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Dawna Cahill


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My name is Dawna Cahill, I am a single mother of three. I have 3 years clean and sober, and I am grateful to finally have the opportunity of pursuing my dream of becoming a RN. I have a passion for helping others, especially those with substance abuse struggles, and parents facing a loss of a child. I hope that when I obtain my nursing degree to be able to do humanitarian work and volunteer my time to third world countries and to the disenfranchised communities.


Cosumnes River College

Associate's degree program
2022 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Human Biology
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
    • Behavioral Sciences
    • Archeology
    • Sociology and Anthropology
    • Bible/Biblical Studies
    • Community Organization and Advocacy
    • Pastoral Counseling and Specialized Ministries
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:


    • Office Manager/ Medical Assistant

      2017 – 20203 years
    • Sr. Office Assistant/Medical Assistant

      Dignity Health
      2007 – 201710 years



    2021 – Present3 years


    2018 – 20202 years


    • Painting
      2000 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Womans Empowerment, homeless organization — Mentor/ Childcare provider
      2005 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Loaves and Fishes youth services — Advocacy for homeless youth
      2009 – 2014

    Future Interests




    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    I am sitting here and thinking about what to write about my recovery. No words can express what sobriety and recovery have done in my life. Where I was in my alcoholism and how much I have achieved since sobriety, has been a miracle in itself. I fought so hard for recovery like one would fight for their life if they had cancer, my alcoholism was a cancer. All I had left was my faith that I could make it like so many had before me. My life was worth fighting for. Recovery to me means that I get to be present in the lives of my children, the children who suffered tremendously before I got clean. I get to make daily living amends to them, love them and be the mother that they have always deserved. Recovery to me means life, conquering every obstacle and adversity, every doubt, every thought of not being good enough. From the depths of despair, and hopelessness to a strong solid recovery, I have made it, I have become everything I thought I could never be. Alcohol was my master, my darkness, the end of who I was. Recovery is my light, my kids, my family, and most of all recovery is my hope, dreams and most of all my freedom. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.
    Mikey Taylor Memorial Scholarship
    Living with mental health disorders has been the hardest thing in my life to live with. I grew up in a time where kids are seen and not heard, and I had no opportunity to talk to any adults in my life about how I was feeling and to get the help that I needed. As a teenager, I was acting out and my family decided to send me to group homes and foster homes until I turned 18. In their eyes, I was just an out-of-control and ungrateful teenager. As I got older, I realized that I needed to see someone for what was going on with me, at that time I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression. With the mental health stigma, I grew up around I refuse to believe that I could be bipolar or have depression. My life went on and things didn't get better until I finally came to the belief that I needed help I got a psychiatrist and started taking medications and the colors in my life became so vibrant and I felt so alive. I recently decided to go back to school to be a registered nurse and that has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Without the support from my psychiatrist and my now very accepting and understanding family I don't think I would have the inspiration to follow through with my dream. I've come to learn that I am not my disorder, I am not bipolar or depression. Those are just the things that I have, and I am not defined by them. I have an 18-year-old daughter who was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression and was hospitalized a few times for attempted suicide, my 9-year-old son has been diagnosed with OCD, and I get to be the mother that sits and listens to them and loves them through every moment and every struggle and every sad thought. Teaching my children that they are not defined by their diagnosis is the most important part to me. I just feel like people that do struggle with mental health disorders have to fight harder in life to succeed and to be successful. Through all my years of having so much fear about my mental health and where it might take me in the future has kept me behind a brick wall, afraid of failure afraid of rejection afraid of not being good enough. I have worked so hard to fight to get myself back to let go of all that fear and to move forward with something that will benefit so many other people. The reason I want to be a nurse is so I can be there for those that are suffering that are sad that are in pain that are hurt and be that kind face there to listen.