others. Instead, I turned adversity into motivation. I actively sought out mentors and allies within the nursing community who recognized my potential and supported my aspirations. One specific example of my tenacity was my involvement in a diversity and inclusion initiative within the nursing program. I rallied fellow students to join me in advocating for a more inclusive curriculum and creating safe spaces for open dialogue on diversity-related issues. Through these efforts, we began to challenge the status quo and promote a more inclusive and equitable nursing education. The Power of Representation and Advocacy: This journey has imparted a profound philosophical lesson: the power of representation and advocacy. As an African-American female in a predominantly homogeneous field, I have come to understand the transformative impact that diverse voices can have on healthcare. Our unique perspectives and experiences enrich the nursing profession, enabling us to provide culturally competent care and foster a deeper connection with patients from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, this experience has taught me the importance of being an advocate for both myself and others who face similar challenges. By actively engaging in conversations about diversity and inclusion and working to effect positive change, I have realized that I can be a catalyst for transformation within the nursing field. My journey as an African-American female pursuing a nursing degree in a field that lacks diversity and inclusion has been marked by challenges and triumphs. I have confronted biases, stereotypes, and discrimination with unwavering tenacity and resilience. Through advocacy and a commitment to being a trailblazer, I have discovered the transformative power of representation in healthcare. As I continue on this path, I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou: "We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter their color." My experiences have reinforced the belief that, as a nurse, I have the responsibility to weave a tapestry of care that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and equity, ensuring that every patient receives the compassionate and culturally sensitive care they deserve.
    Veterans Next Generation Scholarship
    As I take the time to reflect on the life events that have brought me to Hawaii, the majority of it was influenced by the military. I often giggle when someone asks me, “Where are you from”. I hardly know how to respond at times. “Military Brats” oftentimes don’t know how to answer that question. The beauty within the struggle of moving every 4 years, is that I felt as if I had mini families, all around the country. Now I can spot military housing and haircuts from a mile away. It's funny to think of it now, military bases are sort of designed so you don’t have to leave. It’s a weird, yet insightful conundrum because I have seen more of the world in comparison to those within my close friend group. The military gives something to not only the service member but also to their families. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, which was my mother’s favorite duty station. I don’t remember much from that place, other than my mother saying that it was super cold. My mother had met my father while serving in the Army, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out. My mother found out she was having twins and entered into the journey of single motherhood. Without funding from the military, I believe that we would have been impoverished. She had come from poverty growing up, and stated that “she would never let us suffer as she did”. I am forever grateful to the military for allowing my mother to show us what financial stability meant. At the age of 6, we moved to Michigan, where my mother had served at a naval base. I remember making monthly trips to the commissary, which was an hour away from our home. We had a small budget for the family, so I would often be reminded not to “eat all of the snacks at the beginning of the month”. My sister and I were often involved in MWR youth activities after school, most of the kids were military-related. My childhood friends and I would talk about which duty stations we had been to, and cry over whoever was coming next. Unbeknownst to me, I had learned the importance of comradery at a young age. Later on during my teenage years, we moved to Columbia, South Carolina. This station was most memorable because I got my first job as a commissary bagger. I was earning cash tips and felt a sense of responsibility because my mom finally let me pay for my cell phone bill. I learned how to budget quickly because my mom let me feel what “broke” felt like. I did as teenagers do, and spent my little change on frivolous things. My mother shared her stories of how she obtained financial freedom through the military, amongst other benefits that came with it. The military gave my family a sense of meaning and purpose, that my mother never experienced growing up. My sister and I were afforded various opportunities that would not have been possible, without military affiliation. At the young age of 17, my sister would go on to join the Marine Corps, while I went away to the Air Force. We would often call each and discussed our shared experiences from boot camp and lessons learned during deployments. At the age of 32, we have both exited the military, and both serve in the healthcare sector now. The military gave my family a second chance at life and a sense of pride that we can take anywhere.
    John Nathan Lee Foundation Heart Scholarship
    Life's journey is often marked by unforeseen obstacles, testing our resolve and strength. For some, like myself, the path has been shadowed by cardiac disease, a relentless adversary that threatens to consume one's dreams and hopes. In this essay, I will share my personal narrative, shedding light on the profound obstacles I have faced due to cardiac disease and how I have overcome them through unwavering determination and resilience. My journey began with a life-altering diagnosis – congenital heart disease. From a young age, I was acutely aware of my fragile heart, which required constant medical attention and vigilance. Simple joys like running in the park or joining my friends in sports became unattainable dreams. The heart surgeries and medical procedures were frequent companions throughout my childhood. Despite the physical and emotional toll, I refused to succumb to despair. One of the most poignant obstacles I faced was the isolation of childhood. While other kids reveled in the carefree abandon of youth, I spent countless days confined to hospital rooms. Missing school became a norm, and forging lasting friendships was challenging. The heart-wrenching feeling of being different haunted me. However, I learned to transform adversity into an opportunity for self-discovery. Books and artistic pursuits became my refuge, allowing me to cultivate a rich inner world. As I transitioned into adolescence, the pain of unrealized dreams became palpable. My peers were forging ahead, pursuing passions and adventures, while I watched from the sidelines. The dream of becoming a professional athlete or a daring explorer seemed unattainable. However, I was determined not to let my condition define me. Instead, I focused on nurturing my academic interests and volunteering in healthcare settings, allowing my compassion to shine through. Cardiac disease imposed emotional turmoil as well. The constant uncertainty of my health status and the fear of sudden complications created an emotional rollercoaster. The weight of knowing that my parents carried my worries on their shoulders was a burden I wished to relieve. I sought solace in therapy and support groups, where I discovered the strength of shared experiences. Over time, I learned to embrace vulnerability and use it as a source of connection with others facing similar challenges. Cardiac disease is a lifelong journey, and each phase brings its unique set of obstacles. Adulthood brought the responsibility of managing my healthcare independently. This included navigating a complex healthcare system, securing insurance coverage, and advocating for my needs. The financial strain of medical bills and prescription costs sometimes felt insurmountable. Yet, I remained resolute in my determination to lead a fulfilling life. Despite these formidable obstacles, I stand today as a testament to the triumph of resilience. I have completed my education, pursued a fulfilling career in healthcare advocacy, and even embarked on adventures that I once deemed impossible. My heart may bear the scars of countless surgeries, but it also beats with the rhythm of unwavering determination. In the face of cardiac disease, my life has been a testament to the power of the human spirit. I have navigated the treacherous terrain of isolation, unrealized dreams, emotional turmoil, and lifelong challenges. Through it all, I have emerged as a stronger, more compassionate individual. Cardiac disease may have shaped my journey, but it does not define me. Instead, it has ignited a fire within me to overcome adversity and to inspire others to do the same. In triumphing over my cardiac disease, I have discovered the true essence of resilience, and I am determined to continue my journey with unwavering hope and boundless courage.
    Chadwick D. McNab Memorial Scholarship
    As I embark on my journey to become a biotech nurse with a focus on women and children's health, I can't help but envision a future where the realms of healthcare and beauty intertwine seamlessly. Born and raised in the vibrant heart of Chicago, my roots have taught me the value of diversity, resilience, and the importance of inclusion. It is with this profound sense of purpose and a touch of biotech innovation that I aspire to impact the hair, skin, and nail industry for African Americans in a way that transcends traditional boundaries. My passion for this transformative journey found wings when I embarked on my nursing career at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The aloha spirit, combined with the dedication to healthcare, opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. Every day, I bear witness to the power of healthcare to transform lives, and it became clear to me that beauty, too, plays a significant role in a person's overall well-being. In this pursuit, I have embraced the philosophy that beauty is not just skin deep; it is an intricate dance of biology and self-expression. As a biotech nurse, my mission is to bring science and art together in a harmonious symphony. I envision a future where scientific advancements in biotechnology revolutionize the beauty industry. One significant milestone in my journey was my recent partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Health Care Equity Program. This partnership has been a revelation, as it introduced me to the profound influence that pharmaceutical perspectives can have on the beauty industry. Johnson & Johnson's commitment to bridging healthcare disparities aligns perfectly with my own mission to close gaps in the beauty industry. From a biotech standpoint, this collaboration has opened doors to research and development that hold the promise of skincare products tailored specifically for African-American skin. We are not merely addressing cosmetic concerns, but diving deep into the molecular biology of melanin, the magic pigment that defines our skin tones. This fusion of science and beauty is where the future of the hair, skin, and nail industry lies. Imagine a world where biotech nurses like myself work alongside dermatologists, cosmetic scientists, and beauty experts to create products that not only enhance but also celebrate the uniqueness of African American beauty. From personalized skincare regimens to hair care solutions that embrace our natural textures, this is the future I envision. But my mission doesn't stop at products; it extends to education and empowerment. Just as running strengthens my body, I aim to empower individuals with knowledge about their unique healthcare needs. Through community outreach programs and workshops, I intend to educate African Americans about the importance of proper skincare, haircare, and nail care, all grounded in biotech research. As I write these words, I am reminded of my roots in the inner city of Chicago. My journey from there to the lush landscapes of Hawaii and my pursuit of a nursing degree has been a testament to the power of dreams and determination. Now, with the Johnson & Johnson partnership as a beacon of hope, I am more committed than ever to my goal of illuminating beauty through biotech nursing. In conclusion, my vision for the future of the hair, skin, and nail industry for African Americans is a harmonious blend of art, science, and inclusivity. I am determined to be a catalyst for change, infusing the beauty industry with biotech innovations that celebrate diversity. Together, we will redefine beauty, one DNA strand, one skincare formula, and one radiant smile at a time.
    Trudgers Fund
    From Darkness to Light In the depths of addiction, I found myself ensnared in a web of despair, a prisoner of my own vices. It was a harrowing journey, marked by self-destruction, isolation, and pain. However, my story is not one of despair but of redemption—a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the possibility of transformation. What It Was Like: Addiction, for me, was a relentless beast that consumed my life, one destructive choice at a time. It was a seductive whisper in the darkest corners of my mind, promising solace and escape from the burdens of reality. In the beginning, it felt like a temporary refuge, a fleeting respite from the challenges life threw my way. But soon, it became an insatiable hunger, demanding ever-increasing sacrifices. The days blurred into nights, and the line between the person I once was and the addict I had become grew increasingly indistinct. Relationships withered, dreams crumbled, and the world around me faded into insignificance. I had become a slave to a substance that promised euphoria but delivered only despair. What Happened: The turning point in my life came when I hit rock bottom—an abyss of despair so deep that I feared I would never climb out. It was a moment of clarity, a stark realization that I was teetering on the precipice of self-destruction. I understood that if I didn't take action, addiction would become my tragic legacy. With immense courage and the support of loved ones, I sought help. I embarked on a path of recovery, acknowledging that it would be an uphill battle filled with challenges and setbacks. But I was determined to reclaim my life and rewrite my story. How My Life Has Changed Since Being Sober: Sobriety has been my salvation, a gift that has illuminated my life with newfound purpose and hope. Each day of my journey has been a step away from darkness and toward the light of redemption. I have rekindled relationships, rediscovered passions, and embraced a profound sense of self-worth. Through sobriety, I have learned that life's challenges need not be numbed or avoided; they can be faced with resilience and met with strength. I have discovered the beauty of presence—the ability to fully engage with life's highs and lows without the crutch of substances. Sobriety has given me the clarity to appreciate the richness of every moment, even the difficult ones. How I Plan to Use My Nursing Education to Help Others: My journey through addiction and recovery has ignited a profound desire to make a difference in the lives of others who are battling similar demons. As I pursue my nursing education, I am inspired to specialize in addiction medicine and mental health care. I believe that compassionate care can be a lifeline for those navigating the treacherous waters of addiction. I want to be a beacon of hope for individuals who feel trapped, showing them that recovery is possible and that their lives have infinite value. I aspire to create a safe and nurturing environment where patients can heal, rediscover their strengths, and embark on their own journeys of recovery. In conclusion, my story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of recovery. Addiction need not be the last stop; it can be a stepping stone toward a brighter future. Through my nursing education and my personal journey, I hope to inspire and guide others on their paths to redemption, showing them that the darkest night can be followed by the dawn of a new day.
    Zendaya Superfan Scholarship
    Zendaya: The Multifaceted Star Illuminating the World In the glittering constellation of stars that grace the entertainment industry, Zendaya shines with a brilliance that transcends the realms of Hollywood glamour. This multifaceted artist dons many hats—with her prowess in fashion, acting, singing, and activism, she has carved a unique and inspiring path that continues to captivate hearts worldwide. While every facet of her career is deserving of admiration, it is her role as an activist that resonates with me most profoundly. Zendaya's journey began as a bright star on the Disney Channel, where her talent and charisma caught the attention of audiences worldwide. She quickly established herself as an actress of remarkable skill, bringing depth and authenticity to her characters. Her portrayal of Rue Bennett in the groundbreaking series "Euphoria" is a testament to her ability to tackle complex, emotionally charged roles. Her acting is not just a performance; it is a conduit for storytelling that sheds light on the raw and unfiltered realities of youth. However, it is Zendaya's role as an activist that sets her apart as a true luminary. She uses her platform to champion vital causes, from racial justice and gender equality to mental health awareness. In a world that often seeks to silence voices of dissent, Zendaya raises her voice with a fearlessness that inspires us all. Her commitment to change is not merely a hollow gesture; it is a call to action, a reminder that we all have a role to play in shaping a more equitable world. Zendaya's involvement in the "Black Lives Matter" movement, for instance, demonstrates her dedication to amplifying marginalized voices. She uses her platform to educate and enlighten, urging us to confront uncomfortable truths and work toward a future where justice prevails. In this, she embodies the power of empathy and the transformative potential of activism. Her advocacy for gender equality is equally commendable. In an industry where women have often been relegated to secondary roles, Zendaya has become a beacon of hope for aspiring female talents. Her refusal to accept the status quo and her commitment to breaking gender barriers serve as an inspiration to young women everywhere. She reminds us that gender should never dictate one's worth or potential. Zendaya's multifaceted career is not just about personal achievement; it is a testament to the idea that fame can be leveraged for meaningful change. She is a force for good, using her influence to address critical issues, create dialogue, and challenge societal norms. Her activism is a testament to the transformative power of art and the responsibility that comes with fame. In a world where the glare of the spotlight often obscures authenticity, Zendaya remains refreshingly real. She is a role model who encourages us to embrace our true selves, unapologetically. Her activism, grounded in her own experiences and her unwavering belief in a more just world, reminds us that change begins within and extends outward. In conclusion, Zendaya's multifaceted career is a testament to the limitless possibilities that talent, dedication, and compassion can unlock. While her talents in fashion, acting, and singing are undeniable, it is her role as an activist that I admire most. She uses her fame as a platform for change, shining a light on critical issues and inspiring us all to be agents of positive transformation. Zendaya is not just a star; she is a guiding constellation, illuminating the path toward a more just and compassionate world.
    Disney Channel Rewind Scholarship
    The Magical Convergence: A Disney Channel Crossover Extravaganza" In the enchanting world of Disney Channel, where imagination knows no bounds, I have often dreamt of a crossover episode that would unite two of my all-time favorite shows: "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Phineas and Ferb." These beloved series, each with its unique charm, have the potential to create a magical and wildly entertaining storyline that not only thrills the audience but imparts meaningful lessons along the way. The episode, titled "Wizards in Danville: A Magical Day of Invention," begins with the Russo family from "Wizards of Waverly Place" receiving a mysterious invitation to visit the quaint town of Danville. Excitement bubbles as the young wizards, Alex, Justin, and Max, set off on their journey to discover the purpose of this invitation. Meanwhile, in Danville, Phineas and Ferb are busy with their latest invention—an extraordinary device that amplifies creativity and brings dreams to life. Little do they know that this invention will become the focal point of the crossover. As the Russo siblings arrive, they are immediately drawn to the buzzing energy of the town. However, as the day unfolds, the machine malfunctions, causing a surge of magical energy to spread throughout Danville. Chaos ensues as everyday objects come to life, and the town's residents find themselves in bizarre and hilarious situations. The Russo siblings, who are no strangers to magical mishaps, offer their assistance to Phineas and Ferb in sorting out the mayhem. As the young wizards and the inventive stepbrothers work together to set things right, they discover that the key to solving the chaos lies in embracing their unique talents. Phineas and Ferb's creativity, paired with the Russo siblings' magical prowess, create a formidable team. Amidst the laughter and adventure, this crossover episode delivers profound lessons. It illustrates the importance of collaboration, showing that when people from different backgrounds and with diverse talents come together, they can overcome even the most challenging obstacles. It also emphasizes the value of embracing one's uniqueness, as the characters learn to appreciate the magic within themselves. Throughout the episode, witty banter and comical mishaps keep the audience entertained, but underlying it all is a heartwarming message about friendship and the power of teamwork. As the day progresses, the chaos gradually subsides, thanks to the combined efforts of the Russo siblings and Phineas and Ferb. In the end, the young wizards bid farewell to their new friends in Danville, leaving behind a town filled with gratitude, laughter, and valuable life lessons. The crossover episode concludes with a poignant moment as the characters reflect on their magical day and the bonds they've formed. "The Magical Convergence: A Disney Channel Crossover Extravaganza" is not just a delightful entertainment experience; it is a reminder that the most extraordinary adventures often arise from unexpected alliances. It encourages viewers to embrace their unique talents, appreciate the diversity of others, and find the magic in teamwork. As the stars of two beloved Disney Channel shows come together, they teach us that when different worlds collide, the result can be pure magic.
    Michael Rudometkin Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of life, there exists a thread that, when woven with care, creates a masterpiece of humanity—helping others. It is a thread that binds us together, transcending borders and beliefs, and it is a thread that has shaped my journey in profound ways. As I stand here, reflecting on the essence of this noble calling, I am humbled to share my experiences of offering assistance in the face of adversity, from fighting Maui fires to embarking on medical mission trips. The recent Maui fires brought forth a stark reminder of the unpredictable forces of nature. As the flames danced and the winds roared, our community rallied together to protect what mattered most—each other. In those harrowing moments, I joined the ranks of volunteers, battling the inferno that threatened to consume our island paradise. Amidst the chaos and danger, I witnessed the indomitable spirit of unity. Neighbors became heroes, strangers became friends, and the flames, though relentless, were no match for the power of collective goodwill. Through the smoky haze and scorching heat, I came to understand the profound importance of helping others. It is not merely an act of charity; it is an act of solidarity that binds us as a human family. It is the recognition that the well-being of one is intrinsically linked to the well-being of all. In those moments on the front lines, I learned that true greatness lies not in self-preservation but in extending a helping hand, even when the odds seem insurmountable. My journey of service extends beyond the borders of our island home. It has taken me to remote corners of the world, where the need for medical care knows no boundaries. Medical mission trips have been my bridge to these distant lands, where I have been privileged to witness the transformative power of healthcare in the lives of those less fortunate. From providing essential medical treatments to offering solace to the suffering, these experiences have shown me that compassion transcends language and culture. In the villages of Honduras, I met Maria, a mother of three, who had battled a debilitating illness for years. Through the efforts of our medical mission team, she received the care she desperately needed. In the radiance of her smile, I saw the profound impact that helping others can have on both the giver and the receiver. It is a reminder that the act of service not only heals wounds but also nurtures the soul, fostering a sense of purpose and interconnectedness. As I reflect on my journey, I cannot ignore the hand of God guiding me toward nursing—a vocation that epitomizes selfless service. Nursing, to me, is the sacred art of tending to the physical and emotional needs of individuals in their most vulnerable moments. It is a calling that transcends mere profession; it is a divine path to be a healer, a comforter, and a beacon of hope. In the heart of nursing, I find the essence of helping others—a commitment to alleviating suffering, a dedication to preserving dignity, and an unwavering belief in the inherent worth of every human being. It is a journey of compassion and empathy, a journey that mirrors the divine love that guides us all. In conclusion, the importance of helping others is a profound truth that weaves through the fabric of our existence. From battling Maui fires to traversing distant lands on medical mission trips, I have witnessed the transformative power of compassion. By helping others, we illuminate the world with the radiant light of love and compassion.
    Bernard W. Creque III Scholarship
    In the quiet hours of the evening, as the world slumbers under a sky painted with stars, I often find myself reflecting on the profound impact my father, a fallen soldier in the US Army, has had on my life. His memory is a guiding light that has propelled me to work harder, to be stronger, and to pursue my ambitions with unwavering determination. As I embark on my path to becoming a nurse at the Veterans Affairs, I am compelled to share the story of how his sacrifice has shaped me in ways that resonate with the hearts of veterans who understand the true cost of service. My father was more than just a soldier; he was a paragon of discipline, honor, and unwavering dedication. He instilled in me the values of integrity, resilience, and the importance of selfless service from a young age. Lessons from his military service often spilled into our daily lives, like the careful folding of the American flag or the sense of duty he carried with him in every endeavor. One of the most profound lessons he imparted was the idea that true strength lies not in physical prowess, but in the unwavering commitment to a cause greater than oneself. He often said, "Strength is not measured by the size of your muscles but by the depth of your resolve." This wisdom has been my guiding principle in the face of adversity, reminding me that resilience and determination can overcome any obstacle. My father's ultimate sacrifice occurred in the deserts of a faraway land, and as a child, I struggled to comprehend the magnitude of his service and the depth of his love for our nation. His loss left an indelible mark on my heart, igniting a fervent desire to honor his memory and the memory of all fallen soldiers. This experience transformed me into a relentless seeker of knowledge and personal growth. I realized that life is fleeting, and we must make the most of the time we have. I immersed myself in education, striving to excel academically and develop the skills necessary to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. I am driven by the profound empathy I have for veterans who have experienced the trials of war and the challenges of returning to civilian life. I aspire to provide them with the compassionate care they deserve, to be a beacon of support in their times of need, and to uphold the values of duty and honor that my father held dear. I understand that the veterans I will serve have faced hardships and sacrifices beyond measure. They have earned not only our respect but also our unwavering commitment to their well-being. In the quiet moments, when I contemplate the legacy my father left behind, I am reminded of a quote he often shared with me: "The only easy day was yesterday." This mantra, which is etched in the hearts of many veterans, symbolizes the unwavering determination to face each day with courage and resilience, no matter the challenges it may bring. The death of my father has shaped me into a person who seeks to honor his memory through service, education, and unwavering determination. His lessons in discipline, resilience, and the importance of selfless service have guided me to pursue a career as a nurse. I carry with me the profound understanding that the true cost of service is measured not only in sacrifice but also in the indomitable spirit that drives us to work harder, be stronger, and pursue our ambitions with unwavering dedication.
    Dr. Alexanderia K. Lane Memorial Scholarship
    In the tapestry of life, there exists a thread that, when woven with care, creates a masterpiece of humanity—helping others. It is a thread that binds us together, transcending borders and beliefs, and it is a thread that has shaped my journey in profound ways. As I stand here, reflecting on the essence of this noble calling, I am humbled to share my experiences of offering assistance in the face of adversity, from fighting Maui fires to embarking on medical mission trips. The recent Maui fires brought forth a stark reminder of the unpredictable forces of nature. As the flames danced and the winds roared, our community rallied together to protect what mattered most—each other. In those harrowing moments, I joined the ranks of volunteers, battling the inferno that threatened to consume our island paradise. Amidst the chaos and danger, I witnessed the indomitable spirit of unity. Neighbors became heroes, strangers became friends, and the flames, though relentless, were no match for the power of collective goodwill. Through the smoky haze and scorching heat, I came to understand the profound importance of helping others. It is not merely an act of charity; it is an act of solidarity that binds us as a human family. It is the recognition that the well-being of one is intrinsically linked to the well-being of all. In those moments on the front lines, I learned that true greatness lies not in self-preservation but in extending a helping hand, even when the odds seem insurmountable. My journey of service extends beyond the borders of our island home. It has taken me to remote corners of the world, where the need for medical care knows no boundaries. Medical mission trips have been my bridge to these distant lands, where I have been privileged to witness the transformative power of healthcare in the lives of those less fortunate. From providing essential medical treatments to offering solace to the suffering, these experiences have shown me that compassion transcends language and culture. In the villages of Honduras, I met Maria, a mother of three, who had battled a debilitating illness for years. Through the efforts of our medical mission team, she received the care she desperately needed. In the radiance of her smile, I saw the profound impact that helping others can have on both the giver and the receiver. It is a reminder that the act of service not only heals wounds but also nurtures the soul, fostering a sense of purpose and interconnectedness. As I reflect on my journey, I cannot ignore the hand of God guiding me toward nursing—a vocation that epitomizes selfless service. Nursing, to me, is the sacred art of tending to the physical and emotional needs of individuals in their most vulnerable moments. It is a calling that transcends mere profession; it is a divine path to be a healer, a comforter, and a beacon of hope. In the heart of nursing, I find the essence of helping others—a commitment to alleviating suffering, a dedication to preserving dignity, and an unwavering belief in the inherent worth of every human being. It is a journey of compassion and empathy, a journey that mirrors the divine love that guides us all. In conclusion, the importance of helping others is a profound truth that weaves through the fabric of our existence. From battling Maui fires to traversing distant lands on medical mission trips, I have witnessed the transformative power of compassion. By helping others, we illuminate the world with the radiant light of love and compassion.
    Barbara Cain Literary Scholarship
    The Healing Power of Words: A Journey to Becoming a Compassionate Nurse Educator In the pages of countless books, I have discovered the transformative power of knowledge, empathy, and resilience. As I tread the path towards becoming a future nurse educator, one particular book stands out—a beacon of hope for cancer patients and a profound source of inspiration for me. "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer" by Siddhartha Mukherjee has not only broadened my understanding of the intricacies of cancer but has also deeply shaped my goals as a compassionate educator in the field of nursing. Mukherjee's masterful narrative weaves the history, science, and personal stories of individuals battling cancer into a tapestry of courage and determination. It is within these stories that I discovered a remarkable lesson that has guided my journey as a future nurse educator—the power of resilience and the strength that can be drawn from shared experiences. Within the pages of "The Emperor of All Maladies," I encountered the real-life accounts of cancer patients who embarked on their tumultuous journeys through diagnosis, treatment, and survival. The book introduced me to individuals like Carla Reed, a breast cancer survivor who turned her battle with the disease into a platform for advocacy. Carla's story illuminated the idea that, even in the face of the most formidable adversary, there is an indomitable spirit within each patient waiting to be awakened. What these patients learned from their experiences, and what "The Emperor of All Maladies" imparted to me, is that the role of a nurse educator extends far beyond the classroom. It is a calling to be a source of unwavering support, understanding, and empathy for those navigating the complex landscape of illness. Through Mukherjee's portrayal of their journeys, I understood that resilience is not merely a personal trait but a quality that can be nurtured through knowledge and shared experiences. As a nurse educator, I aspire to instill in my students the understanding that each patient's story is a unique chapter in the larger narrative of healthcare. Just as Mukherjee's book artfully illustrates the diversity of cancer experiences, I believe in fostering an environment where aspiring nurses can learn not just from textbooks but from the lived experiences of patients. "The Emperor of All Maladies" has also illuminated the importance of research and innovation in the field of oncology. It underscores the critical role that healthcare professionals play in pushing the boundaries of medical science. My goal as a nurse educator is to inspire the next generation of nurses to not only provide compassionate care but also to actively engage in research and contribute to the ongoing battle against diseases like cancer. In closing, the lessons I have learned from the books I've read, particularly from "The Emperor of All Maladies," have profoundly influenced my journey towards becoming a nurse educator. I have discovered that the power of resilience, empathy, and shared experiences can transform lives. Through the stories of cancer patients and the knowledge gleaned from the pages of this remarkable book, I am committed to nurturing a new generation of nurses who not only provide exemplary care but also carry the torch of innovation and compassion into the future of healthcare. Just as cancer patients find strength in their stories, I believe that through education, we can empower nurses to become beacons of hope and healing for those in need.
    Minority Cosmetic Science Scholarship
    As I embark on my journey to become a biotech nurse with a focus on women and children's health, I can't help but envision a future where the realms of healthcare and beauty intertwine seamlessly. Born and raised in the vibrant heart of Chicago, my roots have taught me the value of diversity, resilience, and the importance of inclusion. It is with this profound sense of purpose and a touch of biotech innovation that I aspire to impact the hair, skin, and nail industry for African Americans in a way that transcends traditional boundaries. My passion for this transformative journey found wings when I embarked on my nursing career at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The aloha spirit, combined with the dedication to healthcare, opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. Every day, I bear witness to the power of healthcare to transform lives, and it became clear to me that beauty, too, plays a significant role in a person's overall well-being. In this pursuit, I have embraced the philosophy that beauty is not just skin deep; it is an intricate dance of biology and self-expression. As a biotech nurse, my mission is to bring science and art together in a harmonious symphony. I envision a future where scientific advancements in biotechnology revolutionize the beauty industry. One significant milestone in my journey was my recent partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Health Care Equity Program. This partnership has been a revelation, as it introduced me to the profound influence that pharmaceutical perspectives can have on the beauty industry. Johnson & Johnson's commitment to bridging healthcare disparities aligns perfectly with my own mission to close gaps in the beauty industry. From a biotech standpoint, this collaboration has opened doors to research and development that hold the promise of skincare products tailored specifically for African-American skin. We are not merely addressing cosmetic concerns, but diving deep into the molecular biology of melanin, the magic pigment that defines our skin tones. This fusion of science and beauty is where the future of the hair, skin, and nail industry lies. Imagine a world where biotech nurses like myself work alongside dermatologists, cosmetic scientists, and beauty experts to create products that not only enhance but also celebrate the uniqueness of African American beauty. From personalized skincare regimens to hair care solutions that embrace our natural textures, this is the future I envision. But my mission doesn't stop at products; it extends to education and empowerment. Just as running strengthens my body, I aim to empower individuals with knowledge about their unique healthcare needs. Through community outreach programs and workshops, I intend to educate African Americans about the importance of proper skincare, haircare, and nail care, all grounded in biotech research. As I write these words, I am reminded of my roots in the inner city of Chicago. My journey from there to the lush landscapes of Hawaii and my pursuit of a nursing degree has been a testament to the power of dreams and determination. Now, with the Johnson & Johnson partnership as a beacon of hope, I am more committed than ever to my goal of illuminating beauty through biotech nursing. In conclusion, my vision for the future of the hair, skin, and nail industry for African Americans is a harmonious blend of art, science, and inclusivity. I am determined to be a catalyst for change, infusing the beauty industry with biotech innovations that celebrate diversity. Together, we will redefine beauty, one DNA strand, one skincare formula, and one radiant smile at a time.
    Social Change Fund United Scholarship
    Illuminating Pathways to Utopian Mental Health: A Blueprint for Equity and Justice In the ever-evolving tapestry of human existence, mental health stands as a fundamental thread, weaving through the fabric of our well-being. Yet, within the Black community, a stark imbalance persists, casting a shadow on the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. My utopian vision for optimal mental health within the Black community is one that transcends the barriers of systemic inequity, elevating individuals to their fullest potential. It is a vision that envisions mental health care as a cornerstone of social justice, illuminating pathways toward a brighter, more equitable future. At the heart of my utopian vision is accessibility. Mental health care should be readily available to every member of the Black community, regardless of their socioeconomic status. To achieve this, we must address the systemic disparities that have plagued communities of color for generations. This includes increasing the number of mental health professionals who are culturally competent and reflective of the diverse Black experiences. By investing in scholarships and mentorship programs, we can encourage more Black individuals to pursue careers in mental health, thereby creating a more inclusive and accessible system. Education is a powerful tool in our pursuit of utopian mental health. We must foster a culture of openness and understanding regarding mental health within the Black community. This begins with comprehensive mental health education in schools, where students learn to recognize the signs of distress and are equipped with the skills to seek help when needed. Additionally, community-based initiatives should be established to provide mental health education and resources to adults, erasing the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental health issues. In my utopian vision, mental health care is not just reactive but also proactive. It involves community support systems that provide holistic care. This includes affordable counseling services, support groups, and wellness programs that cater specifically to the unique needs of Black individuals. These programs would promote mental wellness as an ongoing journey rather than a crisis-driven response. Moreover, they would incorporate culturally relevant practices, recognizing the significance of heritage, spirituality, and communal bonds in healing. Advocacy plays a pivotal role in achieving social justice for communities of color. My vision envisions a society where mental health advocacy is a driving force behind policy change. This involves collaborating with lawmakers to eliminate discriminatory practices within healthcare and expand access to mental health services. It also includes addressing the social determinants of mental health, such as housing, employment, and education, to create an environment conducive to well-being. To realize this vision, it is essential to amplify the voices of Black mental health advocates and organizations. Supporting initiatives that focus on dismantling systemic racism and advocating for mental health equity is crucial. Additionally, mainstream media should play a role in eradicating harmful stereotypes and depicting mental health challenges in a compassionate and accurate light. Ultimately, my utopian vision for optimal mental health within the Black community is a collective effort. It is a world where every individual feels seen, heard, and valued, where seeking mental health care is an act of self-love and strength rather than a sign of weakness. It is a world where equity and justice intersect with mental well-being, creating a tapestry where every thread is equally important and contributes to the overall beauty of the whole. It is a vision that we must tirelessly pursue, for in its realization, we unlock the potential of generations, fostering a society where all can thrive.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    In the dream version of my future self, I rise, not merely as a solitary star, but as a luminous constellation, where my aspirations twinkle with the resilience of Maya Angelou's caged bird, singing a song of freedom that echoes through the corridors of time, inviting others to join the chorus of their own potential.
    Fall Favs: A Starbucks Stan Scholarship
    As the leaves begin their graceful descent from the trees and the air turns crisp, there's a particular drink that heralds the arrival of fall like no other - the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. To me, this beloved beverage isn't just a seasonal indulgence; it's a character in my own fall narrative, a warm embrace in a cup that connects me to the essence of the season. The moment I take that first sip of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I'm transported to a world of golden leaves, cozy sweaters, and the comforting aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. It's as if the cup itself holds the very spirit of autumn, and with each sip, I'm drawn deeper into its embrace. My connection with this fall-inspired drink runs deep, stemming from the tradition of sharing it with friends and family. Every year, as the days grow shorter and the nights longer, I find solace in gathering with loved ones at our local Starbucks. It's not just about the drink; it's about the shared experience, the laughter, and the stories that unfold over steaming cups of Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's become a symbol of togetherness, a reminder of the importance of cherishing moments with those we hold dear. The rich, velvety texture of the latte mirrors the warmth of the season's colors, and the sweet, spiced flavor awakens my senses. There's something truly magical about the combination of espresso, pumpkin, and whipped cream that ignites a sense of nostalgia in me. It's as if I'm sipping the essence of autumn itself, capturing the fleeting beauty of the season in a cup. The Pumpkin Spice Latte has also become a source of inspiration for me as a writer. Its arrival each year marks the beginning of my fall-themed journal, where I document the changing leaves, the first frost, and the simple joys of the season. With my latte by my side, I find the words flowing effortlessly onto the pages, each sip imbuing my writing with the coziness and charm that fall brings. Beyond its delicious taste, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is a symbol of the small joys that can brighten our lives, especially during the colder months. It's a reminder that even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, we should take a moment to savor the simple pleasures that make each season unique. Whether I'm wrapped in a blanket on a rainy day or taking a leisurely stroll through a park adorned in fall foliage, this drink is a constant companion, enhancing my appreciation for the beauty around me. Moreover, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has a way of bringing people together, transcending age, background, and preferences. It's a conversation starter, a reason to pause and connect with strangers over a shared love for its comforting flavors. In a world that can sometimes feel divided, this humble drink has the power to unite, if only for a moment, and remind us of our common humanity. In conclusion, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is more than just a seasonal beverage; it's a character in my fall narrative. It symbolizes the beauty of the season, the warmth of shared moments, and the power of simple pleasures to inspire and connect us. With each sip, I'm reminded that the best stories are often written over a cup of coffee, and the most cherished memories are made in the company of loved ones. This fall, as I raise my cup to my lips, I'll be toasting to the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the many moments it has woven into my autumn tale.
    Barbara J. DeVaney Memorial Scholarship Fund
    In the heart of Chicago's inner city, where resilience is a way of life, I embarked on a remarkable journey. I am a 32-year-old African American woman, a military wounded veteran, and a single mother. Today, as I pursue my nursing degree, I am the first in my generation to tread this path, driven by a passion for women and children's health and a mission to bridge the diversity gap in healthcare. This scholarship would not only change my life but would be a catalyst for transforming the futures of my child, myself, and my community. My life story has been a series of challenges, each one shaping my determination. Serving 10 years in the United States Army as a medical officer instilled discipline, teamwork, and a deep sense of duty. However, life had more in store for me. As a single mother, I became acutely aware of the disparities in healthcare, particularly for women and children. It was during these moments that my calling was crystalized – I needed to become a nurse, a champion for those who often go unheard. Being the first in my generation to attend college is a testament to my commitment to breaking barriers. It's not just about achieving personal success but demonstrating to my child and the generations that follow that education is the key to unlocking opportunities. This scholarship would provide the financial support I need to continue my education and serve as a role model for my child, proving that dreams are attainable with hard work and determination. The transition from the military to civilian life was challenging, but it opened my eyes to the healthcare disparities facing marginalized communities. My goal is to bring positive change to these communities by pursuing a nursing degree with a focus on women and children's health. I firmly believe that healthcare should be accessible and equitable for all, regardless of their background or circumstances. With this scholarship, I would invest in my education, acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to be a compassionate and competent nurse. The impact of this scholarship extends beyond my personal aspirations. It ripples through my community, where access to quality healthcare is a pressing issue. I envision using the scholarship funds to create community health programs and initiatives, offering screenings, education, and support for women and children. By investing in my education, you are investing in the health and well-being of underserved communities. As I lace up my running shoes each day, I am reminded that this journey, like a marathon, requires perseverance. I am fueled by a passion for caring for animals, writing, and crafting, but my true calling lies in the healing touch of nursing. This scholarship would not only alleviate the financial burden but also provide the support and encouragement needed to cross the finish line. In conclusion, my journey from the inner city of Chicago to pursuing a nursing degree has been a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and a burning desire to make a difference. With this scholarship, I aim to create a better life for my child, myself, and my community by breaking barriers, addressing healthcare disparities, and serving as a beacon of hope for future generations. This scholarship is not just an investment in my education; it's an investment in a brighter, healthier future for all.
    Bright Lights Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Bright Lights scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African-American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. . One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Cyrilla Olapeju Sanni Scholarship Fund
    A Journey of Hope: Overcoming Adversity as African Immigrants in the USA The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the unfamiliar streets of New York City. As an African immigrant, my family's arrival in the United States marked the beginning of an arduous journey filled with hope, challenges, and transformation. Our greatest challenge was adjusting to the cultural abyss that separated our homeland from our newfound home. The bustling streets of America were worlds away from the tranquil village we had left behind in Nigeria. The cacophony of languages, the hustle and bustle of city life, and the dazzling array of faces left us feeling like small fish in an expansive ocean. The very essence of our identity was questioned daily. The cultural disparities were palpable, from the spicy aroma of jollof rice replaced by the scent of fast-food burgers to the communal warmth of our village replaced by a sea of strangers. Every aspect of our lives required adaptation, and the process was daunting. However, this challenge did not break us; it forged our resilience and unity. My parents, who had been respected professionals in Nigeria, found themselves working long hours in low-paying jobs just to make ends meet. Witnessing their determination and unwavering commitment to our family's well-being, I learned the value of hard work and perseverance. They were my unwavering pillars of strength. Navigating the labyrinthine immigration system was another colossal obstacle. Countless forms, interviews, and legal uncertainties loomed over our heads like a storm cloud. I remember the countless nights when my parents anxiously discussed their status, wondering if we would be allowed to stay. This constant uncertainty deeply impacted my education. Every day, I felt the weight of my family's hopes and dreams resting on my shoulders, and I knew that education was our lifeline. In the classroom, the language barrier was my personal Everest. I recall the initial frustration of not understanding my teachers or classmates. My voice trembled when I spoke, and I stumbled over unfamiliar words. But this challenge became my catalyst for growth. Determination became my daily companion. I immersed myself in English classes, devoured books, and sought help from teachers. Slowly but surely, I began to not only understand but also excel in my studies. The challenges my family faced as African immigrants have profoundly shaped my identity. They have instilled in me a deep sense of resilience, perseverance, and an unshakable commitment to education. These experiences have molded me into a compassionate, driven, and empathetic individual who strives to make a difference in the world. In conclusion, our journey as African immigrants in the United States has been a testament to the human spirit's ability to overcome adversity. While our arrival may have been daunting, it has empowered me to become a resilient, determined student with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Winning this scholarship would not only alleviate the financial burden of higher education but also honor the sacrifices my family made and the values they instilled in me. With this scholarship, I can continue my educational journey as a future nurse, armed with the lessons learned from our remarkable journey and inspired to make a lasting impact on my community and beyond.
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho is an enchanting novel that is a timeless and transformative masterpiece. "The Alchemist" isn't just a story; it's a profound philosophy on life and its deepest mysteries. It follows the journey of Santiago, a young shepherd who embarks on a quest to find his Personal Legend, the true purpose of his life. As Santiago travels through deserts, meets sages, and encounters obstacles, he learns invaluable lessons about the pursuit of dreams, the importance of listening to one's heart, and the magic that exists within each of us. One of the book's central messages is the idea that we all have a unique purpose in life, our "Personal Legend." This notion is particularly pertinent in a world where many individuals struggle to find meaning and direction. "The Alchemist" encourages readers to reflect on their dreams and aspirations, urging them to follow their hearts and not be deterred by the obstacles that may arise. It teaches us that the path to fulfilling our dreams may be challenging, but the journey is as important as the destination. Moreover, Coelho's novel emphasizes the significance of intuition and spiritual connection. Santiago's encounters with the mystical and the supernatural remind us that there is a greater force at work in our lives, guiding us toward our destinies. In an era characterized by materialism and a fast-paced lifestyle, "The Alchemist" encourages us to reconnect with our inner selves, listen to our intuition, and seek a deeper understanding of the world around us. Furthermore, the book underscores the idea that success is not solely measured by wealth or fame but by the fulfillment of one's dreams. In a world driven by external validation, "The Alchemist" reminds us to prioritize our inner desires and happiness over societal expectations. In conclusion, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho is the book I would want the world to read because of its timeless wisdom and universal relevance. It inspires individuals to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery, to chase their dreams with unwavering determination, and to trust in the magic of the universe. This book has the power to awaken the dreamer within each of us and guide us toward a life filled with purpose, fulfillment, and a deeper connection to the world around us. It is a beacon of hope and inspiration that can truly change lives and shape a more enlightened and purposeful world.
    Strong Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
    In the realm of nursing, I have harnessed the lessons learned during my time as a former army veteran to emerge as a distinctive leader who blends compassion with resilience, and tactical precision with unwavering dedication. This unique convergence of military values and healthcare empathy has propelled me to a position of influence within the nursing field, allowing me to champion excellence in care and inspire others to follow suit. My tenure as an army veteran has endowed me with invaluable attributes that seamlessly translate into nursing leadership. The unwavering discipline, critical thinking, and adaptability cultivated during my military service have seamlessly integrated into my nursing practice. In high-pressure situations, I am known for maintaining a composed demeanor, swiftly analyzing complex scenarios, and executing decisive actions—a skill set particularly vital in the dynamic healthcare environment. This composure and ability to manage crisis situations have empowered me to lead nursing teams with confidence, ensuring optimal patient care even in the face of adversity. Central to my nursing leadership is the empathy I extend to every patient under my care. As a former army veteran, I have honed the art of understanding individual stories and needs, fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect within my nursing teams. Just as I once stood beside fellow soldiers, today I stand alongside my nursing colleagues, motivating them to see beyond medical charts and machines, recognizing the humanity in every patient. This empathy forms the bedrock of patient-centered care, enhancing the healing experience and generating trust between patients, their families, and our healthcare teams. My transition from the army to nursing also instilled within me a profound appreciation for the transformative potential of teamwork. In the battlefield, collaboration was not just a choice; it was a necessity for survival. I carry this ethos into my nursing leadership, fostering an environment where every member's contributions are valued. By nurturing a culture of open communication and mutual support, I empower my nursing teams to harness their collective strengths, driving enhanced patient outcomes and professional growth. Furthermore, my experience as a former army veteran grants me a unique perspective on the importance of servant leadership. I recognize that leadership is not about power, but about service. Just as I once served my nation, I now serve my patients and my nursing community. This sense of duty propels me to go the extra mile, advocate for necessary changes, and spearhead initiatives that elevate the quality of care. I see myself as a conduit between my nursing teams and the leadership, ensuring that the voices of those on the frontline are heard and considered. My journey from the military to nursing leadership has not only shaped my approach to patient care but also ignited a passion for mentorship. Drawing from my military background, I understand the pivotal role mentorship plays in nurturing potential and fostering growth. As a leader, I invest time and effort into guiding aspiring nurses, imparting the wisdom gained from both my military and nursing experiences. This mentorship extends beyond clinical skills, encompassing the values of resilience, adaptability, and integrity—qualities that set the foundation for exceptional nursing leadership. In conclusion, my distinctive journey from army veteran to nursing leader is defined by a fusion of military precision with healthcare empathy. By embracing the lessons learned in both fields, I have cultivated a leadership style that is characterized by empathy, discipline, resilience, and a relentless commitment to service. As a bridge between two worlds, I strive to inspire others within the nursing field to harness their unique backgrounds, infusing their practice with values that transcend boundaries while cultivating impact.
    Jacob Daniel Dumas Memorial Jewish Scholarship
    The path I've chosen, to pursue a degree in healthcare informatics, is a reflection of not only my aspirations but also of the unique intersections of my identity as an African-American woman of Jewish faith. It's a journey that blends my commitment to equitable healthcare solutions with the power of technological innovation and is deeply influenced by the rich tapestry of my heritage. Growing up in a culturally diverse community, I witnessed firsthand the disparities in healthcare accessibility. As an African-American woman, I've observed the disproportionate impact of health inequalities on marginalized communities. These disparities, often fueled by systemic barriers, ignited within me a determination to address the root causes of these inequities. It became evident that healthcare could be transformed through the strategic implementation of technology. Healthcare informatics, a field at the crossroads of healthcare and technology, offers the opportunity to level the playing field by improving healthcare delivery, data management, and patient outcomes. My Jewish faith has also played a significant role in shaping my journey. The Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and social justice deeply resonate with my aspirations. In the teachings of Judaism, there is a profound emphasis on healing and caring for others. This resonates with the essence of healthcare, as the field centers on the betterment of human lives. By pursuing healthcare informatics, I feel that I am walking the path of my faith—working toward creating a more just and compassionate healthcare system, where data-driven insights lead to better health outcomes for all. The decision to embark on this journey has been greatly influenced by my family's experiences. My grandmother, a nurse, dedicated her life to caring for others. However, she often encountered challenges in accessing patient information efficiently. Witnessing her struggles highlighted the need for streamlined systems that allow healthcare providers to focus on what truly matters: delivering quality care. Healthcare informatics has the potential to bridge this gap, providing tools that empower medical professionals to make informed decisions while nurturing a patient-centered approach. As an African-American woman entering the field of healthcare informatics, I am keenly aware of the underrepresentation of minorities in STEM-related disciplines. This realization has fueled my determination to break barriers and carve a path for others who share my background. By championing diversity and inclusion in healthcare informatics, I believe that we can cultivate a more holistic and representative approach to solving healthcare challenges. My journey serves as an example to future generations that they too can thrive in fields traditionally underrepresented by their communities. In embracing my identity as an African-American woman of Jewish faith, I am inspired to be a bridge between different worlds. I see the potential for my unique perspective to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of healthcare informatics. By recognizing the nuances of various communities, I hope to design solutions that cater to diverse needs and ensure that no one is left behind in the journey toward equitable healthcare. In conclusion, my pursuit of a degree in healthcare informatics is a convergence of my commitment to healthcare equity, my faith-driven values of compassion and justice, and the heritage that has shaped my identity. As an African-American woman of Jewish faith, I aspire to contribute to a future where healthcare informatics serves as a catalyst for positive change—addressing disparities, upholding dignity, and offering hope to those in need. My journey is an embodiment of the belief that our unique backgrounds can be powerful catalysts for innovation and transformation in the healthcare landscape.
    Disney Super Fan Scholarship
    Disney, a name that resonates with millions across the globe, holds a special place in my heart. Amidst its enchanting characters, mesmerizing tales, and timeless creativity, my favorite aspect of Disney lies in its unparalleled ability to ignite the flames of imagination, to instill joy across generations, and remind us that magic truly exists. At the heart of Disney's charm is its capacity to transport us to worlds beyond our own. Whether it's exploring the African savannah with Simba, venturing into the depths of the ocean with Ariel, or soaring through the skies with Aladdin, Disney weaves narratives that effortlessly whisk us away from reality's constraints. As a child, I would lose myself in these stories, immersing myself in vivid landscapes and captivating adventures. These tales not only entertained me but also fostered my creativity, encouraging me to dream beyond the limits of the ordinary. What makes Disney truly remarkable is its universal appeal. Its stories, themes, and characters resonate across cultures, languages, and generations. Disney films are more than just entertainment; they are shared experiences that bridge gaps and create connections. From my grandparents to my youngest cousins, Disney's magic transcends age barriers, sparking conversations and bonding moments that are cherished for a lifetime. It's in this shared joy that I find a profound connection with Disney—a reminder that the simple pleasures of life can unite us all. Disney embodies an ethos of optimism and hope. Even in the face of adversity, its characters exhibit resilience and courage. This unwavering optimism serves as a guiding light, reminding us that challenges can be overcome, dreams can be realized, and goodness can prevail. This message resonates deeply, inspiring us to confront our obstacles with a renewed sense of determination and belief in ourselves. Through Disney, I've internalized that a positive outlook can be a potent tool in shaping my narrative. My affection for Disney is deeply rooted in the memories it has helped create. From the joyful family movie nights to the exciting visits to theme parks, Disney has woven itself into the fabric of my life's milestones. These moments, shared with loved ones, are a testament to Disney's unique ability to transcend entertainment, embedding itself as a source of bonding and affection. The songs, characters, and stories that have punctuated these moments hold a timeless quality that I can always return to for comfort and inspiration. But perhaps the most significant impact Disney has had on me is its reminder that magic exists in the everyday. It's easy to become consumed by the routines and responsibilities of adulthood, losing touch with the sense of wonder that defines childhood. Disney rekindles that flame, inviting me to rediscover the enchantment that surrounds us, whether it's in a blooming flower, a heartfelt conversation, or a spontaneous adventure. This perspective has enriched my life, encouraging me to approach each day with a childlike curiosity and a belief in the extraordinary. In conclusion, Disney is more than a brand; it's a treasury of memories, a source of joy, and a beacon of imagination. Its power lies in its ability to transcend boundaries, inspire hope, and remind us of the magic that dwells within and around us. My favorite aspect of Disney—its ability to ignite imagination—has been a lifelong gift, shaping my creativity, strengthening bonds, and fostering a perspective that embraces the extraordinary in the ordinary. As I continue to journey through life, Disney's enchantment remains a guiding light, reminding me to cherish the simple joys, believe in the fantastic, and keep the magic alive.
    Hearts on Sleeves, Minds in College Scholarship
    Veganism, to me, is not just a dietary choice; it is a profound commitment to a sustainable and compassionate way of life. It signifies a harmonious relationship with the environment, animals, and my own well-being. As I embark on this journey, I believe that embracing veganism will not only reshape my personal choices but also play a pivotal role in shaping a better future for our planet. Veganism embodies values that resonate deeply with my core beliefs. It represents a refusal to contribute to the exploitation and suffering of animals, aligning with my ethical stance on compassion and justice. Every meal I choose is an opportunity to advocate for animal rights and welfare, as well as to support more humane and ethical practices in food production. As I educate myself about the cruelty-free alternatives available, I am amazed by the myriad of options that allow me to enjoy the flavors and textures of the food I love without compromising my values. Beyond its ethical dimensions, veganism is an ecological imperative. Our planet faces unprecedented environmental challenges, from deforestation to greenhouse gas emissions. The livestock industry is a major contributor to these issues, generating more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector combined. By adopting a vegan lifestyle, I am taking a tangible step toward reducing my carbon footprint, conserving water, and preserving vital ecosystems. Through my dietary choices, I am contributing to the mitigation of climate change, which in turn, will positively impact the future of our planet. My journey into veganism has also been a personal voyage of discovery and transformation. As I explore new foods, experiment with plant-based recipes, and embrace a diverse range of ingredients, I am continually amazed by the culinary possibilities that this lifestyle offers. Veganism has not limited my palate; rather, it has expanded my culinary horizons, encouraging me to savor the richness and variety of plant-based ingredients. This shift has instilled in me a greater appreciation for the natural world and the gifts it provides. Moreover, veganism has a transformative effect on my well-being. Adopting a diet centered around whole plant foods has enhanced my energy levels, mental clarity, and overall vitality. I am more attuned to the nutritional value of foods and have learned to nourish my body with wholesome choices. This physical transformation is a testament to the power of conscious consumption and the profound impact it can have on one's health and vitality. As I reflect on the future, I am filled with hope and determination. I believe that the ripple effect of veganism will extend far beyond my own life. By sharing my journey and insights with others, I aspire to inspire change in my community and beyond. As more individuals recognize the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a vegan lifestyle, a collective movement towards a more sustainable world will emerge. The impact of veganism on our future is undeniable. As more people embrace this lifestyle, demand for plant-based products will rise, prompting food industries to innovate and prioritize sustainable practices. This shift will influence agricultural practices, reduce the demand for animal agriculture, and promote the cultivation of plant-based alternatives. Additionally, a broader adoption of veganism will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, allowing ecosystems to recover and thrive. Veganism signifies much more than a dietary choice; it embodies a philosophy of compassion, sustainability, and conscious living. Through my journey into veganism, I have discovered the power of my choices to shape the world around me. By advocating for animal rights, mitigating climate change, and promoting a healthier lifestyle, I am contributing to a more mindful future.
    Will Johnson Scholarship
    Life is a series of challenges and triumphs, but living with ALS has taught me the true meaning of resilience. Despite the hurdles I face daily, I have chosen not to let this debilitating disease define my life. In this essay, I will share my journey of overcoming obstacles with ALS, my plans to further my education as a future nurse, and the aspirations I hope to achieve after pursuing higher education in nursing. Living with ALS has been an arduous journey filled with physical and emotional challenges. Initially, the diagnosis brought feelings of fear and uncertainty, but I refused to let ALS dictate my life's course. With unwavering support from my family, friends, and healthcare professionals, I found the strength to adapt to the changes in my body and embrace a new sense of purpose. ALS has taught me to appreciate every precious moment, find joy in small victories, and remain positive in the face of adversity. My ability to overcome obstacles with ALS has not only defined my character but has also ignited my passion to help others as a nurse. My dream of becoming a nurse was inspired by the compassionate care I received from healthcare professionals throughout my journey with ALS. I have experienced firsthand the profound impact that a caring nurse can have on a patient's life, providing not only medical expertise but also emotional support. Pursuing higher education as a future nurse is a testament to my determination to continue making a difference despite the challenges of living with ALS. I plan to enroll in a nursing program that offers a supportive and inclusive environment, allowing me to thrive academically while accommodating my unique needs. With the aid of assistive technologies and accommodations, I am confident that I can excel in my studies and achieve my dream of becoming a nurse. As a nurse, my aspirations extend far beyond individual accomplishments. I hope to contribute to the field of nursing by advocating for patients with disabilities and promoting inclusive healthcare practices. My firsthand experience with ALS has given me invaluable insights into the needs and challenges of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. I aim to be a vocal advocate for accessibility and compassionate care, ensuring that all patients receive the same level of attention and support, regardless of their physical abilities. Furthermore, I plan to use my story as a source of inspiration for other individuals living with disabilities, proving that with determination and support, any obstacle can be surmounted. As a future nurse living with ALS, I intend to redefine the perception of this debilitating disease. By showcasing my resilience and unwavering commitment to patient care, I hope to challenge stereotypes and preconceived notions about disability. I believe that my journey can serve as a powerful example of how one can thrive in the face of adversity, and I am eager to share my story with patients and fellow healthcare professionals alike. Living with ALS has been an extraordinary challenge, but it has not deterred me from pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse. My journey of overcoming obstacles with ALS has only strengthened my resolve to make a difference in the lives of others. By pursuing higher education in nursing, I hope to be an advocate for patients with disabilities, promoting inclusivity and compassionate care within the healthcare system. I aspire to use my unique perspective as a nurse living with ALS to inspire others and redefine the perception of this disease. With unwavering determination and a heart filled with compassion, I am ready to embark on this journey we call life.
    Linda Hicks Memorial Scholarship
    Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects countless lives, leaving lasting scars on its victims. This is the story of how I, a survivor of domestic violence, transformed my pain into strength and resilience, paving my way to becoming a compassionate nurse. Through unwavering determination and support, I emerged from the shadows of abuse, ultimately finding my purpose in life and using my experiences to heal others. For 6.5 years I endured extreme emotional, mental, physical, and even financial abuse at the hands of my ex-partner. I was completely isolated, broken, and defeated. It wasn't only my life that was in jeopardy, but also that of my daughter. She depended on me for her safety, happiness, and security. So, I became a master at masking the hell I was living in and created a double life. I concealed my pain with a brave face as if everything was perfectly fine. Breaking Free: The path to liberation was riddled with challenges and setbacks, but with the support of a few compassionate souls, I mustered the courage to break free from the chains of abuse. The journey towards independence was arduous, involving legal battles and therapy to heal the emotional wounds inflicted upon me. Overcoming my fears, my newfound strength was vulnerability, realizing that sharing my experiences could inspire others to break free. The Power of Education: Having escaped the clutches of domestic violence, I embarked on a new journey of self-discovery and empowerment through education. With a burning desire to make a difference, I pursued nursing, finding solace in the healing nature of this profession. Empathy, which was once a rare commodity in my life, became the cornerstone of my approach toward patients, making my journey from victim to nurse all the more profound. Empowering Others Through Compassion: As a nurse, I witnessed the profound impact of empathy and understanding on patients' healing processes. My personal experiences allowed me to connect with them on a deeper level, creating an environment of trust and comfort. With each person I cared for, I found a sense of purpose, knowing that my journey was not in vain and that my resilience was now being channeled into healing others. As a nurse with a personal history of overcoming domestic violence, I have found a profound sense of purpose in educating women about this pressing issue. Through my experiences and professional expertise, I create safe and compassionate spaces to address domestic violence within healthcare settings. Empowering women with knowledge about recognizing the signs of abuse, understanding the cycle of violence, and accessing resources for support is a crucial part of my advocacy. I work tirelessly to dismantle the stigma surrounding domestic violence, encouraging open conversations and providing a listening ear to those who have endured similar struggles. I hope to equip them with the tools to break free from abusive relationships and take charge of their lives, fostering a community of strength and resilience. Conclusion: Triumph Through Healing My story is a testament to the indomitable strength of the human spirit. Through perseverance, the support of loved ones, and the power of education, I escaped the clutches of domestic violence and transformed myself into a compassionate nurse. My journey from victim to healer has taught me the importance of empathy, understanding, and the impact of sharing one's vulnerabilities. As I continue to walk this path, I remain committed to empowering others to overcome adversity and embrace the healing power of compassion. Together, we can create a world where survivors of domestic violence find hope and strength in their darkest moments, to find the light.
    Romeo Nursing Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology Department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Rosalie A. DuPont (Young) Nursing Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology Department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Kelly O. Memorial Nursing Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology Department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Veterans of Hawaii Scholarship
    Winner
    As I take the time to reflect on the life events that have brought me to Hawaii, the majority of it was influenced by the military. I often giggle when someone asks me, “Where are you from”. I hardly know how to respond at times. “Military Brats” oftentimes don’t know how to answer that question. The beauty within the struggle of moving every 4 years, is that I felt as if I had mini families, all around the country. Now I can spot military housing and haircuts from a mile away. It's funny to think of it now, military bases are sort of designed so you don’t have to leave. It’s a weird, yet insightful conundrum because I have seen more of the world in comparison to those within my close friend group. The military gives something to not only the service member but also to their families. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, which was my mother’s favorite duty station. I don’t remember much from that place, other than my mother saying that it was super cold. My mother had met my father while serving in the Army, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out. My mother found out she was having twins and entered into the journey of single motherhood. Without funding from the military, I believe that we would have been impoverished. She had come from poverty growing up, and stated that “she would never let us suffer as she did”. I am forever grateful to the military for allowing my mother to show us what financial stability meant. At the age of 6, we moved to Michigan, where my mother had served at a naval base. I remember making monthly trips to the commissary, which was an hour away from our home. We had a small budget for the family, so I would often be reminded not to “eat all of the snacks at the beginning of the month”. My sister and I were often involved in MWR youth activities after school, most of the kids were military-related. My childhood friends and I would talk about which duty stations we had been to, and cry over whoever was coming next. Unbeknownst to me, I had learned the importance of comradery at a young age. Later on during my teenage years, we moved to Columbia, South Carolina. This station was most memorable because I got my first job as a commissary bagger. I was earning cash tips and felt a sense of responsibility because my mom finally let me pay for my cell phone bill. I learned how to budget quickly because my mom let me feel what “broke” felt like. I did as teenagers do, and spent my little change on frivolous things. My mother shared her stories of how she obtained financial freedom through the military, amongst other benefits that came with it. The military gave my family a sense of meaning and purpose, that my mother never experienced growing up. My sister and I were afforded various opportunities that would not have been possible, without military affiliation. At the young age of 17, my sister would go on to join the Marine Corps, while I went away to the Air Force. We would often call each and discussed our shared experiences from boot camp and lessons learned during deployments. At the age of 32, we have both exited the military, and both serve in the healthcare sector now. The military gave my family a second chance at life and a sense of pride that we can take anywhere.
    Charles Cheesman's Student Debt Reduction Scholarship
    Life is such an interesting journey, even more, so that I am responding to this essay prompt while working a hospital shift in between seeing patients. I am a 32-year-old senior nursing student, set to graduate from Chaminade University of Nursing in May of 2024. Before my nursing journey, I proudly served in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, as an electrician and a Chemical officer. It's safe to say that I would try anything once. My service to my country later allowed me to complete a B.S. in Public Health, before arriving in Hawaii to complete my military service. One of my goals for the future is to become a Neonatal or a Labor and Delivery nurse and to hopefully serve in an underprivileged area. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, in a single-parent household. I can remember my mom working odd jobs to support my sister and me, before joining the Army. My fondest memory of my childhood was the monthly car trips into the city to grocery shop. It took us an hour and a half to drive to the store, which gave my little family a chance to bond and laugh with one another. This once-a-month car trip serves also as a stark reminder of our financial situation at the time. My mom had one check for groceries which needed to last the entire month for a family of 3. I still remember her saying, "Don't eat all your snacks in the first week". So that experience was my first real understanding of what it meant to have a budget and to stick with it. My mother would later join the military, and our financial situation improved. She held onto the same principles of financial principles that were practiced when we didn't have as much. Those principles were later passed down to my sister and me, and she left them up to us to execute what was learned. I later learned that financial literacy was lacking in the African American community and that we were fortunate to have a more solid foundation. I pondered on how I could make a change within my community regarding financial literacy. I utilized my summer breaks between school to volunteer at the local Boys and Girls Club located in Chicago, to teach workshops about saving and budgeting and the impact of starting early. While volunteering I got to learn about the backgrounds of some of the youth, and we would often brainstorm on how we could break a generation of bad habits. In addition to teaching about financial literacy, while between work and school, I would volunteer my time at the homeless shelter. I worked as a nursing assistant alongside a public health nurse to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic, and now with public health outreach assistance. Even with a solid foundation, I found myself in 85K worth of debt upon exiting the military. I worked several odd jobs to pay down my personal and some of the school debt. Now I have around 45K in student debt. I have made a budget, reduced my spending on unnecessary purchases, and picked up a side job as an Uber driver. My goal is to start my nursing career with minimal debt and to fully reap the fruit of my labor. Any money left over will be used to help my mother with medical bills. Debt keeps us in an impoverished mindset, and my hope for myself, my family, and the community is to experience life freely without the stress of mounting debt.
    Mohamed Magdi Taha Memorial Scholarship
    Mohamed Magdi Taha's unwavering commitment to justice and his compassionate nature serve as an inspiration to us all. His belief in the transformative power of community building and the significance of even the smallest acts of kindness resonates deeply within me. As an 'up-stander' in my own right, I recognize the responsibility I have to utilize my voice for positive change and to contribute to the growth and unity of my community. This essay explores how I embody the qualities of an 'up-stander' and outlines my plans to leverage my voice to foster a stronger, more inclusive community. Advocacy and Speaking Up: Being an 'up-stander' means advocating for what is right, even in the face of adversity. I firmly believe that silence only perpetuates injustices. Throughout my life, I have strived to use my voice to amplify the voices of marginalized individuals and communities. Whether it is advocating for equal rights, social justice, or environmental sustainability, I am committed to speaking up against discrimination, inequality, and environmental degradation. By engaging in conversations, public speaking, and writing, I aim to shed light on important issues and encourage dialogue that leads to positive change. Empathy and Compassion: Building a strong community requires empathy and compassion. I firmly believe that every individual has a unique story and deserves to be heard and understood. As an 'up-stander,' I actively seek to understand the perspectives of others, placing myself in their shoes to foster empathy and compassion. Through active listening, offering support, and engaging in meaningful conversations, I strive to build bridges of understanding and create a community that values inclusivity, respect, and kindness. Collaborative Initiatives: I recognize the power of collective action and the strength that comes from working together. As an 'up-stander,' I am passionate about fostering collaboration and unity within my community. By initiating and participating in collaborative projects, community outreach programs, and volunteer activities, I aim to bring people together around common causes. By uniting diverse voices and perspectives, we can create sustainable and inclusive solutions to the challenges that our community faces. Education and Empowerment: Education is a vital tool in building a strong and resilient community. As an 'up-stander,' I am dedicated to promoting education and empowering individuals to become agents of change. I believe that knowledge is transformative and that it equips individuals with the tools needed to address social, economic, and environmental issues. Through tutoring, mentoring, and organizing educational workshops, I aim to empower individuals to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to our community's growth. Creating Safe Spaces: To build a strong community, it is essential to create safe spaces where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued. As an 'up-stander,' I am committed to fostering inclusivity and nurturing environments where everyone feels welcome. By organizing events, discussions, and support groups that celebrate diversity and encourage open dialogue, I aim to create spaces where people can express themselves authentically and forge meaningful connections. Mohamed Magdi Taha's dedication to advocating for change and building a strong community serves as an inspiration to me. As an 'up-stander,' I am driven by a deep desire to use my voice and compassion to contribute to the growth and unity of my community. Through advocacy, empathy, collaboration, education, and the creation of safe spaces, I aspire to build a community where everyone feels empowered, valued, and connected. By embracing these qualities, I am confident that I can make a lasting impact and help shape a better future for all.
    FMA College Scholarship
    In an era of increasing climate volatility, floods pose significant threats to the safety, well-being, and livelihoods of people and communities worldwide. As we confront the escalating risks and impacts of floods, it is imperative to acknowledge the multifaceted challenges we face. This essay examines the obstacles to reducing flood risk and their impacts on communities today and highlights how I aspire to contribute and make a difference in addressing flood issues in the future. One of the foremost challenges in reducing flood risk lies in the intersection of climate change and urban development. As cities expand and populations grow, natural floodplains are encroached upon, exacerbating the potential for destructive flooding. Climate change intensifies this issue by altering precipitation patterns and increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. To address this challenge, I believe in advocating for sustainable urban planning that incorporates resilient infrastructure, green spaces, and effective stormwater management systems. By promoting climate-conscious policies and working with urban planners, I can contribute to creating more resilient and adaptive communities. Outdated or insufficient infrastructure and drainage systems pose significant challenges to flood risk reduction. Aging infrastructure and inadequate maintenance can hinder effective water management during heavy rainfall, leading to catastrophic flooding. As an aspiring engineer, I aim to contribute by leveraging my technical skills to design and implement innovative solutions. By developing sustainable drainage systems, implementing floodplain mapping, and employing advanced technologies, I can help create an infrastructure that mitigates flood risks and protects vulnerable communities. Flood impacts disproportionately affect marginalized communities due to socioeconomic disparities and unequal access to resources. Vulnerable populations often reside in flood-prone areas with limited means to adapt or recover from flood events. To address this challenge, I believe in championing social equity and inclusive planning. By collaborating with community organizations, local authorities, and policymakers, I can advocate for policies that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities and ensure equal access to resources, such as early warning systems, evacuation plans, and affordable insurance options. A lack of awareness and preparedness among individuals and communities further exacerbates the impacts of floods. Education plays a crucial role in building resilience and empowering communities to take proactive measures. In my future endeavors, I aim to contribute by engaging in community outreach initiatives, organizing workshops, and promoting public awareness campaigns. By disseminating information on flood risks, emergency response protocols, and sustainable practices, I can empower individuals to make informed decisions and take necessary actions to protect themselves and their communities. Addressing the challenges of flood risk reduction requires collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including scientists, policymakers, engineers, and community members. In the future, I envision actively engaging in interdisciplinary collaborations to develop holistic solutions. By fostering partnerships and working across disciplines, I can contribute to the development of comprehensive flood risk management strategies. Through these collaborations, we can integrate scientific knowledge, policy expertise, and community perspectives to create innovative and context-specific approaches that reduce flood risk and promote resilience. Reducing the risk and impacts of floods on people and communities is a complex and multifaceted challenge. However, by acknowledging the barriers we face and embracing innovative solutions, we can make a difference in addressing flood issues in the future. Through sustainable urban planning, resilient infrastructure development, social equity advocacy, education and awareness initiatives, and interdisciplinary collaborations, I am committed to contributing to flood risk reduction efforts. By harnessing my skills, knowledge, and passion, I aspire to foster resilient communities that are better prepared to confront the challenges of a changing climate and
    Community Reinvestment Grant: Pride Scholarship
    In a world marked by diversity and rich with varied lived experiences, the LGBTQ community continues to navigate unique challenges and strive for acceptance. As a proud member of this community, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of personal advocacy in effecting change for myself, my community, and other marginalized individuals. This essay delves into the significance of lived experiences and personal advocacy, highlighting how they contribute to fostering inclusivity, empowering communities, and driving social change. As an LGBTQ individual, my journey toward self-acceptance and embracing my authentic identity has been both liberating and empowering. By openly living my truth, I challenge societal norms and break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and marginalization. This act of embracing authenticity not only creates a space for personal growth and fulfillment but also serves as a source of inspiration for others who may be navigating similar paths. Through my lived experiences, I demonstrate that it is possible to lead a fulfilling life while being true to one's identity, challenging stereotypes, and paving the way for others to do the same. Personal advocacy plays a pivotal role in effecting change within the LGBTQ community and beyond. By actively engaging in advocacy efforts, I lend my voice and platform to promote equality, visibility, and the rights of marginalized individuals. Through public speaking engagements, community outreach programs, and social media activism, I strive to amplify the voices of those who are often silenced. By sharing my experiences and advocating for inclusive policies, I contribute to changing societal attitudes, dismantling prejudice, and creating a more accepting environment for LGBTQ individuals and other marginalized communities. Through open dialogue and storytelling, I engage in conversations that foster empathy and understanding. By sharing personal narratives and experiences, I humanize LGBTQ issues and encourage others to challenge their preconceptions and biases. This act of vulnerability and connection builds bridges of empathy and cultivates a sense of shared humanity. By promoting dialogue and encouraging individuals to confront their own biases, I contribute to dismantling stereotypes, fostering acceptance, and creating a more inclusive society for all. Within the LGBTQ community, personal advocacy extends to providing support and mentorship to fellow individuals who may be facing challenges or seeking guidance. By creating safe spaces, leading support groups, and offering mentorship, I contribute to the empowerment and personal growth of marginalized individuals. Through these connections, I provide guidance, encouragement, and resources, enabling others to navigate their own journeys of self-acceptance and advocacy. By fostering resilience and self-empowerment, I play a role in building a stronger, more unified LGBTQ community. Recognizing the importance of intersectionality, I actively engage in collaborative efforts to address the interconnected challenges faced by marginalized communities. By joining forces with individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds, I contribute to a broader movement for social justice. By acknowledging the unique experiences of individuals who face multiple forms of discrimination, such as LGBTQ people of color, transgender individuals, and those with disabilities, I strive to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all marginalized communities. As an LGBTQ individual, my lived experiences and personal advocacy have contributed to meaningful change within myself, my community, and other marginalized individuals. By embracing authenticity, advocating for equality, fostering empathy and understanding, providing support and mentorship, and collaborating for intersectional change, I have played a part in creating a more inclusive and accepting society. By continuing to share my story, uplift marginalized voices, and challenge societal norms, I remain dedicated to empowering communities, fostering acceptance, and driving social change for the betterment
    Ruthie Brown Scholarship
    In a society where higher education is increasingly pursued, student loan debt has become a pressing issue affecting millions of individuals. As I navigate the path toward achieving my educational and career aspirations, I recognize the importance of effectively addressing my current and future student loan debt. This essay outlines my strategic plan to tackle this financial burden head-on, demonstrating my commitment to fiscal responsibility and long-term financial well-being. Researching and Understanding Options: To confront my student loan debt, I have invested significant time and effort in researching and comprehending the various repayment options available to me. By exploring federal loan programs, income-driven repayment plans, and loan forgiveness opportunities, I have gained insight into the intricacies of loan management. This knowledge empowers me to make informed decisions about repayment strategies that align with my financial circumstances and long-term goals. Budgeting and Financial Planning: To address my student loan debt effectively, I recognize the importance of creating a comprehensive budget and implementing prudent financial planning. By diligently tracking my income and expenses, I can identify areas where I can reduce unnecessary expenditures and allocate more funds towards debt repayment. Moreover, I will establish an emergency fund to cushion unexpected expenses and prevent the accumulation of additional debt. Seeking Additional Income Opportunities: To accelerate the repayment process, I am actively seeking additional income opportunities. By engaging in part-time employment, freelancing, or utilizing my skills in a professional capacity, I can generate an extra income solely dedicated to student loan repayment. This proactive approach allows me to expedite the process of becoming debt-free and mitigates the long-term financial burden associated with interest accrual. Applying for Scholarships and Grants: To alleviate the financial strain of student loan debt, I am committed to continuously seeking out scholarships and grants. By leveraging my academic achievements, community involvement, and unique skills, I aim to secure additional funding sources that can offset the cost of tuition and ultimately reduce the number of student loans needed. This proactive pursuit of scholarships and grants demonstrates my resourcefulness and determination to minimize the burden of debt. Engaging in Loan Repayment Assistance Programs: To optimize my student loan repayment strategy, I will actively explore loan repayment assistance programs offered by employers, professional organizations, or government entities. These programs provide financial incentives, such as loan repayment matching or forgiveness options, in exchange for service commitments or contributions to specified fields. By taking advantage of such opportunities, I can expedite my debt repayment and potentially reduce the overall balance of my student loans. As I embark on my journey toward financial freedom, I am resolute in my commitment to address my current and future student loan debt effectively. Through meticulous research, budgeting, and financial planning, I will navigate the repayment process with intention and discipline. By seeking additional income opportunities, applying for scholarships and grants, and exploring loan repayment assistance programs, I am taking proactive steps to minimize the burden of debt and secure a stable financial future. With unwavering determination and strategic financial management, I am confident that I will successfully conquer my student loan debt, allowing me to thrive personally and professionally while setting a solid foundation for a lifetime of financial well-being.
    Lieba’s Legacy Scholarship
    In a world filled with immense potential, gifted children stand out as beacons of extraordinary abilities and talents. However, their unique cognitive prowess often comes with its own set of challenges, including social-emotional complexities. As we envision a future that values the holistic development of all children, a career in nursing emerges as a vital force in fostering social-emotional well-being and meeting the intellectual needs of these exceptional individuals. This essay explores how the compassionate care, therapeutic support, and educational advocacy provided by nurses can positively impact gifted children and help them thrive. Creating an Inclusive and Nurturing Environment: Gifted children may often feel isolated or misunderstood due to their advanced cognitive abilities. As advocates for their well-being, nurses can cultivate inclusive environments within educational and healthcare settings. By embracing their uniqueness and fostering a sense of belonging, nurses play a crucial role in mitigating feelings of social isolation and facilitating healthy peer connections. Through empathy, active listening, and compassion, nurses can establish trust and provide emotional support, ensuring gifted children feel validated and understood. Recognizing and Addressing Social-Emotional Needs: Gifted children frequently experience heightened sensitivity, perfectionism, and asynchronous development, which can lead to heightened emotional vulnerability. Nurses, with their expertise in mental health and well-being, can play a pivotal role in identifying and addressing these unique social-emotional needs. By utilizing therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral interventions and mindfulness practices, nurses can equip gifted children with coping mechanisms to manage stress, anxiety, and the pressure to perform. Through individual or group counseling sessions, nurses provide a safe space for self-expression, emotional regulation, and the development of resilience. Holistic Health Promotion: Nurses are advocates for holistic health, recognizing that physical, mental, and emotional well-being are interconnected. For gifted children, whose intellectual needs are often prioritized, nurses can bridge the gap by emphasizing the importance of a balanced lifestyle. By promoting healthy habits, including exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep, nurses support optimal brain functioning and contribute to enhanced cognitive abilities. Additionally, nurses can collaborate with educators to ensure gifted children receive appropriate educational opportunities that challenge their intellect and promote their intellectual growth. Educational Advocacy and Partnerships: In their roles as healthcare professionals, nurses have unique opportunities to advocate for the educational needs of gifted children. By collaborating with teachers, parents, and educational institutions, nurses can help design individualized educational plans that cater to the intellectual strengths and talents of gifted children. Through their understanding of child development and learning, nurses can contribute to the creation of stimulating educational environments that foster critical thinking, creativity, and intellectual engagement. By recognizing the multifaceted nature of giftedness, nurses can support the educational journey of gifted children and facilitate their growth into confident, lifelong learners. A career in nursing holds immense potential in fostering the social-emotional well-being and meeting the intellectual needs of gifted children. Through their compassion, expertise, and advocacy, nurses provide invaluable support to this unique population. By creating inclusive environments, addressing social-emotional complexities, promoting holistic health, and advocating for appropriate educational opportunities, nurses contribute to the overall development and thriving of gifted children. As we envision a future that values and nurtures the brilliance of every child, let us recognize and celebrate the vital role that nurses play in unlocking the potential of gifted children and empowering them to make a positive impact on our world.
    She Rose Initiative's "More Than a Conqueror" Scholarship
    Living with Lupus has undoubtedly presented challenges in various aspects of my life, including education and future goals. However, rather than allowing it to hinder my progress, I have embraced resilience, adaptability, and determination. In this essay, I will discuss how my autoimmune disease impacts my life and education, how it has shaped my future goals, and how this scholarship will significantly contribute to achieving my educational and career aspirations. Impact on Daily Life: Living with Lupus requires careful management of symptoms, frequent medical appointments, and adjustments to daily routines. Fatigue, pain, and unpredictable flare-ups can disrupt academic activities and personal commitments. Despite these challenges, I have developed effective strategies to balance my health needs with my educational responsibilities. I have learned to prioritize self-care, manage my time efficiently, and seek support when needed. Through perseverance and determination, I have maintained a strong academic standing despite the obstacles. Influence on Education: My autoimmune disease has shaped my educational journey in profound ways. It has provided me with firsthand experience as a patient and ignited a passion for healthcare and improving the lives of others. I have witnessed the impact that healthcare professionals can have on individuals' lives, and I am driven to contribute to the field through my education. My personal experiences have fostered empathy, resilience, and a deep understanding of the patient's perspective, enhancing my ability to connect with and provide compassionate care to others. Shaping Future Goals: Living with an autoimmune disease has inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare, specifically in the field of research and patient advocacy. I aspire to contribute to medical advancements, raise awareness about autoimmune diseases, and improve the quality of life for individuals facing similar health challenges. My personal journey has motivated me to become an advocate for patients, empowering them to navigate their healthcare journeys, and promoting education and support for those with chronic illnesses. Through research, I hope to uncover new insights into autoimmune diseases, develop innovative treatments, and ultimately make a positive impact on the lives of patients. Scholarship Support: This scholarship holds immense value in helping me achieve my educational and career goals. Firstly, it would provide financial assistance, alleviating the burden of educational expenses and allowing me to focus more fully on my studies and extracurricular activities. This support would also enable me to explore research opportunities, attend conferences, and engage in experiences that deepen my understanding of healthcare, autoimmune diseases, and patient advocacy. Additionally, the scholarship would provide validation and recognition of my determination and resilience, further motivating me to pursue my goals and make a meaningful contribution to the field. Living with an autoimmune disease has shaped my life, education, and future aspirations in profound ways. While it presents daily challenges, I have learned to navigate them with resilience and determination. My experiences have ignited a passion for healthcare, research, and patient advocacy, and have fueled my drive to make a positive impact on the lives of others. This scholarship would significantly contribute to my educational and career goals by providing financial support and validating my commitment. With this assistance, I can continue to pursue my passion, engage in research, and advocate for individuals with autoimmune diseases. Through triumph over adversity, I am confident that I can achieve my goals, contribute to the field, and inspire others facing similar challenges to persevere and excel.
    Stephan L. Daniels Lift As We Climb Scholarship
    As an African American, my decision to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is driven by a deep-rooted desire to challenge barriers, promote diversity, and uplift my community. Specifically, I am drawn to the field of healthcare informatics, where I can leverage technology and data to improve healthcare outcomes and address health disparities. In this essay, I will discuss why I want to pursue a career in STEM and how obtaining a healthcare informatics degree will enable me to make a significant impact in uplifting the community. Representation and diversity in STEM fields are crucial for addressing systemic inequalities and unlocking the full potential of innovation. As an African American, I am committed to breaking down barriers and encouraging more individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM. By actively participating in the field and demonstrating the possibilities, I aim to inspire and empower other aspiring African American professionals to follow their passion in STEM. Health disparities continue to persist in marginalized communities, including the African American community. These disparities are often rooted in social determinants of health, limited access to quality care, and unequal distribution of healthcare resources. Through healthcare informatics, I can play a vital role in addressing these disparities by leveraging data and technology to inform decision-making, identify gaps in care, and develop targeted interventions to improve health outcomes. By utilizing my skills and knowledge, I can contribute to a more equitable healthcare system. Healthcare informatics combines the power of technology, data analysis, and healthcare to improve patient care, enhance operational efficiency, and drive evidence-based decision-making. By obtaining a healthcare informatics degree, I will acquire the expertise to effectively analyze and interpret healthcare data, identify trends and patterns, and translate insights into actionable strategies. These skills will enable me to collaborate with healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community leaders to develop targeted interventions and programs that address the specific needs of the African American community. Access to quality healthcare is a critical issue facing many communities, including the African American community. Healthcare informatics offers innovative solutions to bridge the gap and improve access to care. Through the implementation of telehealth, mobile health applications, and electronic health records, I can help break down geographical, financial, and logistical barriers that limit access to healthcare services. By leveraging technology, I can facilitate remote consultations, monitor patient outcomes, and enhance care coordination, ensuring that underserved communities have equal access to quality healthcare. Obtaining a healthcare informatics degree will equip me with the knowledge and skills to educate and empower the community. I plan to engage in outreach initiatives that promote health literacy, digital literacy, and the utilization of health information technology. By conducting workshops, seminars, and community programs, I can empower individuals to take control of their health, understand their healthcare options, and effectively navigate the digital landscape of healthcare. Through education, I aim to empower the community to advocate for their health needs and actively participate in their own care. Pursuing a career in STEM, specifically healthcare informatics, as an African American, holds great significance to me. By breaking down barriers, addressing health disparities, and leveraging technology and data, I can uplift the African American community and contribute to a more equitable healthcare system. Through my work in healthcare informatics, I strive to enhance data-driven decision-making, facilitate access to quality care, and empower individuals through education. By actively engaging in the field, inspiring others, and promoting diversity, I hope to create a positive and lasting impact on the African American community and inspire
    Deborah Stevens Pediatric Nursing Scholarship
    Choosing a career in nursing is a decision driven by my innate desire to make a positive impact on others' lives. However, my decision to specialize in pediatric nursing stems from a profound connection with children and a belief in their potential for resilience and healing. In this essay, I will discuss why I am choosing a career in nursing and why I am specifically drawn to pediatric nursing. At the core of my decision to pursue a career in nursing is a deep-seated passion for caring for others. I find immense fulfillment in being able to provide compassionate and holistic care to individuals in need. Nursing allows me to combine my empathy, critical thinking skills, and love for science to make a tangible difference in patients' lives. The opportunity to support individuals during their most vulnerable moments and contribute to their well-being is a privilege that I am deeply drawn to. I have always had a natural affinity for children. Their innocence, resilience, and ability to find joy even in the most challenging circumstances inspire me. Being able to positively impact a child's life and witness their growth and development is both rewarding and fulfilling. Children have unique healthcare needs that require specialized care and a compassionate approach. I am passionate about providing age-appropriate, family-centered care that addresses their physical, emotional, and psychosocial well-being. Pediatric nursing presents an opportunity to be an advocate for vulnerable patients who may not have a voice of their own. Children rely on healthcare professionals to ensure their needs are met and their rights are protected. As a pediatric nurse, I am dedicated to advocating for the best interests of my young patients, ensuring they receive the highest standard of care and promoting their overall well-being. Advocacy in pediatric nursing extends beyond the hospital walls and encompasses collaboration with families, educators, and community organizations to create a nurturing and supportive environment for children. Children often feel anxious and scared in healthcare settings, which can impact their overall experience and cooperation during treatments. I am motivated to create a safe and trusting environment where children feel comfortable expressing their concerns and fears. By building trust, establishing rapport, and utilizing child-friendly techniques, I strive to create positive healthcare experiences that alleviate anxiety and promote healing. Witnessing a child's smile or seeing their resilience in the face of adversity reaffirms my passion for pediatric nursing. Choosing a career in pediatric nursing allows me to contribute to shaping the future generation's health and well-being. By providing comprehensive healthcare, health education, and preventive measures, I can help children lead healthy lives and build a foundation for their long-term well-being. The opportunity to witness a child overcome illness, grow stronger, and achieve their full potential is incredibly rewarding. Each positive interaction and impact made in a child's life has the potential to create a ripple effect, influencing their future choices and contributing to their overall quality of life. Choosing a career in nursing aligns with my passion for caring, compassion, and making a difference in the lives of others. Specifically, my decision to pursue pediatric nursing stems from my innate connection with children, their resilience, and their unique healthcare needs. Through pediatric nursing, I aim to provide holistic, family-centered care, advocate for vulnerable patients, create positive experiences, and contribute to the long-term health and well-being of children. The opportunity to positively impact a child's life and witness their growth and development is a calling that fills me with purpose and joy.
    Veterans Next Generation Scholarship
    Being the daughter of a veteran has profoundly influenced my career aspirations, shaping my values, perspective, and passion for making a difference. In this essay, I will explore the significant impact that growing up in a military family has had on my career trajectory. From instilling a strong sense of duty and service to fostering resilience and empathy, my experience as the child of a veteran has guided me toward a career focused on making a positive impact on others. Growing up, I witnessed firsthand the deep-rooted values of duty and service that were ingrained in my parent's military experience. The sacrifices and commitment displayed by my veteran parent have left an indelible mark on me. The sense of duty and responsibility towards others became an intrinsic part of my character, leading me to seek a career path where I could contribute meaningfully to the well-being of others. Being part of a military family necessitates adaptability and resilience due to frequent relocations, extended periods of separation, and the uncertainties that come with the military lifestyle. These experiences have taught me the importance of embracing change, staying resilient in the face of adversity, and thriving in diverse environments. These qualities have become invaluable assets that have shaped my career aspirations, enabling me to navigate challenges with determination and grace. Growing up in a military household, I developed a deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. I witnessed the physical and emotional toll that military service can have on individuals and their loved ones. This appreciation has fueled my desire to contribute to the well-being and support of those who have served. It has instilled in me a profound respect for the sacrifices made by veterans and a commitment to making a positive difference in their lives. As the child of a veteran, I have witnessed the unique challenges faced by military families, including access to healthcare, mental health support, and transitioning to civilian life. These experiences have fueled my passion for advocating for the well-being and rights of veterans and their families. I am driven to work towards creating a society that provides comprehensive support and resources for those who have served. This passion has guided my career aspirations toward fields such as healthcare, social work, or policy advocacy, where I can actively contribute to addressing these issues. My experience as the child of a veteran has also ignited a commitment to empowering veterans to thrive in their post-service lives. I am dedicated to assisting them in finding meaningful employment, accessing education and training opportunities, and navigating the complexities of transitioning to civilian life. Through mentorship programs, career counseling, and community engagement, I aspire to make a tangible impact on the lives of veterans, helping them unlock their full potential and successfully reintegrate into society. Being the daughter of a veteran has shaped my career aspirations in profound ways. From instilling a strong sense of duty and service to fostering resilience and empathy, my experience has guided me toward a career focused on making a positive impact on others, particularly in the lives of veterans and their families. The values, appreciation, and passion that have emerged from growing up in a military family continue to drive me toward a career dedicated to advocating for and supporting those who have served our country. By drawing on the lessons learned and the experiences gained, I am committed to honoring the sacrifices made by veterans and contributing to their well-being and empowerment.
    Dema Dimbaya Humanitarianism and Disaster Relief Scholarship
    Community service and disaster relief have become integral parts of my life, driven by a deep-rooted sense of empathy and a desire to make a meaningful impact. In this essay, I will discuss the factors that have drawn me to community service and disaster relief, as well as my plans for further contribution in these areas. Through continued dedication, collaboration, and advocacy, I aim to contribute more effectively to community service and disaster relief efforts. Empathy as a Driving Force: Empathy has been the driving force behind my involvement in community service and disaster relief. Witnessing the hardships faced by individuals and communities during challenging times has evoked a profound sense of compassion within me. I believe in the power of empathy to bridge divides, promote understanding, and foster resilience. It is this empathy that motivates me to take action and support those in need. Personal Experiences: Personal experiences have played a pivotal role in shaping my commitment to community service and disaster relief. I have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of natural disasters and the subsequent struggle to rebuild lives and communities. These experiences have sparked a deep sense of responsibility to contribute to disaster relief efforts and assist those affected. Additionally, I have had the privilege of engaging in community service initiatives that have allowed me to directly interact with individuals facing various challenges. These encounters have reinforced my passion for service and deepened my understanding of the diverse needs within our communities. Collaborative Approach: To contribute more effectively in the areas of community service and disaster relief, I recognize the importance of collaboration and partnership. No single individual or organization can address the complex challenges alone. I plan to engage in collaborative efforts with local communities, nonprofits, government agencies, and international organizations to pool resources, knowledge, and expertise. By fostering strong partnerships, we can maximize the impact of our collective efforts, share best practices, and ensure a coordinated response during times of crisis. Advocacy and Education: An essential aspect of my contribution to community service and disaster relief involves advocacy and education. I believe in raising awareness about the importance of disaster preparedness, resilience-building, and community engagement. Through educational initiatives, workshops, and awareness campaigns, I aim to empower individuals and communities with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively in times of crisis. By advocating for policy changes, funding allocations, and equitable access to resources, I strive to create a more resilient society that can withstand and recover from disasters. Continued Training and Development: To enhance my contribution in community service and disaster relief, I recognize the importance of continuous learning and professional development. I plan to pursue further training and certifications in relevant areas such as emergency management, disaster response, and humanitarian aid. By staying updated with the latest methodologies, strategies, and technological advancements, I can bring a higher level of expertise and effectiveness to my work. This ongoing development will allow me to navigate the complexities of disaster relief and contribute more efficiently to community service initiatives. My journey in community service and disaster relief is driven by empathy, personal experiences, and a commitment to making a positive impact. I am dedicated to contributing more effectively in these areas by fostering collaboration, advocating for change, and continuously expanding my knowledge and skills. Through partnerships, education, and a resilient spirit, I aim to support individuals and communities in times of crisis and promote a more compassionate and resilient society. By remaining steadfast in my commitment to service, I believe I can bring about meaningful change and inspire others to join the cause.
    Lauren Czebatul Scholarship
    Volunteering has been a transformative experience that has not only shaped my mindset but also ignited a passion for making a positive impact. In this essay, I will explore how volunteering has changed my perspective, broadened my horizons, and deepened my understanding of the world. Additionally, I will discuss my financial need for this scholarship and how it will contribute to my educational pursuits. Volunteering has been a catalyst for a profound shift in my mindset. It has exposed me to diverse cultures, perspectives, and social realities, expanding my understanding of the world beyond my immediate surroundings. Through volunteering, I have witnessed the struggles faced by individuals and communities and have come to recognize the power of collective action in addressing social issues. This has instilled in me a deep sense of empathy, compassion, and the belief that each person can contribute to positive change. Volunteering has provided me with a sense of purpose and direction. It has allowed me to align my passions and skills with meaningful causes, enabling me to contribute in ways that make a tangible difference. By dedicating my time and energy to volunteer work, I have experienced the joy of serving others, which has fostered personal growth and a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of humanity. Volunteering has reinforced my belief that we all have a responsibility to use our talents and resources to create a better world. Through volunteering, I have had the opportunity to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences. This exposure has broadened my perspectives and challenged preconceived notions. It has taught me to appreciate the richness of diversity and the value of inclusivity. By actively listening to the stories and experiences of those I serve, I have gained a deeper understanding of the complexities of social issues and the importance of promoting social justice and equality. As I pursue my educational goals, I am facing financial challenges that hinder my ability to fully dedicate myself to my studies. The cost of tuition, textbooks, and other educational expenses places a significant burden on my financial resources. This scholarship would provide critical financial assistance that would alleviate some of the financial strain, allowing me to focus on my education without the constant worry of meeting financial obligations. By relieving this financial pressure, the scholarship would create opportunities for me to excel academically, engage in extracurricular activities, and actively participate in internships or research experiences that will enrich my learning. This scholarship would have a profound impact on my educational journey. It would enable me to access resources, materials, and educational opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. With the financial burden alleviated, I would be able to fully immerse myself in my studies, actively participate in academic and extracurricular activities, and engage in research or internship experiences that will contribute to my personal and professional development. The scholarship would not only support my immediate financial needs but also open doors for future opportunities, creating a solid foundation for success in my chosen field. Volunteering has been a transformative experience, reshaping my mindset and inspiring me to make a positive impact. It has broadened my perspectives, developed my sense of purpose, and reinforced my commitment to serving others. This scholarship is crucial to my educational journey, as it would provide the financial assistance necessary to alleviate the financial strain and allow me to focus on my studies and personal growth. With the scholarship's support, I can continue to engage in volunteer work, pursue my educational aspirations, and further develop the skills and knowledge needed to leave an impact.
    Mighty Memorial Scholarship
    Choosing a career path is a deeply personal and multifaceted decision, influenced by a range of factors. As an African American, my decision to pursue a career in nursing was driven by a combination of personal aspirations, societal impact, and the inspiring figures who paved the way for my journey. This essay explores the motivations and inspirations that led me to embrace nursing as an African American. Personal Aspirations: From a young age, I possessed a natural inclination towards compassion, empathy, and a genuine desire to help others. Witnessing my community's struggles with healthcare disparities, I was motivated to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals who faced obstacles to accessing quality care. Nursing presented itself as the ideal avenue to combine my inherent qualities with a fulfilling profession that could address these disparities and empower others. Societal Impact: Historically, the African American community has faced significant disparities in healthcare, resulting in disproportionately poor health outcomes. This reality has spurred me to take an active role in bridging these gaps. By pursuing a career in nursing, I aspire to advocate for equitable healthcare access, culturally sensitive care, and improved health outcomes for marginalized communities. I believe that my presence as an African American nurse can contribute to building trust, breaking down barriers, and fostering a more inclusive healthcare system. Inspirational Figures: Throughout history, African American nurses have made remarkable contributions to the field, serving as beacons of inspiration and resilience. One such figure is Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American professional nurse. Mahoney overcame immense barriers and discrimination, leaving a legacy that inspires future generations to pursue nursing careers fearlessly. Her unwavering dedication to the profession and her commitment to breaking down racial barriers fuel my own determination to make a lasting impact. Representation and Cultural Competence: Representation matters, especially in healthcare. The presence of African American nurses can positively influence patient experiences, as they bring cultural understanding and sensitivity to their practice. By embracing nursing, I strive to contribute to a more diverse healthcare workforce, ensuring that patients from all backgrounds receive care that respects their unique needs and values. As an African American nurse, I can help dismantle stereotypes, challenge biases, and promote inclusivity within the healthcare system. Empowering the Next Generation: As an African American pursuing a career in nursing, I hope to inspire and empower the next generation of aspiring healthcare professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. By breaking barriers and succeeding in the field, I can serve as a role model and mentor for individuals who may feel discouraged or uncertain about their own potential. By sharing my story and experiences, I aim to motivate others to pursue their dreams relentlessly, regardless of societal expectations or preconceived limitations. In conclusion, my decision to pursue a career in nursing as an African American is deeply rooted in personal aspirations, the desire to address healthcare disparities, the influence of inspirational figures, the need for representation, and the goal of empowering future generations. Through nursing, I hope to make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals, advocate for equitable care, and contribute to a more inclusive healthcare system. As an African American nurse, I am proud to embrace the call, inspired by those who came before me and motivated by the potential to effect positive change in the lives of others.
    Brandon Tyler Castinado Memorial Scholarship
    Winner
    Transitioning from a career as a military officer to the field of nursing, I am driven by a renewed sense of purpose and a mission to continue serving others. In this essay, I will discuss the reasons behind my decision to pursue nursing and how my experiences as a military officer have shaped my mission in this noble profession. With a deep-rooted commitment to compassion, leadership, and service, I aim to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and contribute to the healthcare community. As a former military officer, I have experienced the profound fulfillment that comes from dedicating oneself to a mission greater than personal interests. Joining the field of nursing allows me to continue serving others, albeit in a different capacity. Nursing embodies the values of selflessness, sacrifice, and commitment to the well-being of others, which are principles I wholeheartedly embrace. This transition represents a natural progression in my journey of service and a continuation of my mission to make a positive impact. During my time in the military, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of compassion and empathy in alleviating suffering and fostering resilience. These experiences have instilled in me a deep understanding of the importance of providing compassionate care to individuals in need. Nursing, with its focus on holistic patient care, provides an avenue for me to extend my passion for compassion and deliver care with empathy, dignity, and respect. I am dedicated to creating an environment where patients feel valued, understood, and supported throughout their healthcare journey. As a military officer, I developed strong leadership and teamwork skills that are highly transferable to the nursing profession. Effective leadership is crucial in healthcare settings, where collaboration, coordination, and clear communication are essential for delivering optimal patient outcomes. I intend to leverage my experience as a military leader to foster a collaborative environment among healthcare professionals, ensuring cohesive teamwork and promoting a culture of excellence. By leading by example, I aspire to inspire and motivate others to provide the highest standard of care. Advocacy lies at the heart of both military service and nursing. As a military officer, I advocated for the well-being and rights of those under my command. Similarly, in the field of nursing, I am committed to being a strong advocate for my patients. I will strive to ensure their voices are heard, their concerns addressed, and their rights protected. By empowering patients with knowledge, facilitating informed decision-making, and promoting their autonomy, I aim to promote positive healthcare experiences and outcomes. Having served in diverse environments, including underprivileged communities and regions affected by conflict, I have witnessed the significant gaps in access to healthcare and the profound impact it has on individuals and communities. I am committed to playing a role in bridging these gaps by delivering quality healthcare to underserved populations. Through volunteer work, community outreach, and involvement in healthcare initiatives, I will strive to address healthcare disparities, promote health equity, and make a lasting impact on vulnerable populations. In conclusion, my mission for joining the field of nursing as a former military officer is driven by a profound sense of duty, compassion, and leadership. Through compassionate care, advocacy, and a commitment to service, I aim to make a positive impact on the lives of patients and contribute to the advancement of healthcare. My experiences as a military officer have instilled in me the values of selflessness, teamwork, and resilience, which I will bring to the nursing profession. By continuing my mission of service, I am dedicated to delivering exceptional care, advocating for patients' rights, and bridging gaps in healthcare access.
    Emma Jean Ridley Memorial Scholarship
    My name is Brittany Johnson, and I am excited to share my story and aspirations for making a positive impact on the world through a career in nursing. In this essay, I will delve into my personal journey, discussing my passion for healthcare, the factors that sparked my interest in nursing, and how I plan to utilize my skills and knowledge to create a meaningful difference. Additionally, I will address how this scholarship will support my education in pursuing this career path. From a young age, I have been drawn to the healthcare field. Growing up in a community where access to quality healthcare was limited, I witnessed the struggles individuals faced due to disparities and inadequate resources. These experiences ignited a deep desire within me to contribute to positive change and serve as a catalyst for improved healthcare outcomes. Pursuing a career as a healthcare professional allows me to address these issues directly, leveraging my passion for helping others to make a tangible impact. My interest in nursing stemmed from the realization that it embodies the core values I hold dear: compassion, empathy, and dedication to patient-centered care. Nursing presents a unique opportunity to form meaningful connections with patients, providing holistic care that not only addresses their physical needs but also acknowledges their emotional and psychological well-being. Witnessing the profound impact nurses have on patient's lives, I was inspired to pursue this path as it aligns perfectly with my values and aspirations. As a healthcare professional, I am committed to making a positive impact on the world through my nursing career. I plan to contribute in the following ways: Patient Advocacy: I firmly believe in empowering patients and advocating for their rights. By actively listening to their concerns, involving them in their care decisions, and ensuring their voices are heard, I aim to promote a culture of patient autonomy and respect. Health Education: I intend to utilize my role as a nurse to educate individuals and communities about preventative measures, healthy lifestyle choices, and disease management. By equipping people with the knowledge and skills to take control of their health, I can empower them to make informed decisions and prevent health complications. Community Outreach: I aspire to engage in community outreach initiatives, collaborating with local organizations to provide healthcare services to underserved populations. By bridging the gap in access to care, promoting health equity, and addressing healthcare disparities, I strive to improve the overall well-being of communities. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous support in achieving my educational goals. Pursuing a nursing degree requires a significant investment of time, effort, and financial resources. This scholarship would alleviate the burden of tuition costs, allowing me to focus wholeheartedly on my studies, clinical experiences, and professional development. It would provide me with the necessary tools to excel academically, participate in extracurricular activities, and gain practical skills in real-world healthcare settings. With this support, I can fully dedicate myself to becoming a compassionate and competent healthcare professional. In conclusion, my decision to pursue a career in nursing is driven by my passion for healthcare, the desire to make a positive impact, and my commitment to improving the lives of others. Through patient advocacy, health education, and community outreach, I aim to contribute to positive change and address healthcare disparities. This scholarship would provide invaluable support, allowing me to focus on my education, gain the necessary skills and knowledge, and ultimately fulfill my goal of making a meaningful difference in the world through a career in nursing.
    Sara Jane Memorial Scholarship
    The nursing industry has always held a profound interest for me as a career choice. Its unique combination of compassionate care, continuous learning, and the ability to make a positive impact aligns perfectly with my personal values and aspirations. In this essay, I will explore the reasons behind my fascination with nursing, outline my goals for a successful career, and discuss the personal accomplishments and experiences that have shaped my journey thus far. The foundation of nursing lies in providing compassionate care and establishing meaningful connections with patients. This aspect of the profession deeply resonates with me. I find great fulfillment in supporting individuals during their most vulnerable moments, easing their physical and emotional pain, and promoting their overall well-being. Nursing allows me to embrace empathy and make a genuine difference in the lives of others, which is a source of profound personal satisfaction. The field of nursing is dynamic and ever-evolving, demanding a commitment to continuous learning. This aspect greatly appeals to me, as I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a passion for personal growth. Nursing provides a platform for acquiring new skills, staying updated with advancements in healthcare, and honing critical thinking abilities. I am driven to engage in ongoing professional development to enhance my competence and contribute to the advancement of nursing practice. Goals for a Successful Career: In my pursuit of a successful nursing career, I aspire to achieve the following objectives: Provide Holistic Care: I aim to deliver patient-centered care that encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By addressing the individual needs of each patient, I intend to promote their overall health and facilitate healing. Advocate for Patients: I strive to be a strong advocate for my patients, ensuring their voices are heard and their rights are respected. I want to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement care plans that prioritize patient autonomy and best interests. Lead and Inspire: As I progress in my career, I envision taking on leadership roles to positively influence healthcare practices. By inspiring fellow nurses, fostering a collaborative work environment, and promoting a culture of excellence, I aim to contribute to the growth and development of the nursing profession. Personal Accomplishments and Experiences: Throughout my journey, I have actively pursued opportunities to gain relevant experiences and develop a strong foundation for a nursing career. These accomplishments include: Volunteering: I have dedicated my time to volunteering at local hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. These experiences allowed me to observe healthcare professionals in action, interact with patients, and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and rewards of the nursing profession. Internships: I have completed internships in healthcare settings, working alongside nurses and other medical professionals. These experiences provided valuable hands-on experience, enabling me to apply theoretical knowledge, develop clinical skills, and solidify my passion for nursing. Personal Health Journey: Personally, I have faced health challenges that have heightened my appreciation for the care provided by healthcare professionals, particularly nurses. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and deepened my understanding of the importance of compassionate care. The nursing industry's allure lies in its blend of compassionate care, lifelong learning, and the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others. Through pursuing a nursing career, I aim to provide holistic care, advocate for patients, and contribute to the advancement of healthcare practices. My past accomplishments, including volunteering, internships, and personal health experiences, have laid the foundation for my pursuit of these goals. As I embark on this journey, I am driven by a deep sense of purpose and commitment to making a lasting difference in the lives
    Harvey and Geneva Mabry Second Time Around Scholarship
    Life is a journey of self-discovery and growth, and for me, that journey led me back to nursing. At the age of thirty, I decided to return to nursing school, driven by a combination of personal experiences, a passion for healthcare, and a strong desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. This essay delves into the reasons behind my choice to embark on this transformative path. Since my early years, I have been captivated by the field of healthcare. Witnessing the profound impact that nurses have on patient's lives, and their ability to provide comfort, support, and compassionate care, ignited a spark within me. Although I initially pursued a different career, my passion for healthcare continued to burn brightly. Reaching the age of 30 brought with it a wealth of life experiences and self-reflection. I gained valuable skills and perspectives through my previous career and personal endeavors. These experiences provided me with a deeper understanding of myself, the world, and the kind of meaningful work I wanted to pursue. Returning to nursing school at this stage of life allows me to bring a mature perspective, empathy, and a strong work ethic to the profession. I am a firm believer in the power of lifelong learning. The field of healthcare is ever-evolving, with new advancements, research, and technologies emerging continuously. Returning to nursing school grants me the opportunity to engage in continuous learning, stay at the forefront of evidence-based practices, and expand my knowledge and skills. I am eager to challenge myself intellectually and grow both personally and professionally through the pursuit of higher education. One of the driving forces behind my decision to return to nursing school is the profound impact nurses have on the lives of individuals and communities. I am inspired by the opportunity to provide compassionate, holistic care to patients, to advocate for their needs, and to promote wellness and health education. Nursing is a profession that allows me to make a positive difference, bring comfort during vulnerable times, and contribute to the well-being of others. The decision to return to nursing school also stems from the recognition of the stable and rewarding career opportunities it offers. Nursing is a highly respected profession that provides job security and numerous avenues for professional growth and specialization. The healthcare industry is continuously expanding, and the demand for skilled nurses remains high. By pursuing a nursing degree, I am investing in a career that will provide long-term stability and the potential for advancement. Returning to nursing school at the age of thirty allows me to serve as an inspiration to others who may be considering a career change or pursuing their passions later in life. By embracing this transformative journey, I hope to empower individuals of all ages to pursue their dreams, challenge societal expectations, and embark on paths that align with their true calling. I aim to encourage a mindset that values personal fulfillment and lifelong learning. In conclusion, returning to nursing school at the age of thirty is a decision driven by a deep passion for healthcare, personal growth, a thirst for lifelong learning, the desire to make a difference in the lives of others, the prospect of a stable and fulfilling career, and the aspiration to inspire others. I am eager to embark on this transformative journey, equipped with my life experiences, dedication, and unwavering commitment to providing compassionate care. Returning to nursing school represents the fulfillment of a calling, allowing me to pursue a vocation that aligns with my core
    Rose Browne Memorial Scholarship for Nursing
    The decision to pursue a career in nursing is often shaped by personal experiences that leave a lasting impact. In my case, a series of profound life experiences have played a pivotal role in leading me toward the path of nursing. This essay delves into how these experiences have influenced and solidified my decision to choose nursing as a career. Witnessing the Power of Compassionate Care: From a young age, I have been exposed to various healthcare settings, accompanying family members during their medical journeys. These experiences provided me with firsthand exposure to the transformative power of compassionate care. I observed nurses as they navigated complex situations with empathy, providing comfort and support to patients and their families. Witnessing their ability to alleviate suffering and make a genuine difference in people's lives left an indelible mark on me, igniting a desire to be a part of that compassionate care team. Overcoming Personal Health Challenges: Throughout my life, I have faced my own health challenges, navigating the healthcare system as a patient. These experiences exposed me to the vulnerabilities and anxieties that individuals can experience when seeking medical care. However, it was the nurses who consistently stood out, serving as beacons of reassurance, support, and understanding during these difficult times. Their empathy, expertise, and unwavering commitment inspired me, planting the seed of aspiration to provide that same level of care and comfort to others in need. Advocating for Equity and Empathy: Growing up in a diverse community, I witnessed firsthand the inequities that plagued our healthcare system. Many individuals, particularly from marginalized communities, faced barriers to accessing quality care and experienced disparities in health outcomes. These disparities fueled my determination to pursue nursing as a means to advocate for equity and empathy. I believe that every person, regardless of their background or circumstances, deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. Nursing presents an opportunity to address these disparities and make a tangible impact on the lives of underserved populations. Embracing Diversity and Cultural Competence: Living in a multicultural society, I have been fortunate to interact with individuals from various ethnicities, religions, and cultural backgrounds. These encounters have fostered my appreciation for diversity and highlighted the importance of cultural competence in healthcare. Recognizing that patients deserve care that respects their unique beliefs and values, I am driven to become a nurse who can provide culturally sensitive and patient-centered care. By incorporating cultural competence into my practice, I aim to bridge gaps, build trust, and enhance health outcomes for diverse populations. Inspiring Future Generations: Lastly, my decision to pursue nursing is fueled by a deep desire to inspire and empower future generations. By embracing this noble profession, I hope to serve as a role model, particularly for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. I want to demonstrate that with determination and resilience, they too can break barriers and pursue their dreams in the healthcare field. Through mentorship and advocacy, I aspire to guide aspiring nurses, providing guidance and support to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. In conclusion, my decision to choose nursing as a career has been profoundly influenced by personal experiences that have shaped my perspective and aspirations. Witnessing the power of compassionate care, overcoming personal health challenges, advocating for equity and empathy, embracing diversity, and inspiring future generations have all played a significant role in solidifying my passion for nursing. These experiences have not only shaped my decision but also reinforced my commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others through the art of nursing.
    Wieland Nurse Appreciation Scholarship
    Choosing a career path is a deeply personal and multifaceted decision, influenced by a range of factors. As an African American, my decision to pursue a career in nursing was driven by a combination of personal aspirations, societal impact, and the inspiring figures who paved the way for my journey. This essay explores the motivations and inspirations that led me to embrace nursing as an African American. Personal Aspirations: From a young age, I possessed a natural inclination towards compassion, empathy, and a genuine desire to help others. Witnessing my community's struggles with healthcare disparities, I was motivated to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals who faced obstacles to accessing quality care. Nursing presented itself as the ideal avenue to combine my inherent qualities with a fulfilling profession that could address these disparities and empower others. Societal Impact: Historically, the African American community has faced significant disparities in healthcare, resulting in disproportionately poor health outcomes. This reality has spurred me to take an active role in bridging these gaps. By pursuing a career in nursing, I aspire to advocate for equitable healthcare access, culturally sensitive care, and improved health outcomes for marginalized communities. I believe that my presence as an African American nurse can contribute to building trust, breaking down barriers, and fostering a more inclusive healthcare system. Inspirational Figures: Throughout history, African American nurses have made remarkable contributions to the field, serving as beacons of inspiration and resilience. One such figure is Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American professional nurse. Mahoney overcame immense barriers and discrimination, leaving a legacy that inspires future generations to pursue nursing careers fearlessly. Her unwavering dedication to the profession and her commitment to breaking down racial barriers fuel my own determination to make a lasting impact. Representation and Cultural Competence: Representation matters, especially in healthcare. The presence of African American nurses can positively influence patient experiences, as they bring cultural understanding and sensitivity to their practice. By embracing nursing, I strive to contribute to a more diverse healthcare workforce, ensuring that patients from all backgrounds receive care that respects their unique needs and values. As an African American nurse, I can help dismantle stereotypes, challenge biases, and promote inclusivity within the healthcare system. Empowering the Next Generation: As an African American pursuing a career in nursing, I hope to inspire and empower the next generation of aspiring healthcare professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. By breaking barriers and succeeding in the field, I can serve as a role model and mentor for individuals who may feel discouraged or uncertain about their own potential. By sharing my story and experiences, I aim to motivate others to pursue their dreams relentlessly, regardless of societal expectations or preconceived limitations. In conclusion, my decision to pursue a career in nursing is deeply rooted in personal aspirations, the desire to address healthcare disparities, the influence of inspirational figures, the need for representation, and the goal of empowering future generations. Through nursing, I hope to make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals, advocate for equitable care, and contribute to a more inclusive healthcare system. As an African American nurse, I am proud to embrace the call, inspired by those who came before me and motivated by the potential to effect positive change in the lives of others.
    Goobie-Ramlal Education Scholarship
    My name is Brittany Johnson, and I am a College of Nursing junior. I am the daughter of two survivors of the Rwandan genocide, in which about 800,000 lost their lives in a majority-Hutu-sponsored violence against Tutsis. Upon arrival in their new home, my parents made it their mission to create a safe, nurturing environment for their family. I want to speak more about my East African heritage and the lessons I learned from her courageous family members. Now a Junior majoring in nursing, I aim to make my parents proud by following the road to success while staying grounded in her cultural roots. Honoring their cultural roots…My parents wanted to raise two children in the United States but still maintain the rich African/ Iranian culture they were both raised with since childhood. My mom’s main priority was to invest her time in teaching my sister and me the importance of the African culture, including teaching us how to speak, read and write Farsi. A tough transition….Assimilating to the American culture was a significant challenge for my parents. When they came here, they faced a major obstacle: learning English. My father went to the states when he was a college student, so adjusting to the youthful, vibrant experience that America had to offer was relatively easy. However, there was a funny instance where my father got stopped by the police for speeding. The officer asked my father to get out of the car, and as he spoke to my dad, he took off running. The language barrier was the reason for the miscommunication that occurred. The only word my father could understand when the officer was speaking to him was the word ‘go,’ so he thought he was doing the right thing and just hurried along. Land of the free…My family never takes for granted the freedom associated with this country. The intangible liberties, such as freedom of speech and religion, are the characteristics that make my parents fully content with residing in this country. Having the privilege to speak one’s mind and express one’s thoughts without the potential interrogation of high power is an aspect they never take for granted. In addition, the law here is well-refined and grounded to a high extent, reducing the corruption inherent in the legal system in other countries.” A source of pride… I believe that being an immigrant is a highly respectable characteristic. It is incredibly challenging to leave one’s home and travel to another environment without understanding what the future will hold. Immigrants are the components of a diverse and prosperous society. They are the megaphones that serve as the voice of people from all around the world. I am incredibly proud of being the daughter of two dedicated and motivated immigrants that stop at no cost to reach their goals.” My academic/extracurricular activities include Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Grad Intern; Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity; Black Health Professions; Iranian Student Academic and Cultural Organization; Gateway Scholars, Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence; Presidential Scholars; Freshman Research Institute; LEAP Leadership; Student Leadership Institute. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier.
    Financial Hygiene Scholarship
    Freedom means different things to different people, whether free-falling at the end of a bungee cord, deciding to retire early and travel the world, or having the means to support oneself without relying on others. But covid-19 has curbed many of the freedoms that we took for granted. While the country has entered the Unlock phases, many restrictions persist. For many, it has also taken away the sense of financial freedom, whether because of a sudden job loss, pay cut, or the bleak economic landscape. My goal within the next two years is to pay off my remaining debt before I graduate from nursing school in 2024. I remember a few years ago that I was struggling so much financially that I was paying my car note $100 at a time to pay my car note. Each week I would call my car financier to pay over the phone, and one call agent laughed at me because she had never heard of anyone paying that way. My car note is $600 a month, so spending so little per week was throwing off the calculations regarding interest accrual. The call agent didn’t see that I was utilizing Lyft car service, employed as a driver to make ends meet. I was willing to pay off my debt with very little to eat on the table. I felt so low and was determined never to feel that way again. The experience is quite comical now, but the memory impacted me so much that it influenced me to modify other components of my life to save money. I began to look at what I valued as a person and defined the definition of my actual needs and wants. Once described, I decided to live on a cash budget to visualize how much I was spending. I purchased a cash envelope from Amazon, and monthly amount for groceries, gas, entertainment, and pet supplies, and a set amount for miscellaneous purchases. After my cash envelope is complete and my minimum payments for bills are paid, I use the remainder of my bank account on the lowest-due debt. Using this strategy, I have paid off 50% of my massive car loan, which is my most considerable debt. I am always looking to save money, even concerning pet care. I stopped paying for unnecessary grooming services and started washing my dog, except for nail trimming. This took my monthly bill from $60 to 15 dollars a month. Another thing that I have learned on my debt freedom journey is that small savings matter in the grand scheme of things. This makes me think twice about my weekly Starbucks runs. Speaking of groceries, I have started making my version of Starbucks at home, saving on gas and extra funds for miscellaneous spending. Trading out UberEATS for meal prepping has saved me over $200 a month. Spending time preparing a grocery list and signing up for grocery reward clubs leads to significant savings. I buy many products due to my vegan diet, so I started looking for online coupons for my favorite brands. Organizing and storing my coupons over time and matching store discount codes have increased my attention to detail in other areas of my life. Watching my monthly grocery bill decrease over time, even my $20 is more funds I can throw at smaller debts. My last-ditch effort to save money was to start saying no to social events that would cause me to spend more than my budget. If COVID has taught me one thing, it is to focus on what you need.
    Abhi Khune Underrepresented Minorities Scholarship
    Technology wasn’t emphasized or accessible growing up—my school had a small computer lab shared between grades 6-12. Consequently, “computer science” wasn’t in my vocabulary until my senior year of high school. I was primarily focused on ethics in international relations and economics at that time due to my transformative semester experience at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership during my junior year. I was steadfast on this track until a close friend recommended I look into computer science to see if I’d be interested. I ultimately decided to PERM into Introduction to Python in the fall semester of my first year while also taking economics. Towards the end of my first year, to my surprise, I found myself more in favor of computer science. Though the work and concepts were difficult to grasp, I felt supported during mentor sessions and energized working alongside my peers. Above all, I saw a future of possibilities. The computer science major is a door to many different fields and applications. Over the past two summers, I have scratched the surface with internships developing mobile applications for task management and financial machine learning models. At Chaminade University, the major is comprehensive—equipping students with the necessities and flexibility to explore their interests in electives and outside the major. Because of this, I’ve also been able to engage in Africana Studies courses, where I can apply my CS knowledge to develop a greater sense of self and understanding of our world. Chaminade’s liberal arts education has allowed me to engage in a rich intersection of my interests and ponder: How has technology been used to perpetuate long-lasting systems of oppression? How can it be used as a tool to liberate us from these systems? And what roles can technology play in helping build a brighter future? Currently, I am a fellow at Code for Equity with Impact Labs, where my team is brainstorming and building ways to answer these questions by creating a digital social space for nurses. I am a double major in both computer science and nursing, a challenging feat to say the least. So I have decided to merge both of my interests regarding future operations. I started my pre-nursing career as a nurse aide at various hospitals. Working with paper charts and forms, I observed many opportunities for data and technology to improve nursing and healthcare delivery significantly. After nearly five years at the bedside, my interest shifted to a nursing informatics role as a system administrator for a clinical documentation system. After speaking with my manager, I learned I would need to return to school to pursue a CS degree. When I was at the bedside, I could only make a difference for the handful of patients I could care for on a shift. As a future informatics nurse, I could work to implement technology and improve information systems, business processes, data, and reports that could positively impact all patients and patient care staff. Another future goal is to install my first nurse staffing and scheduling system, thus providing better patient care and health outcomes. As an African American student working in computer science, I noticed that we are underrepresented in various roles. To address the shortage, I have partnered with the National Health Institute to recruit and retain minorities in the data science field. I volunteer my time at local high schools to introduce the world of data science and the endless routes one could take to achieve such. Addressing the shortage starts with awareness and exposure, and I am proud to be a part of the movement.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    I'm that one friend you don't have to speak to daily, but you know I'm always there for you. I pride myself on being dependable, and I generally don't expect anything in return for my acts of service. I'm more of an introverted personality, so I value the few unique friendships that I have. The thing is, I want to get to know someone: Tell me about who you are and what you dream of doing, and then show me you want to listen to me, as well. Given the careful work it takes to form and maintain relationships, making the right connections makes us introverts happy. I feel misunderstood and overwhelmed by the vast majority of people, so it’s fantastic when I finally find someone I bond with. Maybe because this is a rare event, I’ve come to value it even more. Because introverts tend to be reserved, finding the right fit in a friendship can be a fantastic experience. Have a gazillion acquaintances surprised you by showing up at your house for your birthday and then not leaving? No, no, no, please, no. But having a close friend or two who help you feel understood while you navigate this strange planet? Yes, exactly! While having just a few friends — or even being your own best friend — is not the societal standard of popularity, it’s the ideal of happiness for introverts. Who cares about popularity? I’m happy with my small friend circle, and that’s all that’s needed: quality over quantity. I used to think that, one day, I would finally grow out of being a shy, quiet kid. Maybe after I made it through adulthood, I’d become loud, talkative, and fun-loving, magically developing all the people skills I could ever dream about. I hate to burst your bubble, but that didn’t happen. Instead, learning about introversion, and understanding what introverts need to feel happy, has led me to reevaluate how I try to fit myself into societal standards of happiness. If we measure our happiness by how many friends we have and how many dates we go on each week, introverts may find themselves lagging behind. But maybe — just maybe — what the world needs is an upheaval of things that make people happy. It can seem like the world is full of bright lights telling everyone to socialize, meet people, and “be happy.” Yet things that make introverts the happiest don’t often fit with mainstream culture: While introverts are, of course, diverse in our needs and ambitions, we feel content when we finally get some space, time, and quiet so we can hear our thoughts. I love the introverted part of my personality because my happiness comes from within, inside my mind. I can share this genuine happiness with others, thus presenting my authentic self. The best way I can imagine spending a day? Oh, reading, doing quiet yoga, then journaling for a couple of hours. Extrovert friends, it’s not at all a downer for me if I have to spend time alone (and I’m starting to realize I’m not actually weird for needing it). When we choose, we can break out of our shells, get to know people, and be happy when surrounded by those we love. But we can also find meaningful happiness through exploring our quiet, reflective sides — and as introverts, that’s where the magic happens. I hope to inspire others to show up in whatever setting as their authentic selves, offering their unique talents to the world.
    Samuel L. Goodman Educational Scholarship
    Aloha! Goodman Family I was excited to read the brief history of the late Samuel L. Goodman; I can relate to his belief in the value of education and his role as an electrician. I am a former member of the U.S. Air Force, and my first job was as an electrician. Although I only made it as a Journeyman’s electrician, it is a valuable trade to have if I didn’t choose the college route. I am in my third year of nursing at The Chaminade University of Honolulu, which has a population of primarily pacific islanders, making my attendance as an African American even more critical. I want to think of myself as a life-long learner, which is why I seize every opportunity to recruit minorities into STEM majors. I was raised by a single mom of two in the inner city of Chicago, thus having first-hand knowledge of the lack of opportunities presented to those of a lower socioeconomic class. One of my goals as a future nurse and as a positive influence in my community is to be an example that it is possible to achieve and overcome a troubled childhood and educate them on the various ways to obtain higher education. For the last two years, I have partnered with the National Institute of Health to retain minorities in the STEM field and conduct research on various mental health issues that plague the African American community. Another one of my future goals is to become a psychiatric mental health nurse serving an underserved community. I believe that the pursuit of higher education can be used as a tool to empower the community and diversify the workforce further. Before my mother joined the military to improve our socioeconomic status, my sister and I attended public schools that lacked the resources required to put us ahead of our peers in better school districts. Many African American students attend what is now classified as “hyper-segregated” schools—a term referring to schools segregated by race and socioeconomic level. These schools also disproportionately lack the quality resources that students need to learn and thrive, such as credentialed and experienced educators, challenging curricular offerings, quality facilities, and access to technology. These segregated learning environments undermine learning opportunities and negatively impact children of all races. My role as a military officer and a nurse student has required me to enhance my critical-thinking skills. How can one acquire such a vital skill without proper education and guidance? I had not been challenged to think during my younger years. One of the benefits of education is that the educational system teaches us how to obtain and develop critical and logical thinking and make independent decisions. When children become adults, they face many challenging issues – paying off their student loans, getting a job, buying a car and a house, providing for their family, etc. However, if one has spent years educating themselves, one should be able to make sound decisions on these various difficulties. Not only are people able to form their own opinions, but they are also good at finding solid and reliable arguments and evidence to back up and confirm their decisions. Suffice it to say that education matters. Studies have shown that more educated people are more likely to live longer, healthier lives and even more likely to help strangers. The more diverse and well-rounded we can make education for children, the better educated they’ll be. I pray that I can be an example for my younger self and community that it is possible to dream and see that dream through via education.
    Growing with Gabby Scholarship
    Aloha! Gabby It’s 6 AM Hawaii time, and I have just completed a 20-minute run, having been away from the sport for more than a year. I feel tremendous yet sore and a bit like my old self, but I am proud. Thank you, Gabby, for providing a creative prompt for applicants to ponder. The beauty of growth is that you don’t have to wait until the new year to start. This year has challenged me; I am a third-year nursing student. The program is rather challenging, and I became obsessed with achieving A’s somewhere along the way. That may sound great to some, but my pursuit of success was quite unhealthy. Spending hours In my room, neglecting family and friends, and not supporting my body with good food and exercise quickly caught up to me. As a result, my mental health started to deteriorate, friends stopped calling, I appeared more agitated, and my boyfriend was on the verge of leaving me. I probably would have walked away from me too. My whole objective was to “be perfect” academically. Still, I didn’t have the awareness to know that no one is perfect and that I was setting myself up for failure both physically and emotionally. Something had to change. As the fall 2022 semester came and went, I started to think of ways to change my behavior for the spring. The first thing to change was my mindset, which switched from perfectionism to realism, quickly understanding that HR will not care about my grades in the future. The second change was my outlook on establishing genuine connections with family and friends. I deleted social sites on and off to be more present in my relationships. It was weird at first not to be “connected” with people online, but we forget that real connections are outside the computer. I noticed that I had more time to do the things I enjoyed, such as reading, and I could finally show up for myself without telling the world about it. Winning in silence appears to be my new mantra. The run I talked about earlier would have been posted to social media by this point, but then I thought, this run is for me and no one else. You are running for your own physical and mental health, and some things can be kept to yourself. Another part of myself that I am continuing to work on is how I treat others. Nursing school is super competitive; sometimes, friendly competition can turn into slight jealousy. Again, I shifted my mindset from “I want what he/she has” to we all have the gifts that we can contribute to the world, so be proud of your friends and grateful for what you have. The shift in the change in behavior all started with a simple decision to change my thoughts. This life will challenge and test me, but I can choose how I respond and feel about a situation. On the contrary, only some actions call for a reaction from me. With that said, this year, I have also learned the practice of silence, meaning I am listening more than I speak. This has helped me to make wiser decisions with my choice of words and to make more meaningful connections. My journey of self-discovery is beautiful and has made me more patient with myself and others. Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.
    Marichal Family STEM Scholarship
    Crouched on the floor in the fetal position in my parking garage…. all I desired was a way out of my own head. I wanted to end my life, is what I told the EMT as I was escorted to the 4th floor of a suicide watch floor. This memory lives vividly in my mind at the tender age of 31. The memory stemmed from a very dark period when I was exiting my hard-earned military career. My psychiatrist was trying the trial-and-error approach to treating my severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. My body and my mind were just tired of it all, tired of searching for answers and wanting to be “fixed.” It was a very lonely time for me, and my family lived thousands of miles away, so they were scared too. My mental health affected me personally and the people around me. As aforementioned, my family felt helpless because all they could do was offer their moral support, which sometimes fell on deaf ears. My husband, at the time, was alarmed and in a state of shock most of the time. Now that I look back, I am not sure he knows how to help or what to do. He would call home to his family to report, “something is wrong with Brittany". When I began college, my heart was hurting. I felt trapped in a dark place, deep within a hole. An abusive relationship led me to depression and anxiety. I felt empty. I attempted to fill this emptiness with relationships and church. But I couldn’t find the answers I needed. Life was rough, and I was stuck in the pain of my past. It was during this time that a friend invited me to come to her “life group” — a small gathering of friends who studied the Bible together. The group asked for prayer requests. I spoke up, asking for peace and acceptance of my circumstances. As they prayed, a feeling of calm came over me. That caught my attention. For the next year, I continued to go to the life group. Then I attended a faith-based retreat called Women’s Weekend. For 48 hours, I was with a caring community of women. I saw how their faith made them different — in a good way — and I realized that’s what I wanted to be like. While on this retreat, I learned more about who God is and how to have a relationship with Him. I placed my trust in Christ at the end of that weekend. There is a verse in the Bible that perfectly describes where I was and where I am now: “[God] brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me because He delighted in me” (2 Samuel 22:20, New American Standard Bible). God rescued me from a place that I thought I could not escape – and I haven’t been to that place since. Two years ago, the idea of trusting God and allowing Him to take care of me was not something I would have thought possible. But through my friends and faith community, I have learned more about who God is. I now know how to have a relationship with God even during rough times. The love I always needed is from God. He delights in me, and He has brought me into a new place.
    Manuela Calles Scholarship for Women
    Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact Scholarship
    We live in an age where online commentary is misinterpreted as truth, impacting users' real life behind the computer. I believe that if something does not change regarding online behavior, given the rise in social media usage, future generations will be impacted. In the world of online gaming, undesirable behavior is commonplace. Players will kill teammates, verbally abuse their peers, and misdirect new community members, spreading chaos and disorder. These people are called ‘trolls,’ and their behavior is ‘ trolling'. Trolling is a subject of apparent academic confusion; a few studies conducted thus far yielded a variety of conflicting definitions regarding what constitutes trolling behavior and little information regarding trolling motivations. In addition to what trolls do, limited research has been conducted into the causes and goals behind their actions – why and who they choose to troll and what gratifies them. On the contrary, you could argue that online gaming creates a sense of community. Games possess more than just the power to connect us emotionally. There has been an increase in adult game players post-COVID. Brought together by servers and matchmaking algorithms, these strangers quickly learn how to work together to achieve a common goal. The effects of the rise of social media affect the way that we communicate with others in our lives. Walk into any restaurant or social event, and you will notice that almost everyone is using their phones. I have taken several social media breaks during the semester to engage with people in my real life. It often feels like I have a hard time holding an actual conversation or speaking about something I saw on social media. Social media has some damaging effects on communication skills and, unfortunately, lasting harmful effects when social media is used in excess or obsessively. One, it affects the ways individuals react to emotions, social cues, or nonverbal cues, as it erases this critical aspect of the basis of communication. Secondly, it often elicits this normalized lessened social activity face-to-face interactions, as individuals will associate social media communication with effective communication and then in hand reducing the likelihood of having face-to-face interactions. Lastly, self-esteem and self-confidence are often negatively affected by social media and unrealistic expectations; this affects communication skills, leaving individuals with negative feelings about themselves and hindering their communication with others, as internally are struggling and not feeling adequate. I am a true advocate for being actively conscious of time spent on social media and how it affects you emotionally, physically, and mentally. I also have a recent blog on the effects of social media on mental health. Furthermore, social media and gaming forum etiquette should be something that should be more emphasized. Be cautious, be aware, and ensure you have active face-to-face communications for your mental health. Meaningful interactions.
    Jeannine Schroeder Women in Public Service Memorial Scholarship
    Winner
    I was in elementary school when I first became aware of environments of racism. It was something I read about in books, and it was something I witnessed firsthand while growing up in the Richard Allen projects. At the ages of 10 and 14, I saw people in my neighborhood murdered for resisting arrest. I remember thinking that I needed to step up and raise people’s levels of consciousness about these issues to stop these environments of racism. I began reading Malcolm X in elementary school and learned that he intervened in incidents of police brutality to help people. I discovered that some people hate each other because of their differences. I decided that instead, people should unite, love each other, and stand firm. My success meant nothing if I wasn’t using it to help someone else. I involved myself in social activism and started my social activist group with my Uncle Wayne in 2014. Our group, called the Unitarian Universalist Activism Social Lounge for a Wealthy Mind and Conscience (UUA), battles white supremacy and black supremacy through protesting, sign-holding, and good works. We meet every Thursday and encourage people to see that wealth comes from the heart and mind — not the pocket. Black or white, it’s not the dollar that validates your group; each individual’s intelligence and awareness of their own heart and consciousness. A lot of people are joining us and becoming social activists now. Still, others are hesitant to participate because they fear getting locked up for protesting. That’s a real possibility, but no one from my group has gotten locked up. Sometimes, the police will even honk their horn for support and justice when they drive by. This is astonishing; many police are changing their ways and protecting the community. I use my platform as a social activist to love my community. Outside of the work I do with my group, I often offer spare rooms in my apartment to house people in need. More people should do things like that. Black or white, it’s horrendous that people have to endure homelessness and poverty. Community members should step up and help people experiencing homelessness by being kindhearted (assisting people in getting programs) and having faith that we can help them get back on their feet. In addition to my social activism, I work as a private contractor and a library volunteer at Mcpherson Square Branch. At the library, I try to be an example to the kids. I want them to know that if they want to be a social activist, they can do it, too. Whatever they want to be, they should go for it and pursue their dreams. In Kensington, the need for social activism is enormous. Kensington is one of the most dangerous areas in Philadelphia right now, and two specific needs here are to stop violence and drug use. These problems make me upset. People on drugs still deserve to live a good life, but it feels like they are not listening to reasoning and logic and overlooking the benefits of stopping drug use. However, I believe there must be a break to this vicious cycle one day. Preventing drug use could raise their consciousness and allow them to make better decisions about life. It’s only a matter of time. The goal is to both motivate to inspire my community. Motivation is only temporary while inspiration can stay with someone forever and enable them to change within themselves.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    Crouched on the floor in the fetal position in my parking garage…. all I desired was a way out of my head. I wanted to end my life, is what I told the EMT as I was escorted to the 4th floor of a suicide watch floor. This memory lives vividly in my mind at the tender age of 31. The memory stemmed from a very dark period when I was exiting my hard-earned military career. My psychiatrist was trying the trial-and-error approach to treating my severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. My body and my mind were just tired of it all, tired of searching for answers and wanting to be “fixed.” I felt ostracized by my peers and my family because I could not figure out what was happening, at least not to the extent that I could explain it. I didn’t know who to go to or where to run. It was a very lonely time for me, and my family lived thousands of miles away, so they were scared too. Coming out of the dark stages of a mental health crisis is scary enough, but not knowing when it will end is another story. I remember marking days on my calendar as a win if I just woke up in the morning. My life as a decorated military officer had been reduced to an infantile state. I would sleep for days, and I gained fifty pounds in one year. As I mentioned before, I was exiting the military, so I needed to plan despite my current state of mind. Then, I noticed the lack of resources available besides taking more medications. The medications were scary enough because they affect your brain chemistry. I was either in a zombified state or in a state of having high energy. So, one would have to imagine how taxing and tiring that would be on the body. My mental health affected me personally and the people around me. As aforementioned, my family felt helpless because all they could do was offer their moral support, which sometimes fell on deaf ears. My husband, at the time, was alarmed and in a state of shock most of the time. Now that I look back, I am not sure he knows how to help or what to do. He would call home to his family to report, “something is wrong with Brittany, and I don’t know what to do.” It was a weird place to be in because I needed help and support, but I seemed to be pushing the service away. Somewhere along the way, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to work more quickly than my providers. What are patients to do in the meantime while waiting on a referral? To fast forward a bit, it took 2-3 long years for me to be reborn again; I say reborn because I never want to return to the person of my past. I took from that experience my spirit of hope and compassion for those who still suffer today. The first thing that I changed was something that I could immediately control, which was my diet. I also joined a behavioral talk-therapy group, which was helpful if I implemented what was being taught. If you have the proper insurance, another obstacle, you could be offered such services. What happens to those who don’t have insurance? Yet, another gap in the mental health care system. Once my weight was managed, and I had some tools in my kit to perform vital daily activities, I wondered what was next. Fresh out of the military with a drawing interest in nursing and mental health, I decided to apply to a local community college. A smaller classroom environment and attending school only a few miles from my house was more ideal for my current mental state. I struggled throughout the semester to retain my focus for exams, but I still managed to pass. This was a significant triumph, given where I had come from. I could use this experience to show others that mental health does not have to take over your life. Maybe I could give hope to those who suffer, including their families, that the story doesn’t have to end with a diagnosis. Volunteering at the veteran affairs crisis center for 20 hours a week took me away from home. Being away from home and giving back to my community brought new meaning and purpose to my life. My next goal was to enter nursing school to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am happy to report that I successfully entered nursing school at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. My goal while attending was to find avenues to promote mental health awareness. I partnered with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct a two-year study on the effectiveness of dialectic behavioral therapy programs in Hawaii using data analytics. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. I started a student health mentorship club for minorities at my school. The club offers a free space for students to voice their concerns, and we help them access community resources to address their needs. The club went on to participate in medical awareness events throughout Hawaii, and the event raised $5,000 for Mental Health America. Our story doesn’t have to be written by a diagnosis. We are holding two pens!
    Si Se Puede Scholarship
    Well, we made it to 2022. I think if we learned anything in this last year, it’s perseverance. Life has a way of testing us. Just when things seem too hard or impossible, we find a way to overcome and grow. To me, perseverance is the ability to keep moving forward, even when times get tough. I believe personal growth occurs during tough times and times of adversity. The path to my goals has not always been easy, but I persevered. Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are 3 places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This plunder of thoughts is not abnormal to me; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing to serve is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. My mission as I continue to grow in my studies is to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Olivia Woods Memorial Scholarship
    “I think you should read this book,” my therapist said. When she makes a recommendation, my ears perk up in reverence. “It’s called ‘Attached,’” she continued. “Some of my other clients told me they’ve found it incredibly impactful, and I think it has the potential to help you, too.” It turns out that was an understatement. The next day, the book arrived at my apartment. I sat reading for hours, devouring the material as I furiously underlined important takeaways, feverishly highlighted memorable quotes, and fervently bookmarked pages. My mind was like a sponge soaking up as much information as possible. I had a-ha moment after a-ha moment. Page after page and example after example, I saw the imprint of my past written there in black and white. I’ve never felt more seen in my life. All the missteps and mistakes of my dating life finally made sense. My mind stepped in and healed my heart when it needed it most. Stephen King once wrote that “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” If that’s true, I was most certainly spellbound by this book’s powerful revelations about my attachment style. I started telling some of my friends about the realizations the book had inspired. I was experiencing what I call The Shift. The Shift occurs when something so revolutionary happens in your life that you have no choice but to reorganize your thoughts and reinterpret your experiences through this new lens. Your life becomes divided into before and after The Shift occurs. Try as you may; there’s no going back to the way things were before. You have experienced an earthquake of the mind—a massive and influential transformation of perspective that completely shakes up and changes how you approach the world. That’s the power of The Shift. That’s the power of the written word. That’s the power of a good book. Books are the keys that open doors to new worlds full of unexplored possibilities. Books bend the limits of language and time, helping knowledge transcend generations and centuries, oceans and latitudes. Books mirror your past, present and potential back to you—and can instantly alter the course of your life. And so it was with ‘Attached.’ But it wasn’t the only book to play a significant part in my life. So far, I’ve experienced The Shift on 13 different occasions. One of the most incredible things a book can do is help you realize your limitations—and evolve beyond them. I have 13 favorite books that represent Stepping stones on the path to enlightened living—light bulbs that further illuminated my life and helped guide me through the darkness. These books completely converted my convictions and led me to a deeper awareness, understanding, and appreciation for my life and all its ups and downs, twists and turns. And I hope books do the same for you!
    Lotus Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This plunder of thoughts is not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
    My acceptance to nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers, who I felt could benefit from such. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Tim Watabe Doing Hard Things Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. These plunder of thoughts are not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Harry & Mary Sheaffer Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    CATALYSTS Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship
    I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. With nursing, you will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Hearts on Sleeves, Minds in College Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This plunder of thoughts is not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM
    Cliff T. Wofford STEM Scholarship
    Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers, who I felt could benefit from such. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. The description of my thoughts- is random to some; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Supermom Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. The description of my thoughts- is random to some; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Yvela Michele Memorial Scholarship for Resilient Single Parents
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. The description of my thoughts- is random to some; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Holt Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This plunder of thoughts is not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Mikey Taylor Memorial Scholarship
    Crouched on the floor in the fetal position in my parking garage…. all I desired was a way out of my head. I wanted to end my life, is what I told the EMT as I was escorted to the 4th floor of a suicide watch floor. This memory lives vividly in my mind at the tender age of 31. The memory stemmed from a very dark period when I was exiting my hard-earned military career. My psychiatrist was trying the trial-and-error approach to treating my severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. My body and my mind were just tired of it all, tired of searching for answers and wanting to be “fixed.” I felt ostracized by my peers and my family because I could not figure out what was happening, at least not to the extent that I could explain it. I didn’t know who to go to or where to run. It was a very lonely time for me, and my family lived thousands of miles away, so they were scared too. Coming out of the dark stages of a mental health crisis is scary enough, but not knowing when it will end is another story. I remember marking days on my calendar as a win if I just woke up in the morning. My life as a decorated military officer had been reduced to an infantile state. I would sleep for days, and I gained fifty pounds in one year. As I mentioned before, I was exiting the military, so I needed to plan despite my current state of mind. Then, I noticed the lack of resources available besides taking more medications. The medications were scary enough because they affect your brain chemistry. I was either in a zombified state or in a state of having high energy. So, one would have to imagine how taxing and tiring that would be on the body. My mental health affected me personally and the people around me. As aforementioned, my family felt helpless because all they could do was offer their moral support, which sometimes fell on deaf ears. My husband, at the time, was alarmed and in a state of shock most of the time. Now that I look back, I am not sure he knows how to help or what to do. He would call home to his family to report, “something is wrong with Brittany, and I don’t know what to do.” It was a weird place to be in because I needed help and support, but I seemed to be pushing the service away. Somewhere along the way, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to work more quickly than my providers. What are patients to do in the meantime while waiting on a referral? To fast forward a bit, it took 2-3 long years for me to see a shift within myself. spirit of hope and compassion for myself and my family never wavered. I began to focus on what I could control, which was my diet. I also joined a behavioral talk-therapy group, which was helpful if I implemented what was being taught. If you have the proper insurance, another obstacle, you could be offered such services. What happens to those who don’t have insurance? Yet, another gap in the mental health care system. I am happy to report that I successfully entered nursing school at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. I partnered with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct a two-year study on the effectiveness of dialectic behavioral therapy programs in Hawaii.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    Crouched on the floor in the fetal position in my parking garage…. all I desired was a way out of my head. I wanted to end my life, is what I told the EMT as I was escorted to the 4th floor of a suicide watch floor. This memory lives vividly in my mind at the tender age of 31. The memory stemmed from a very dark period when I was exiting my hard-earned military career. My psychiatrist was trying the trial-and-error approach to treating my severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. My body and my mind were just tired of it all, tired of searching for answers and wanting to be “fixed.” I felt ostracized by my peers and my family because I could not figure out what was happening, at least not to the extent that I could explain it. I didn’t know who to go to or where to run. It was a very lonely time for me, and my family lived thousands of miles away, so they were scared too. Coming out of the dark stages of a mental health crisis is scary enough, but not knowing when it will end is another story. I remember marking days on my calendar as a win if I just woke up in the morning. My life as a decorated military officer had been reduced to an infantile state. I would sleep for days, and I gained fifty pounds in one year. As I mentioned before, I was exiting the military, so I needed to plan despite my current state of mind. Then, I noticed the lack of resources available besides taking more medications. The medications were scary enough because they affect your brain chemistry. I was either in a zombified state or in a state of having high energy. So, one would have to imagine how taxing and tiring that would be on the body. My mental health affected me personally and the people around me. As aforementioned, my family felt helpless because all they could do was offer their moral support, which sometimes fell on deaf ears. My husband, at the time, was alarmed and in a state of shock most of the time. Now that I look back, I am not sure he knows how to help or what to do. He would call home to his family to report, “something is wrong with Brittany, and I don’t know what to do.” It was a weird place to be in because I needed help and support, but I seemed to be pushing the service away. Somewhere along the way, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to work more quickly than my providers. What are patients to do in the meantime while waiting on a referral? To fast forward a bit, it took 2-3 long years for me to see a shift within myself. spirit of hope and compassion for myself and my family never wavered. I began to focus on what I could control, which was my diet. I also joined a behavioral talk-therapy group, which was helpful if I implemented what was being taught. If you have the proper insurance, another obstacle, you could be offered such services. What happens to those who don’t have insurance? Yet, another gap in the mental health care system. I am happy to report that I successfully entered nursing school at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. I partnered with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct a two-year study on the effectiveness of dialectic behavioral therapy programs in Hawaii.
    Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Antonie Bernard Thomas Memorial Scholarship
    #1 Strong leadership and communication skills I am fortunate enough to have been a member of service to this country on both the enlisted side of the Air Force and the officer side of the Army. One could only imagine the culture shock that would breed valuable lessons as we are to discuss today. I have learned to lead without a title, which means you can lead without needing a position or formal authority. I have removed my military uniforms and traded them for nursing scrubs. My job and definition of a leader are to create more leaders through effective engagement and influence demonstrated by actions. Leaders show up—overly simplistic thought. But in today’s world of “more tasks than time,” the simple act of being present of following through on commitments may distinguish excellence from mediocrity. I am enrolled in a competitive nursing program where comparing grades is constantly discussed. I am pleased with my performance thus far, not only due to academics but due to my reputation of participation. I pride myself on showing up to volunteer at nursing events when no one else wants to. My participation shows dedication to my craft. We all have had that one professor who enjoyed her job and the topic being taught; it shows. When speaking with someone, I apply two principles; one is to listen with intention, and the second, is to talk to everyone with the same respect. People should feel safe with me when I voice their concerns, so I stay fully aware of what is going on at work or school. My career objective is to become a psychiatric nurse with a distant goal of opening a mental health rehabilitation therapeutic farm, offering services to underserved communities and veterans. #2 Resilience For me, the most challenging part about running is dealing with injuries. I have had everything from femoral stress fractures to shin splints to plantar fasciitis. It is always tough when you realize (or when the doctor tells you) that after months of working hard and training, you must take a break from running because of an injury. I usually allow myself a day or two to mope about an injury. Then I try my hardest to find ways to bounce back from the disappointment and be a resilient runner. How we handle our setbacks will determine our happiness and success in life. #3 Unselfish One of the most common examples of people being selfish is that they continuously turn conversations back toward themselves. This is only natural. People like to talk about themselves. I intentionally start conversations by asking people how their day is going. Then, I ask questions that further the discussion and try to learn more about their situation. #4 and #5: Focused / determined & Strong work ethic This semester I am proud of myself for sticking to a study schedule by reducing my cell phone usage. We live in a work of distractibility, meaning one must be disciplined to prioritize what matters. I would only scroll on my phone before 9 pm to get to bed on time. The better part of myself would turn off my cell phone for 3-4 hours blocks to get ahead on the material. My classmates repeatedly called me “boring” or that I had “no life” because it appeared that all I did was study. They didn’t understand that I was “driven,” a step above “determined.” 14-hour study days became regular, and 4 am gym sessions before working a 12-hour shift set me apart from the back.
    Charlie Akers Memorial Scholarship
    Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This plunder of thoughts is not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. I am happy to report that I successfully entered nursing school at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. My goal while attending was to find avenues to promote mental health awareness. I partnered with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct a two-year study on the effectiveness of dialectic behavioral therapy programs in Hawaii using data analytics. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. I started a student health mentorship club for minorities at my school. The club offers a free space for students to voice their concerns, and we help them access community resources to address their needs. The club went on to participate in medical awareness events throughout Hawaii, and the event raised $5,000 for Mental Health America. Our story doesn’t have to be written by a rough upbringing. We are holding two pens!
    Audra Dominguez "Be Brave" Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Crouched on the floor in the fetal position in my parking garage…. all I desired was a way out of my head. I wanted to end my life, is what I told the EMT as I was escorted to the 4th floor of a suicide watch floor. This memory lives vividly in my mind at the tender age of 31. The memory stemmed from a very dark period when I was exiting my hard-earned military career. My psychiatrist was trying the trial-and-error approach to treating my severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. My body and my mind were just tired of it all, tired of searching for answers and wanting to be “fixed.” Little did I know my life would take a 360 turn. Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This depiction of thoughts is not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    NE1 NE-Dream Scholarship
    Still, I Rise Bed alarms are going off left and right. Someone is calling my name, but I've been attending to the same patient for 30 minutes. There are three places to be, but I can only be at one. Do I need to order more medication for my first patient? My feet hurt. The patient in room eight requested assistance, telling her family she wanted to stop chemotherapy. I have an exam in the morning, but I am working a 12-hour shift today. This plunder of thoughts is not abnormal; they often occur within the first 15-20 minutes of my clinical change. I still remember my smiling face as I took my first ID photo; I was very innocent but also naive to the gravity of nurses' responsibility. The blessing of serving is something that I wear with a sense of pride. Every day we make a choice to improve the lives of others, the extension of life is God-given, and he has called me to this place despite my uncertain past. The road to nursing did not start on a yellow road but rather a rose from the concrete. I grew up in the inner city of Chicago, where it was rare to see people of color in higher places. My vision of success was making it safely to and from home. My hard-working single mother of two tried her best to shield us from the horrors of the world. I did not know that we were impoverished too much later in my life. My mother's strength is something I can't put into words. As a low-income African American family, my mother sought every opportunity to ensure that my sister and I had the best education. I am forever grateful to her. She made us believe that you don't have to give into the stereotypes that the world places on you. She always said, "First! You must Believe that it's possible". I would only know what that meant for a couple of years. The summer before my junior year of High School, my mother made me read a book by Dr.Ben Carson. I was thrilled, finally, someone in the medical community who looked as I did and with a similar struggle. A flame was ignited in me after that summer. I would enlist in the United States Air Force as a flight medic. Upon my exit from the military, I enrolled at Chaminade University as a nursing student, and I never looked back. My summers are spent volunteering with children who have Sickle-Cell Anemia and have allowed me to look at life through the lens of others. As I continue to grow in my studies, I aim to give back to underserved communities in any aspect I can and inspire those who have experienced misfortune. My circumstances have not defined my life. I wrote a new story with my head held even higher! Servant-Leader I AM!
    Mochahope Black Excellence Scholarship
    Playing on various sports teams for over thirteen years, I have come to develop a life structured around athletics. As I conclude my Junior year of college, I approach my final debut of competing as a college athlete. Although this incredible chapter of my life is ending, the lessons I learned, the values I gained, and the character I built will persist into the next chapter of my life. College athletics is at the forefront of my best, most nostalgic, and heartwarming memories. From breaking my school’s 4 x 200-meter relay record for the track to losing in the state championship for soccer, the bad and the good alike, these are the memories I love and the time I will miss. The lessons I learned through these moments are what shaped my life and what drives my ambitions. The most important lesson I learned through school athletics is overcoming adversity. I found that attitude alone can resolve a problem. I realized there is always value in a well‐intended effort, no matter the outcome. I learned faith is contagious; the more you believe in others, the more they will believe in you. I knew the real purpose of forgiveness is to free yourself from the suffering and irritation holding you back. College athletics helped me overcome one of my life’s most significant obstacles: a friend's death. While standing at a fellow Chaminade University athlete’s funeral, I began to truly grasp the impact of high school athletics on my life. His death was an unexpected tragedy that devastated my community. However, as an athletic community, we all came together to support his fellow basketball team teammates. As an athletic body, we mourned his death together, relied on each other for support, learned a new respect for one another, and became closer than ever. I experienced the true power of love and how it affected all of us. I learned to be grateful for every moment and the importance of memories. Memories are what last. As people come and go, it is the memories we hold on to; for as long as there is a memory of them, they live in our hearts forever. From double-session soccer tryouts to seemingly impossible track workouts, I have learned the value of hard work. Athletics is not about winning; rather it’s about improving as an individual and growing as a team. It’s about seeing how far you can push yourself without giving up. Athletics has taught me to persevere when times get tough, and that success does not build character; failure builds character. College athletics has also allowed me to work outside of my social group and build relationships with individuals I otherwise would have never met. As an underclassman, I looked up to the upperclassmen as the perfect role models, and I can say, without a doubt, these boys changed me as an individual and an athlete. I built friendships that will last a lifetime. Now, as a captain of two sports teams, I lead and shape my teammates. Seeing my teammates and sisters grow, improve, and succeed, I can see the differences It makes. I am forever thankful for the values and the lessons I have gained from them. However, I was never alone in my journey. I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices my parents, coaches, and teammates made for me; their gifts and the values and lessons I learned shaped my life, and I don’t know where I would be without them.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    Crouched on the floor in the fetal position in my parking garage…. all I desired was a way out of my own head. I wanted to end my life, is what I told the EMT as I was escorted to the 4th floor of a suicide watch floor. This memory lives vividly in my mind at the tender age of 31. The memory stemmed from a very dark period when I was exiting my hard-earned military career. My psychiatrist was trying the trial-and-error approach to treating my severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. My body and my mind were just tired of it all, tired of searching for answers and wanting to be “fixed.” I felt ostracized by my peers and my family because I could not figure out what was happening, at least not to the extent that I could explain it. I didn’t know who to go to or where to run. It was a very lonely time for me, and my family lived thousands of miles away, so they were scared too. Coming out of the dark stages of a mental health crisis is scary enough, but not knowing when it will end is another story. I remember marking days on my calendar as a win if I just woke up in the morning. My life as a decorated military officer had been reduced to an infantile state. I would sleep for days, and I gained fifty pounds in one year. As I mentioned before, I was exiting the military, so I needed to plan despite my current state of mind. Then, I noticed the lack of resources available to me other than taking more medications. The medications were scary enough because they affect your brain chemistry. I was either in a zombified state or in a state of having high energy. So, one would have to imagine how taxing and tiring that would be on the body. My mental health affected me personally and the people around me. As aforementioned, my family felt helpless because all they could do was offer their moral support, which sometimes fell on deaf ears. My husband, at the time, was alarmed and in a state of shock most of the time. Now that I look back, I am not sure he knows how to help or what to do. He would call home to his family to report, “something is wrong with Brittany, and I don’t know what to do.” It was a weird place to be in because I needed help and support, but I seemed to be pushing the service away. Somewhere along the way, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to work more quickly than my providers. What are patients to do in the meantime while waiting on a referral? To fast forward a bit, it took 2-3 long years for me to be reborn again; I say reborn because I never want to return to the person of my past. I took from that experience my spirit of hope and compassion for those who still suffer today. The first thing that I changed was something that I could immediately control, which was my diet. I also joined a behavioral talk-therapy group, which was helpful if I implemented what was being taught. If you have the proper insurance, another obstacle, you could be offered such services. What happens to those who don’t have insurance? Yet, another gap in the mental health care system. Once my weight was managed, and I had some tools in my kit to perform vital daily activities, I wondered what was next. Fresh out of the military with a drawing interest in nursing and mental health, I decided to apply to a local community college. A smaller classroom environment and attending school only a few miles from my house was more ideal for my current mental state. I struggled throughout the semester to retain my focus for exams, but I still managed to pass. This was a significant triumph, given where I had come from. I could use this experience to show others that mental health does not have to take over your life. Maybe I could give hope to those who suffer, including their families, that the story doesn’t have to end with a diagnosis. Volunteering at the veteran affairs crisis center for 20 hours a week took me away from home. Being away from home and giving back to my community brought new meaning and purpose to my life. My next goal was to enter nursing school to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am happy to report that I successfully entered nursing school at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. My goal while attending was to find avenues to promote mental health awareness. I partnered with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct a two-year study on the effectiveness of dialectic behavioral therapy programs in Hawaii using data analytics. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. I started a student health mentorship club for minorities at my school. The club offers a free space for students to voice their concerns, and we help them access community resources to address their needs. The club went on to participate in medical awareness events throughout Hawaii, and the event raised $5,000 for Mental Health America. Our story doesn’t have to be written by a diagnosis. We are holding two pens!
    Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. As a person who struggles with a mental health diagnosis, I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Sigirci-Jones scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients. Having a mental illness can be incredibly isolating. My depression makes it hard for me to believe that I deserve help and even harder to find the motivation to seek it out. That means it is essential for me to be conscious of signs that I need help with and make an extra effort to connect with the resources I need. On the mental health side, I keep tabs on my mood and look for indicators that I need another therapy appointment. I recently reached out to my primary care physician for medication to help me manage some of my more severe symptoms.
    @GrowingWithGabby National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    @normandiealise National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    @frankadvice National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    Future Leaders in Technology Scholarship - College Award
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Chris Jackson Computer Science Education Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse in informatics.
    Dashanna K. McNeil Memorial Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Dashanna K. McNeil scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minorities in STEM. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to my future career in nursing.
    Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Do Good scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minorities in STEM. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Do Good Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Do Good scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minorities in STEM. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    John J Costonis Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the John J. Costonis scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to my future career in nursing.
    Maggie's Way- International Woman’s Scholarship
    My name is Brittany Johnson, and I am a College of Nursing junior. I am the daughter of two survivors of the Rwandan genocide, in which about 800,000 lost their lives in a majority-Hutu-sponsored violence against Tutsis. Upon arrival in their new home, my parents made it their mission to create a safe, nurturing environment for their family. I want to speak more about my East African heritage and the lessons I learned from her courageous family members. Now a Junior majoring in nursing, I aim to make my parents proud by following the road to success while staying grounded in her cultural roots. Honoring their cultural roots…My parents wanted to raise two children in the United States but still maintain the rich African/ Iranian culture they were both raised with since childhood. My mom’s main priority was to invest her time in teaching my sister and me the importance of the African culture, including teaching us how to speak, read and write Farsi. A tough transition….Assimilating to the American culture was a significant challenge for my parents. When they came here, they faced a major obstacle: learning English. My father went to the states when he was a college student, so adjusting to the youthful, vibrant experience that America had to offer was relatively easy. However, there was a funny instance where my father got stopped by the police for speeding. The officer asked my father to get out of the car, and as he spoke to my dad, he took off running. The language barrier was the reason for the miscommunication that occurred. The only word my father could understand when the officer was speaking to him was the word ‘go,’ so he thought he was doing the right thing and just hurried along. Land of the free…My family never takes for granted the freedom associated with this country. The intangible liberties, such as freedom of speech and religion, are the characteristics that make my parents fully content with residing in this country. Having the privilege to speak one’s mind and express one’s thoughts without the potential interrogation of high power is an aspect they never take for granted. In addition, the law here is well-refined and grounded to a high extent, reducing the corruption inherent in the legal system in other countries.” A source of pride… I believe that being an immigrant is a highly respectable characteristic. It is incredibly challenging to leave one’s home and travel to another environment without understanding what the future will hold. Immigrants are the components of a diverse and prosperous society. They are the megaphones that serve as the voice of people from all around the world. I am incredibly proud of being the daughter of two dedicated and motivated immigrants that stop at no cost to reach their goals.” My academic/extracurricular activities include Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre-Grad Intern; Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity; Black Health Professions; Iranian Student Academic and Cultural Organization; Gateway Scholars, Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence; Presidential Scholars; Freshman Research Institute; LEAP Leadership; Student Leadership Institute. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Act Locally scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers, who I felt could benefit from such. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship
    I have felt the pull of deep philosophical questions since I first began debating Philosophy in classes at college. During the debates, I discovered I was particularly suited to Philosophy because of my analytical acumen and uncommon intellectual humility. However, I became dissatisfied with the lack of rigor and devotion to truth in the discussions. I decided to pursue my philosophical interests by reading and studying. The result of my private study was a love of the Philosophy of Mind and Neuroscience, and I decided to become a research assistant in a Neuroscience department. To fulfill my ambition, I plan to study philosophy to gain the requisite philosophical sophistication to tackle philosophical issues in my future work. Despite being aware that I possessed an uncommon natural intelligence, I was not very interested in my schoolwork until relatively late. I excelled in the Philosophy debates of the AS Level, and the strength of my arguments led to lengthy one-on-one discussions between me and my teacher, who recognized my philosophical gifts and sympathized with my frustration with the syllabus, which contained, to my mind, too many mistakes and misconceived arguments and theories that failed to challenge me. Although my chief interests are philosophical, at college, I did also enjoy the challenge of A-Level Computing, which helped develop my logical reasoning skills, while A-Level Economics also gave me a greater understanding of how theories are formed based on empirical evidence, an understanding which should stand me in great stead for the Philosophy of Science part of the degree, which I particularly look forward to studying, given my ambition. Outside of the classroom, I have been preparing myself for the degree through the intense reading of philosophical and scientific literature, mainly works that bridge the divide between Neuroscience and Philosophy of Mind, which I especially look forward to taking on the degree. I am a great fan of the philosophical works of the physicist and philosopher David Deutsch and the linguist Steven Pinker, from whom I have learned much about how language can reveal the secrets of human thought. I have developed some necessary personal qualities for scientific and philosophical research through my wide-ranging work experience. I began work as a kitchen porter a few years ago, and my work ethic and appetite for responsibility resulted in my quickly being entrusted with great responsibility as a night porter. Most recently, I have worked as a waiter and bar manager, waiting tables and dealing with customer inquiries and complaints. The work calls for quick thinking and preternatural calm, ideal qualities for a philosopher. I have also lived and worked abroad, where I learned how to live independently and provide for others, which gave me a less solipsistic perspective on life. Looking after children as a classroom assistant in a primary school also taught me how to communicate ideas clearly and simply, although the experience convinced me that I wish to be a researcher and not a teacher. In my spare time, when not reading philosophical literature, I love to teach myself computer programs, and I am currently taking a course on Cisco Systems. I am an avid player of tabletop games, and I run the youth division of the local tabletop gaming club, where I teach and manage youngsters. I want to create and manage a tabletop gaming club at university. “And if you find her poor, Ithaka has not fooled you. / Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, / You will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.” Cavafy was correct, indeed. Like any other reflective person, I am essentially a philosophical entity. While most people, perhaps those outside academic philosophy, would consider it a prime example, maybe along with Mathematics, of an established body of a priori truths, of some Ithaka (thus excluding themselves from the possibility of realizing their philosophical essence), I beg to differ. For years, though, unwise as I was, according to Cavafy, I was looking for Ithakas like most men, misled by this significant misconception. For years, I have been reading Plato and Aristotle, Descartes and Nietzsche always, hastily and impatiently, heading towards truth, towards my rich Ithaka, and always falling on reefs and mythical objections raised by one philosopher against the truths of the other. Always en route. When “wise as I had become” on the road, like old Ulysses, I realized that philosophy is much more than just a truth per se. Instead, philosophy is the pursuit of truth, irrespective of whether that truth is ever achieved;, if and when something ever counts as truth, it does not belong to the realm of philosophy anymore. Not until I read Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, had I realize that philosophy aims to designate what can be said and what not, what is non-sense or what might be senseless. This very sub specie aeternitatis realization of philosophy as an activity, a method of approaching truth and reflecting on reality rather than as an established body of justified true belief, was crucial in my selection of philosophy as the subject of my academic study. Since this realization, my chief preoccupation has been to learn as much as possible from the journey to Ithaka, to hone this ability to philosophize effectively, and to exercise and engage philosophy as much as possible, whenever and wherever possible. A culmination of this constant struggle to sharpen my philosophical essence happened this summer in the Epic Questions Summer Institute of U of Va, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. In this intensive, three-week seminar for high-school teachers, I was the official note-taker and the only high-school student accepted among the scholars as an intern of Dr. Mitchell S. Green. Courses in Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Formal Logic, Philosophy of Language, Ethics, Political Philosophy, and Bioethics unprecedentedly furthered this philosophical activity, and I made the acquaintance of contemporary philosophical thought, reading such as T. Nagel, R. Chisholm, D. Papineau, B. Williams, along with classical lessons. Hence, to my readings of Plato’s Five Dialogues, Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy, and Nietzsche’s Übermensch were added those of the British Empiricists, esp. some of Hume’s Enquiries, Kant, B. Rusell’s The Problems of Philosophy and Mill’s Utilitarianism. I must admit that I have been uncritically assuming a certain account of human nature (as inherently philosophical), which many may find controversial. And this, itself, thus, turns into a philosophical question. And so on and so forth. This is exactly the philosophical beauty I live for.
    MedLuxe Representation Matters Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Eleven scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. My lifelong journey in STEM got off to a challenging start. I was born with a severe form of cerebral palsy that affects most of my body. Throughout my life, I have had to overcome many physical and social obstacles. In 2002, I came to the US from Nyrobia, a prominent African country where doctors gave me a prognosis that I would never walk. Some of my middle and high school teachers refused to teach me, reasoning that there would be no way for me to utilize anything I learned. At the time, there were few accessible buildings, and social stigma towards those with disabilities was high. However, time changed, and today, I can walk—though I do use a wheelchair at times. I’m pursuing a BSN in healthcare informatics, and I excel academically. I have always had a passion for knowledge. I eventually enrolled at Chaminade University (WSU) to pursue a computer science degree because it has many applications. During my junior year, I participated in research for the first time through a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. I continued to build my research skills during the next two years as I participated in the Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics (UBM) program. My REU work resulted in a refereed conference paper, and my UBM work was showcased at the annual conference at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.
    Black Excellence Scholarship
    1) Be a continual Leader: I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Black Excellence scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. 2) Get it done! (Take Action) : As an older student returning to school, I questioned my ability to keep up with the younger students in such a challenging curriculum. I soon realized that I had more to contribute to the classroom and the nursing profession, given my wealth of life experience. As my first and second years came and went, I managed to maintain a GPA above 3.5. I often shared my study tips and overall mental well-being strategies with my peers, who I felt could benefit from such. Nursing school is not all about academics but rather a whole-person concept. During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with family, playing with my dogs, competing in chess competitions, and reconnecting with my peers. I utilized my summer and winter breaks to better serve the local Hawaii community by seeking organizations to intern for that benefit underserved communities. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Sunshine Legall Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Nursing Shortage Education Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Dr. Ifeoma Ezebuiro Ezeobele Africans in Nursing Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Dr. Ifeoma Ezebuiro Ezeobel scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. . One of my most unforgettable experiences was working as an executive assistant to the director of the National Hawaii Chapter for Hemophilia. I was able to learn more about nursing prioritization of care, the delegation of tasks, patient to provider interaction, and I was given the ability to network with healthcare stakeholders in the community. I also attended a summer camp for Hawaii’s deaf and blind to connect families to local community resources. Additionally, I obtained a level one sign language certification as the summer concluded. All these elements work together so that I can contribute to better patient outcomes as a future nurse. To speak to my current clinical experiences, the most valuable lesson I learned is excellent listening and communication skills and the importance of accurate documentation. You will learn something unique and helpful from every person you meet. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients.
    Sigirci-Jones Scholarship
    I am a 31-year-old Junior nursing student at the Chaminade University of Honolulu. Before arriving in Hawaii, I served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Airforce for ten years. This opportunity gave me the leadership ability and the confidence to later go on to obtain my first bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina. As a person who struggles with a mental health diagnosis, I knew I wanted to make my mark in the medical field, but I was unsure which path to take. I participated in an internship sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, which piqued my interest in the field of nursing. My professional goals as a future nurse are to either work in psychiatric nursing or contribute to the nursing informatics sector, specifically in an underserved community. Receiving the Sigirci-Jones scholarship will allow me to advance my goal of utilizing technology to improve patient outcomes as a future nurse. Being allowed to attend nursing school in Hawaii was beyond my wildest dreams for someone such as myself. As an African American woman born into poverty, higher education was not a reasonable expectation that I could afford in my household. Thus, being accepted into such a rigorous curriculum represents a triumph for minorities in healthcare and STEM. I look forward to contributing to the underrepresentation of African Americans in practice-men and women- in America. My prior experience as a U.S. Army medical officer has heightened my confidence and inspired me to think critically and creatively about leadership roles in medicine. After exiting the military and attending nursing school, I participated in a year-and-a-half-long research project focusing on healthcare informatics to improve patient outcomes. This opportunity appeals to me because it revealed one of the multiple ways to assist patients apart from the bedside. I have partnered with Chaminade University’s Information Technology department and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to retain minority applicants in the STEM field. One of my goals while here in Hawaii is to utilize AI technology to assist with the early detection of diseases by analyzing symptoms, suggesting personalized treatments, and predicting risk. AI can also detect abnormal results earlier, which would help address health disparities in Hawaii. During my clinical experiences, I connected with patients by exercising patience and creativity, thus enhancing my ability to interact with others and build rapport. Behind the disease or addiction is a person with wants and needs, just like you or me. I became a better communicator and comforter with every clinical completed this past semester. I saw an improvement in my organizational skills, thus further confirming that I have made the right decision to pursue nursing. My proudest achievements are my compassion for the patients in my care, who inspired me to continue my path of becoming a nurse. Helping people has given me a life purpose, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue developing my ability to provide for patients. Having a mental illness can be incredibly isolating. My depression makes it hard for me to believe that I deserve help and even harder to find the motivation to seek it out. That means it is essential for me to be conscious of signs that I need help with and make an extra effort to connect with the resources I need. On the mental health side, I keep tabs on my mood and look for indicators that I need another therapy appointment. I recently reached out to my primary care physician for medication to help me manage some of my more severe symptoms.
    Bold Financial Freedom Scholarship
    My professor on the first day of the class asked us, “How many of you plan on trading in your car every 3-5 years?” I want to say all of us, maybe with the exception of two and you have a class of 30 folks or so, all of us raised our hand. I remember at the time I had this big vision of driving a BMW. I am not sure why that was, but I just envisioned myself driving a BMW. Once I graduated that was my car, a four-door sports sedan; that’s what I wanted. I knew once I graduated, I didn’t care how much I was going to make, I was going to find a way to get that BMW. When he asked us that question, we all raised our hands and he responded, “While all of you are trading in your car every 3-5 years, I’ll be taking my family overseas to European vacations.” When did he say that I thought, “What does that mean? What are you talking about?” That was our introduction to the power of compounding interest and how saving an amount of money today can grow to be. It showed by putting in a car payment per month, whether it be $300, $400, $500, $600 a month, what that can grow to be. For me as a young male who had these big aspirations of driving this sport luxury foreign car, I was like, “Wow! What am I doing? What am I thinking? I’m going to be wasting money when I could actually be saving?” r.
    Bold Future of Education Scholarship
    Increasing graduation rates and levels of educational attainment will accomplish little if students do not learn something of lasting value. Yet federal efforts over the last several years have focused much more on increasing the number of Americans who go to college than on improving the education they receive once they get there. By concentrating so heavily on graduation rates and attainment levels, policymakers are ignoring danger signs that the amount that students learn in college may have declined over the past few decades and could well continue to do so in the years to come. The familiar division into fields of concentration, electives, and general education leaves too little room for students to pursue all of the objectives that professors themselves deem important for a well-rounded college education. This tripartite structure, with its emphasis on the major and its embrace of distribution requirements and extensive electives, was introduced by research universities and designed more to satisfy the interests of a tenured, research-oriented faculty than to achieve the various aims of a good undergraduate education. The existing structure is unlikely to change so long as decisions about the curriculum remain under the exclusive control of the tenure-track professors who benefit from the status quo. Rethinking the undergraduate curriculum: By now, the standard curriculum has become so firmly rooted that during the periodic reviews conducted in most universities, the faculty rarely pause to examine the tripartite division and its effect upon the established goals of undergraduate education. Instead, the practice of reserving up to half of the required number of credits for the major is simply taken for granted along with maintaining a distribution requirement and preserving an ample segment of the curriculum for electives. It is anomalous to allow the tenure-track faculty to enjoy exclusive power over the curriculum when they provide such a limited share of the teaching. Such a reform might be difficult under current conditions in many colleges where most undergraduate instructors serve part-time, are often chosen haphazardly and frequently lack either the time or the interest to participate fully in a review of its undergraduate program. If adjunct instructors achieve the status previously described, however, their prominent role in teaching undergraduates should entitle them to a seat at the table to discuss the educational program, including its current structure. Such a move could at least increase the likelihood of a serious discussion of the existing curricular structure to determine whether it truly serves the multiple aims of undergraduate education. The current division between formal instruction and the extracurriculum is arbitrary, since many goals of undergraduate education, such as moral development and preparation for citizenship, are influenced significantly by the policies for admitting students, the administration of rules for student behavior, the advising of undergraduates, the nature of residential life and the extracurricular activities in which many students participate. Representatives from all groups responsible for the policies and practices that affect these goals should have something to contribute to reviews of undergraduate education.