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Jackie Jimenez

5075

Bold Points

5x

Nominee

3x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hello, my name is Jackie Jimenez. I am currently a new grad with a bachelor's degree in nursing and a licensed registered nurse. I graduated in May 2023 and could not be more excited about it. My next goal going forward is to get my Masters in Nursing (MSN) and to become a Nurse Educator and teach the next generation of nurses. I am proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I have overcome many obstacles, but I am not done yet. Being a wife and mother, I unfortunately had to accumulate some rather large student loan debt to pay for my tuition and living expenses while getting my bachelor's degree. Because I had to go this route, it now makes it harder for me to pursue my graduate degree and achieve my ultimate goals in teaching. I believe I am a strong candidate to receive scholarships because I have a proven track record of taking my education seriously. I graduated nursing school with a 4.0 GPA, Summa Cum Laude honors. While in nursing school I also was a class tutor working to establish my credibility in becoming a future educator one day. I currently work full-time as an RN on a combined postpartum and nursery unit. One of my main duties is providing education to new mothers. I have fallen in love with this specialty and my goal is to teach OB-Women's Health courses in nursing school. Even though I am working full time, it is still not enough to provide for my family, pay for my outstanding student loans, and pay for my graduate degree. I am grateful for Bold.org and for any support I may receive on this platform. Thank you for your consideration.

Education

Western Governors University

Master's degree program
2024 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
  • Minors:
    • Education, Other

West Texas A & M University

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing

Allan Hancock College

Associate's degree program
2013 - 2018
  • Majors:
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies

Santa Barbara City College

Associate's degree program
2008 - 2018
  • Majors:
    • Cosmetology/Cosmetologist, General

Carpinteria Senior High

High School
2003 - 2007

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Nurse Instructor/Educator

    • Registered Nurse (postpartum)

      BSA Hospital
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Behavioral Health Unit Coordinator/Call Specialist

      North West Texas Hospital System
      2021 – 2021
    • Licensed Esthetician

      2010 – Present14 years
    • Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician

      Davita
      2016 – 20193 years

    Sports

    Tumbling

    Club
    2000 – 20077 years

    Cheerleading

    Varsity
    2000 – 20077 years

    Arts

    • Dance
      2000 – 2007

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Thailand Orphanage — Childcare provider
      2005 – 2005
    • Volunteering

      Kinder Kirk — Preschool Aide Support
      2003 – 2005

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Career Test Scholarship
    After achieving my first dream of graduating with my Bachelors in Nursing, I realized shortly after that I was not done yet. I have been working as an RN in postpartum and the newborn nursery for almost one year, and I have loved every minute of it. I especially have loved the education side of my job. I enjoy teaching new parents how to care for their newborns and teaching students, and new hires, how to do the job. These realizations confirmed my desire to return to school for my Masters in Nursing specializing in Nursing Education. Therefore I have decided to go to Western Governors University to pursue this goal. Going to WGU will allow me to fit school around my full-time RN schedule, and even offers me the ability to graduate in just one year if I choose to. When I went to nursing school I graduated at the top of my class Summa Cum Laude in the Texas A&M system. Because I did so well, my teachers asked me to be a tutor to my fellow nursing students. It was during this time that I decided that I would one day become a nurse educator myself. It felt like such a faraway dream at that time because I had not even finished the program yet. However, today that is a very different story. Today I reflect on my journey. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make it here today. An honors nursing school graduate now making moves to earn her Masters in Nursing Education. I have faced many hardships along the way which I now know will only make me a better educator and able to relate to many of my students in similar circumstances. I desire to not only be an efficient educator of content, but to also inspire ambition and resilience in my students. I am grateful to be considered for this scholarship because unfortunately, college is not free in this country. The last thing I want holding me back is funds. There is a national shortage of nursing educators, and I desire to be a part of the solution. However, the reality is that I will require financial aid for me to contribute to this national need. It is my goal to complete my Masters in Nursing debt free. If I am chosen to receive this scholarship, I will not let Realign, Inc down. I have a proven track record of academic excellence and a clear goal that is currently in pursuit. I once again thank you for your consideration and generosity to college students in this country.
    Healthy Living Scholarship
    Without your health, you truly have nothing. Being a nursing student, I see this up close every day. It is always so hard to see people's lives paused, or even taken away, due to their health failing them. While we can't always prevent every single possible ailment that exists out there, the good news is, that there are quite a few that we can. A healthy lifestyle is important to me because I need good health to accomplish my dreams and goals of being a nurse. I need to have a strong and healthy body to perform my job sufficiently. Therefore, I focus on the things that I can control. A healthy diet, a good exercise program, and practicing self-care to reduce stress. Being in the nursing industry, I see what happens when we don't take care of our health early. Poorly managed diabetes, hypertension, highly processed food diets, and smoking. These lead to nowhere good in the future for people. Therefore, I like to focus on the things that I can control, and I like to educate my patients on what is within their control, when appropriate, as well. I enjoy meal prepping whole and healthy foods that nourish my body, going to the gym and doing cardio while watching YouTube, meditating, and focusing on spiritual growth in my spare time. These things have become healthy habits for me, or you could even call it a lifestyle even. A healthy lifestyle is important to me because it will hopefully keep me contributing to society longer, and around longer to enjoy my beautiful family and friends for years to come.
    Catrina Celestine Aquilino Memorial Scholarship
    Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about my story. I am a first-generation, undergrad, college student, currently finishing my bachelor's degree in nursing. I am actually considered a "non-traditional" college student because I am a little "older" than most of my peers. I am a wife, and mother who decided to go back to college in 2013. And while it has been extremely challenging and bumpy, I can now see the light at the end of this tunnel. I will graduate with my BSN and get my RN in May of 2023. Catrina has a beautiful story, and I am sorry she left this world so young. Not only were we close in age, but we had similar beliefs as well. In the nursing profession, cultural competence is extremely important. We are a diverse nation, but sadly, minorities are often at higher risk, and adversely affected, by certain diseases in this country. Being of Hispanic heritage myself, I too find myself to be in a higher-risk group. I believe no matter what, every single person deserves the utmost respect, and the best possible medical care we can give. For every single human being. No matter where we reside on Earth. I plan to make a positive impact on the world by doing the absolute best job I can when working as a nurse. It may seem small compared to what some people and organizations can accomplish, but I believe it will create a ripple effect in my community. Just one nurse can care for hundreds of patients in a single year. Therefore, I believe it is not only an opportunity to make a big and positive impact but a huge responsibility. A responsibility that I take extremely seriously. Being a patient in the hospital is a memorable experience in a person's life. It can be a positive memory, for example when birthing a child. Or it can be a painful and tragic experience. While I can't change the circumstances of what brought my patients to the hospital, I can change the experience they have. Science has shown that when high levels of emotion are involved, those memories tend to stick for the rest of our lives. Most people remember their hospital stays due to these emotional imprints. I personally still remember my nurses who took care of me when I was in the hospital two different times. I remember the kind ones and the not-so-kind ones. The good and bad parts of my stay. When something is a job or a career, it can start to feel mundane and normal. Healthcare workers are not immune to this. So I always keep in the back of my mind that I have a scheduled shift time, and I get to go home when that shift is over. However, that is not the case for my patients. Me being at the hospital is a choice, for my patients, it is not. Not only that, it is a life-changing experience for them, one they will likely carry for the rest of their life. So I plan to make a positive impact on the world by helping my patients have good memories regarding their hospital stay. I want to be remembered for being one of the nurses that took good care of them, who was kind, and who made them feel important, worthy, and safe. Because they are important and worthy of respect and dignity. That is what I ultimately want them to take with them back home.
    Bold Longevity Scholarship
    Having worked many years in healthcare, I have taken care of many geriatric patients. I have had the honor and the privilege to have had many interesting conversations with this special and important population of people. My experience in working with geriatric populations has shown me three common themes that lead to a long, and healthy life. Number one, ALWAYS having a positive attitude. It doesn't matter which race, ethnicity, culture, or religious group I speak with, this is always the first thing they say, and they truly live it. The best way to get into a positive mindset is an "attitude of gratitude". Sometimes we can get so bogged down with all the things that we don't have. There are always going to be things we don't have. It's a large and innovative world, it is literally impossible to have everything. So, just taking some time out of our day to think about all the things we DO have and how grateful we are to have them, is one of the most powerful techniques to put you into a positive mindset. Number two, get outside, and some fresh air. My patients who have lived the longest lives are advocates of walking, gardening, and just soaking in the sun whenever and however they can. Studies have shown how important walking is for our health, but the Sun specifically is also very important because it is how we get our natural source of vitamin D. Number three, family and friends. My patients who live the longest lives have lots of family and friends. We are social creatures and it is getting harder and harder to get that human connection, but there is no doubt that it is not only good for the soul but will also help you physically live longer.
    William M. DeSantis Sr. Scholarship
    "Judge not lest ye be judged" Matthew 7:1-3. I used to be a very religious person. I was first raised in the Catholic church, but when I was a teenager my family converted to non-denominational Christianity. In church, a lot of the teachings were mostly about the common wrongs people do, the sins they need to "turn away" from, with a tiny bit of love sprinkled in there to satisfy the forgiveness theme the church still needs to maintain. I struggled for years in my religion truly just wanting to love and accept everyone, no matter what their life choices were. As long as people weren't hurting other people, I just didn't see what the problem was. But it was always taught that "the enemy presents itself as light to trick you", "God's word is unchanging and firm", "If you are lukewarm you will be spit from God's mouth", and "You can't take some of the Bible, it is all or nothing" etc. I lived with a lot of fear. I wondered, how can anyone really live up to this? I still wasn't really sure what exactly is expected of us here? I just wanted to be authentically myself too, without the fear of judgment or "falling short" of certain expectations. I just simply wanted to enjoy life, it's challenging enough as it is. I reached my breaking point in 2021. I was spiritually suffering, and so I started "deconstructing" which I didn't even know was an actual thing. It was through my deconstruction that I learned the true meaning of the scripture that I referenced above. Eventually, we will all have to judge ourselves. Whether in this life or during the transition into the next one. It is not going to be a man figure in another dimension that is going to do it, it is ourselves. And honestly, how fair is that? I think it is way fairer personally, and just makes way more sense. Throughout my deconstruction, I was faced with all the judgments that I used to make about other people. For example, I used to judge people for not believing the exact same things as I did, and then I found myself believing and having opinions much like the people who I used to judge for having. Life is just so funny that way, and I definitely believe there is a higher power with an excellent sense of humor to allow us to learn things this way. So to make this extremely complicated and controversial topic as brief as possible in this essay, an important lesson I learned is to not judge other people for living, or believing, differently from ourselves. I have used this life lesson to greatly simplify and take the pressure off of my life. My deconstruction process and no longer making "judgments" about people has made me not only a stronger and happier person for myself, but it has allowed me to be an open advocate for those who are still being judged and discriminated against daily. I now live life without fear, without impossible standards and expectations of myself, and I encourage everyone in my path to live the same. Just be your true and authentic, wonderfully and fearfully made self. As long as people are not harming other people physically and/or emotionally etc., that is all that matters. Happiness, teamwork, authenticity, and acceptance of all are ultimately what is going to lead this world into a more peaceful and safe place.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    One of the most exciting things about pursuing nursing is that there are so many career options out there for nurses. My dream is to, of course, pass my NCLEX licensing exam in 2023, but then it's my ultimate goal to get right to work in labor and delivery. Working with pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is what I want to do for the rest of my life. After I had my own daughter, I realized the important work that birth workers do, and the lasting impact they make on their patients' lives. Ten years later and I still have not forgotten any of the nurses that helped me in my most vulnerable moments. I can't wait to do this for other mothers myself. Being an adult learner, some might have the view that I don't have the "ideal" situation in life being a full-time college student, however, I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I also love being a voice for adults who return to college, and for those who are considering it to ultimately better their lives. Being one of the oldest in my nursing class, I get to encourage and help my younger peers in ways that only one with a little life experience could do. It is very humbling, and I am very honored to be pursuing my dream career in nursing at this stage in my life.
    Little Bundle Mother's Day Scholarship
    Childcare. High quality childcare, at an affordable price, in this country is a work in progress, but it is still so far from where we need it to be. One major challenge I have faced as a mother in college has been making sure that my child is receiving high quality childcare while I am away from the home working on improving both of our lives. Recently in my Child Development psychology class, we were assigned a task to call our local preschools in the area and find out the price for one week of full time care, and how much that costs per month. This was an online course and so we had students from all over the country submit their results. The average cost that came up was between $600-$800 dollars a month for full time childcare/preschool. I found this to be absolutely accurate and aligned with my experience. For a young mother who is going to college, so that I can one day obtain a good paying job, this has been a major challenge. Lack of affordable childcare has been a major factor for me having to take many online classes instead of going onto campus and receiving a higher quality education myself. Online courses are great in many ways, but they don't quite prepare you for when you get into the meat of your major, like in my case, nursing school. I have also found myself having to work more hours in order to pay for childcare, which has been difficult when trying to make school a priority. Nursing schools are very competitive and getting the highest grade possible is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, there have been times when I have had to use credit to pay for my child's care. There are waitlists for most preschools, so you can't just take a month or two off, and then come back when you can. I couldn't bear to take my child's positive and healthy routine away. She got so much out of her program such as socialization, which is very important for an only child especially. She got structure, and a lot of head start opportunities. Therefore, many sacrifices have been made along the way. This has resulted in a lot of positive benefits for my child, but it has also resulted in a lot of debt for our family. This scholarship would positively impact my life in that it would be two thousand fewer dollars that I would need to borrow toward my student loan. As we all may know, student loan debt increases exponentially with interest over time, and so even just a few dollars goes a long way in the big picture. I am grateful that I am now closer than ever to achieving my dreams of being a nurse. This is going to be an amazing career path to help me take care of my daughter. A lot of sacrifices have been made, perhaps a lot of mistakes as well, but at the end of the day, my child is happy and healthy. She has had a healthy and happy childhood, and I know her childcare experiences have, and will, make a lasting difference in her life. It is my hope that by sharing my challenges with paying for childcare, and preschool, that awareness can be raised on this issue. It is a major obstacle in many parents' lives, and it is something that is so beneficial and important for a child's well being and growth. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my experience and voice such a challenging parental obstacle.
    "Your Success" Youssef Scholarship
    I am actively pursuing higher education because honestly, I just owe it to myself. I have been fighting for a long time to finish my registered nursing degree. Being a young wife and mother, it has been anything and everything but easy over the past few years. The easiest thing would have been to quit at this point, but I owe it to myself to finish this, and I am now closer than ever. Going to college has not only helped me grow academically, but personally as well. Every time I finish a semester, there is a sense of accomplishment that nobody can take away. When you do something really hard, that nobody made you do but yourself, and finish it? The rise in your self-esteem is indescribable. This is why I continue on my higher education path. It is so incredibly hard, and I am doing it all of my own free will, and I look forward to the satisfaction of standing on that graduation stage where the whole journey ties up full circle. The extracurricular activity that I enjoy right now is working out at my local gym. This isn't just any gym though. This gym was designed and inspired after a resort in Las Vegas. There is a resort-style pool with bungalows and a "lazy river" outside. The gym bathrooms are like a spa equipped with a beautiful infinity-style hot tub. There are saunas and steam rooms and fancy resort-style showers. The gym offers state-of-the-art equipment and numerous group classes with very experienced instructors. There is an indoor golf course and shooting range, and numerous private rooms where people can exercise in privacy if they so choose. This gym provides me with a place to escape through my college journey. It is a place where I can push myself in another area, athletics, but also a place I can just go to relax and recenter myself. This gym is a very important component to my mental health. Both of these aspects; nursing, and the gym, tie into what I am most passionate about, and that is health. I am passionate about nutrition, and the physiology of the body, and how we need to take care of ourselves. This is a large reason why I am pursuing my nursing degree. I don't like to keep what I learn to myself; I want to help and educate my patients as well. This is why I am in such a positive place in my life right now because even though I am not ready to start my nursing career, I am still partaking in my passion for health at the gym, and I am learning about the human body in nursing school. Every day my life feels like an investment right now. I am actively investing in my future by going to school, and I am on the path to my dream job which is as a registered nurse. I am also investing in my own personal health by going to the gym regularly and choosing the highest quality foods for my body that I can, every single day. These may sound like very simple, and basic things, but in the long run, I believe they will all lead to a very fulfilling and passionate life.
    Abran Arreola Latinx Scholarship
    A very important experience in my life just came around full circle recently. I was accepted into my school's BSN (registered nursing) program. This accomplishment has been over seven years in the making. As a first-generation Hispanic college student, I did not have the guidance to have a straight path to my dreams. It has taken many curves along the way. Nursing is one of the most difficult degrees to pursue because it requires numerous pre-requisites, a difficult entrance exam, and then there are no guarantees you will even be accepted into the actual program. There is always that chance that all your years of school could have been for nothing, or could take many, many more years of waiting to get in. Due to these challenges, there were many times I stalled along the way. Self-doubt prevented me from registering for the next semester more than once. I was also a young wife, and mother, when I got started, which brings a whole other set of challenges to the experience. I was balancing being a homemaker, stay-at-home mom, and student for almost a decade. But today, I can finally say, my dreams are happening. Completing all my pre-requisites was a huge task, as well as all of my general education requirements for a bachelor's degree. But the scariest part of this experience was the HESI exam. The HESI exam is an entrance exam that many nursing programs use to award points in order to determine the top applicants for that round. I doubted myself so many times, and have canceled taking this test twice in my life. Believing I wasn't good at math, or was just an average student, sadly, held me back. However, due to the global pandemic, I was overwhelmed with the realization that the world needs us future nurses to accomplish these tasks. So I scheduled my test, and I not only passed, I scored a 94% in all required sections. This last standing obstacle was now a major achievement in my journey. I received my acceptance letter on March 31, 2021 and I was one of 56 students accepted into the program out of nearly 200 applicants. Now I am facing the journey of nursing school, but I feel a sense of peace. This experience, the journey of just getting into nursing school at all, has shaped my understanding of myself in that I now see myself as a warrior. A fighter. I am capable, and I am worthy of achieving my dreams. It has also shown me along the way that this kind of career is not just about me. This career is for my community, and every community builds up the whole world and makes a positive impact as a whole. I am incredibly proud that I will be a first generation Latinx, with not only a bachelors degree, but a registered nursing license as well. I love being a part of, and encouraging, my community to go for big things, even when it feels like all the odds are stacked against us. There is so much help and support out there, and I can't wait to give back one day and help others like me find it and utilize it as well.
    Better Food, Better World Scholarship
    I became interested in nutrition when I was 20 years old and had found myself overweight for the first time in my life. I was always a very petite, physically fit, and athletic young girl. Once I turned 19, and was finding myself having to come up with my own meals, that all started to change. I didn't know how, or what to eat. I ended up gravitating toward a lot of fast food, packaged foods, and pretty much nothing else. I don't think I ate a piece of fruit that entire year. Before I knew it, I had gained 30 pounds in just one year. I went through the typical weight loss journey. I was researching different diets, different supplements, started exercising, but the real results happened once I learned about the importance of high-quality nutrition. I learned that I needed to really focus on cooking and preparing my own food at home, and it was not all about my weight. I needed to nourish and fuel my body so that it could operate optimally. I am passionate about natural foods, and the environment, because these are core to the human experience. What affects us more every day than our own personal environments, and the foods that we eat? This is a large contributor to our physical well-being and everyday experience. I want to eat well, and live well. I also want this for my community, family, and friends. Being in nursing school, I have learned even more about nutrition, especially in the context of physiology and pathophysiology. Nurses play an important role in our communities by educating our patients on how important their diets are for reversing, and/or managing their diseases. Being passionate about nutrition myself, once I get my nursing license, I plan to go into a holistic nursing specialty. One that is less focused on pharmaceuticals, and more focused on education and lifestyle changes. There is so much science and research out there on nutrition. While there are always going to be debates on which specific "diet" is best for human health and the environment, the fact remains that a whole foods diet will always be superior. This means eating locally grown produce, and locally raised meats as much as possible. This is how humans have always eaten since the beginning of time. We only ate what was in our immediate environment. These large grocery stores with ingredients flown in and shipped in from all over the country, and even the whole world, is not natural. While these advancements are a blessing in a lot of ways, they have also been a detriment as far as environmental pollution goes, among other issues. I have since lost the weight that I had packed on, and this actually helps me contribute. When people ask me how I lost weight, it gives me the opportunity to share with them my findings. Fad diets often confuse people and complicate something that should be so simple and natural for human beings. We should eat foods straight from the ground, not "food-like" products that were manipulated and processed in factories. When I am a working nurse, these understandings, and personal experiences, will no doubt help me contribute even more to my community in this regard.
    Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
    It was January 16th, 2020 when I went to my doctor for my 16-week ultrasound. The level of peace and trust that everything was okay was like nothing I had ever experienced in pregnancy. I had, had 3 prior miscarriages, but this pregnancy was going so smoothly as far as healthy heartbeats and growth. I had no reason to believe that it would be the worst day of my life. I went into the exam room and the nurse pulled out the doppler. Normally the baby's heartbeat would come up right away, but not this day. She was moving the doppler around my stomach for a good five minutes before the doctor came in and took over. He was pushing hard, moving it all around, and there was nothing. He told me not to panic though because sometimes they just hide real far in there sometimes. But I knew deep down this was not good, but I was holding onto hope. After all, my symptoms were stronger than with any other pregnancy and I was still extremely sick with morning sickness. He sent me to the ultrasound room to see what was going on. Up there on the screen immediately was my little baby. I was still in a state of shock as to why we were in there at all, and I was just in awe of how much the baby had grown. Not long after that, the ultrasound tech said those awful, horrible words. "I'm so sorry, but the baby doesn't have a heartbeat". The level of grief this has brought upon my life is something I just can't even put eloquently into words. A year and a half later it still hurts more than I can ever explain. This being our fourth miscarriage, we got our baby tested to see if we could find some answers. The results came back that the baby was a little girl with trisomy 21 with a translocation on the 14th chromosome. Without getting into too much scientific detail, this is not good. We have since learned that my husband and I carry a balanced translocation and it is why we are having so many miscarriages. To add insult to injury, our journey of trying to grow our family has come to an end which is a new grief all its own. Miraculously, we have a healthy 9 year old daughter, and we are just in awe of her beating these odds. I have been working toward my goal of getting my RN degree for a very long time. It is challenging to do this when you are a young wife and mother, but add in all the miscarriages, and especially this last one to it, and the hill has often felt like Mount Everest. After I lost my baby in 2020, I wanted to give up. Everything felt so hopeless. Working toward a goal like getting my RN was too healthy. It was for young, healthy people without a bunch of drama happening in their personal lives right? Today I can proudly say to you, I did not give up. I took the time I needed to evaluate where I am going next in this life. I still have a family. I have a husband and a daughter to fight for. I also want to make my angel babies proud as well. I am still their mother, somewhere, somehow. This world needs good nurses, and I know I will be one of them. So I got back to work. In December of 2020, I took the giant leap to take the infamous HESI entrance exam to apply to my school's BSN program. This test is incredibly scary and it is very difficult. Many fail, many fall short, and for so many years I avoided it because I felt like why wouldn't it be me who fails also? In my grief and re-evaluation, I have chosen to fight for mine and my family's future. I took the HESI and I passed with a 94% in all required sections and I was one of 60 who was accepted into my school's RN, BSN, program out of almost 200 applicants. I am incredibly proud of where I am today compared to where I was in 2020. It was a hard year for everyone in the world already, and it felt extra cruel to have this tacked on me as well. But I survived. Each day, I survive, and I fight. I will fight all the way until I get my RN license to not only make my family proud, and to help support them financially, but to bring this achievement full circle and to never live in regret in my later years. When things feel overwhelming, I remind myself; This too shall pass.
    Nikhil Desai "Perspective" Scholarship
    In high school, I used to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks for my whole Junior and Senior years. This continued on for many years afterward. I was stuck in the perspective that we are here for only a short time, and then it's over. What accompanied this perspective was how imperfect our bodies are and how our body can just cease to function at any minute, and then it would be over. This life perspective consumed me, and in a very dark and negative way. Everything felt hopeless, pointless, and torturous. One day, the bible verse Romans 1: 19 was presented to me and it states, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." It hit me like a ton of bricks. Of course, there is a God, a creator, and I believe the creator of all things is Yahweh and he sent himself to this place, in the form of his Son, Yeshua to expose the darkness that runs this place, and lies to us daily. I believe that Yeshua conquered death through his own death, which he freely gave up for each one of us. I believe that we have a creator who loves us and who will bring each one of us home at our appointed time. Once this set in, my whole perspective on life changed. I no longer live in constant anxiety and fear. I am not always on the verge of my next panic attack where doom and gloom are just waiting to consume me. I look outside at the trees, the grass, the incredible and unending sky, and all the wild animals that live so confidently and in such peace. They don't build homes in unnatural ways, go to grocery stores and store away piles of food, pay bills, etc. They are clearly a lot more natural to this place than we are. Rather than humans becoming more in tune with nature with each passing century, we try to get further and further away from it. We are not natural to this place, and I get so much comfort in understanding this. Now I don't have all the answers. I have new questions almost daily. It is healthy to have doubt and to seek the truth out of that doubt. God always answers just as the scripture says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." I have settled on the belief that we humans are in some sort of Matrix. We are each so unique, so special, and what makes us those things is not our bodies or our brains that are also just made out of flesh, but our souls. Our bodies house our consciousness, but it is not bound to the body. I believe all will be revealed, all will be exposed, and it is going to be incredible and at the exact time, it is supposed to happen for each one of us. So how can this newfound perception benefit me in the future? Well, it has certainly benefitted me in freeing me from constant anxiety, panic, and impending doom. This has allowed me to focus on my studies and be very productive in college. I have chosen to pursue a degree in nursing, and in healthcare, we deal with a lot of disease and death. Not being so afraid of death is important for my mental health in my chosen career. It makes me a calmer and more proficient provider. This life is hard, but there is also so much good. Just as the Bible says, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." I can absolutely testify to this truth. This life is not easy, but there is a lot of goodness here as well if we are just willing, or able, to finally "see" it.
    Darryl Davis "Follow Your Heart" Scholarship
    Interestingly enough, what excites me the most about this world is that we can set goals, and then work toward them. This gives me so much purpose every day, and also the structure that my personality type really needs. My goal right now is to earn my bachelor's degree in registered nursing. I am currently, actively pursuing this goal. I am attending West Texas A&M University and I am super proud and excited to be a Buff. I have now completed all pre-requisites for the registered nursing program, and I submitted my application, to hopefully be admitted, just this month. Handing in that application was such a huge step in this journey. I have taken so many classes, and have earned three associate's degrees in the process of working toward this goal. I am so close! After I finish nursing school, and get my license as a registered nurse, I hope to have a little more time to invest in my family. My dream is for my husband and me to buy a plot of land, and build a custom home here in Texas to raise our daughter, and to one day be able to leave that to her, fully paid off. We want to raise chickens, and goats, grow some food and become a little more self-sufficient, and leave that knowledge for our daughter to carry on with her family. I plan to give back to others through my career as a nurse. There is a major nursing shortage in the US, so achieving this goal is not really for me, but for my community. My community desperately needs nurses. When I feel like it's too hard, or I could have chosen something so much easier, or I can't do this, I think about my future patients. If I don't complete this, who will take care of them? This is a major driving force for me. In addition to giving back through my career, I am a born again Christian, and so I plan to be more active in church once school doesn't take over my weekends. I have a heart to feed the hungry, and my church offers a lot of services that feed the homeless, and hungry, in our community. I would love to not only participate, but to help that ministry grow as well. I am grateful that God has given me the opportunities that I have in this life, and I do not intend to waste them. My family and my community need me to succeed, and I will not let them down. Thank you for this opportunity to share.
    Hailey Julia "Jesus Changed my Life" Scholarship
    I was raised Catholic as a little girl and converted to a nondenominational Christian when I was 15 years old. I wish it was as simple as coming up to the altar call, and then having a full understanding of who Christ is right then and there, but it has taken me many years of ups and downs to even start to scratch the surface. I knew I believed in Jesus, I knew he loved me, I knew I loved him, and that I would meet him one day, but I pretty much went on living my life as usual. I never consulted him with my dreams, desires, or even just my day-to-day. I will never forget the moment that I fully surrendered my life to Jesus. Again, even this has not been a perfect process for me, but I believe we are given each day to get a little closer until we are called home. A few years ago, I had fallen into the New Age ideology. I had no idea that it was called "New Age", and that it was a false religion. It is so abundant with celebrities in all spaces of media, I had no idea it could be a false doctrine. I started learning a lot about the Law of Attraction, and I started life visioning, channeling my intentions, using crystals for positive energy, etc. I still prayed to Jesus, but I also thought I had control over my life with my desires, intentions, and thoughts. Every day I was excited to dream about my dream life, and to put that positive energy into the "universe". My dream life was quite worldly, and full of desires for material things. I started to feel the conviction. After about a year of this, it was bringing me no results and no joy. I started to feel convicted that I was so focused on this material world that is going to pass away one day. I could pass away any day. As scripture says, we are never promised tomorrow. Why would I collect so many things in this place, if it can all be gone tomorrow? I remember sitting on my couch and realizing I was going down a dark road. Right then and there, I told Jesus, "Ok God, I am giving my life completely over to you. I am letting go of all these dreams and plans, and I want what you have for me." It was so difficult! The fact that it was so difficult for me to say that, showed me the proof that I was in a very dangerous and false ideology. Since that moment, my life has completely changed. I am now back in college, and I am pursuing my degree in nursing. I am so grateful the Lord brought me out of my worldly funk and has set me back on the right path, to serve others. No more dreaming of fancy cars, big homes, and fancy lifestyles. I am so happy and content to pursue an honest career, work hard, and provide a comfortable and humble life for my family. Only God can do this, this was not by my own power. The Holy Spirit ministered to me, and thankfully, I listened, finally. Jesus took me out of the world, and I am no longer a resident here, just a visitor passing through. Here is my favorite scripture where Jesus explains the process that a person goes through before they can accept the truth: Matthew 13:1-9 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still, other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
    Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship
    If there is one positive thing that this pandemic has done, it has brought light to the importance of nurses. The nursing profession is a pretty underrated STEM career surprisingly. Nurses take very difficult college courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, statistics, psychology, the list goes on and on. The nursing program in and of itself is a mixture of upper-level science, math, and skill application using advanced medical field technology. In most nursing programs, the nursing student must get an 80% minimum on each weekly test, or they face being dropped from the program. It is very cut-throat. Nurses fight tooth and nail to get into the positions they hold. Like my physiology teacher, Dr. Miyahara, is famous for saying; "If it were easy, everyone would do it." I am currently pursuing my bachelor's degree in nursing, and I am finally set to start the RN program this coming Fall 2021. My interests, and skills, in science and technology are what have gotten me this far. I am fascinated by how the human body works, and with how far science has come in helping people to live longer, and more comfortable lives. I will continue to fight with everything I have to succeed in this journey because my community needs me. There is a growing nursing shortage, nationally, and I feel it is my duty to succeed. My city has been hit very hard by this pandemic, and the need for nurses here is more critical than ever. When I am an RN, I plan to go back into the specialty of dialysis. I have previously worked in dialysis as a technician, and I can't wait to bring my career around full circle. Dialysis is an incredible example of STEM in healthcare. Dialysis machines are a true miracle. It takes almost three months to be trained on how to safely operate the machine. The machine, and its components, filter all of our patient's blood in order to clear the wastes, take out excess fluid, balance the pH, and balance electrolytes, etc. The responsibility is great. By using the forces of filtration and osmosis, we are not only able to save thousands of Americans each day, but we also get to improve their quality of life in the process. Some patients survive decades thanks to dialysis. Those are years that they get to continue spending time with their families. Many are able to continue working to support themselves and their families, and many get to see their children and grandchildren grow up for a lot longer than they would have without this incredible life-saving technology. Being just one person, it can feel like it's somewhat impossible to truly make a global impact. However, by understanding that it is the small communities that make up the world, it becomes more clear how important each person's role in life truly is. Therefore, I envision myself completing my nursing program, and proudly wearing my RN badge to work every day. I will make the world a better place, by not only saving lives, but by improving my patient's quality of life, and that is priceless.
    Boosting Women in STEM Scholarship
    It is my hope that in a post-pandemic world, nurses get the credit they deserve for being in the STEM field. Doctors and nurses have been essential in not only taking care of patients who have been affected by the global pandemic, but have also been essential in educating the public on how to live their lives as safely as possible. The advice given has been based on scientific facts that the healthcare system works with on a daily basis, even when there is not an active pandemic. To enter into an RN program, a nurse must take anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biology, microbiology, advanced algebra, statistics, chemistry and once they enter the RN program, all coursework is based on science and math that involves conversions for medications etc. Nursing is a STEM field and it has proven extremely important, and essential, post-pandemic more than ever before. Not all nurses are women, but 90% are and that is an incredible statistic in regards to STEM. As far as STEM goes, women dominate this particular space, and women deserve a lot of recognition for holding together this vitally important science career. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are essential to our economy, health, and futures. There are so many important specialties in the STEM space. As a future nurse, I am most knowledgeable and passionate about the health care industry, but every STEM career is equally as important. In one shift a nurse will interact with the pharmacy which involves math and chemistry, IT involving computers and correlated software programs, and doctors for their counsel and direction. In health care, there is truly a circle of interrelating STEM fields and none can operate without the other. Post-pandemic, I believe this is more understood and apparent than ever. STEM occupations will continue to not only operate for the safety and well being of our citizens, but will also help our citizens adapt through continued public education. We will continue to educate and counsel our country on how to stay safe, and thrive, and how to be well prepared and armed with knowledge should another pandemic happen ever again in our lifetimes.
    Brady Cobin Law Group "Expect the Unexpected" Scholarship
    Leaving a legacy means leaving a stamp on my life story that will last, even when I have left this realm one day. I believe leaving a legacy means leaving a standard and/or setting the bar for my family. It is a standard that will be handed down to my childrens', childrens', children, and so on. I believe there are different kinds of valuable legacies as well, for example, physical property you can hand down. This can include homes, land, money, antiques, etc. There is something inspiring and powerful about possessions that an ancestor took great care of because they had the intention to leave it for future generations in their family to come. The legacy that I want to leave behind is the legacy of achieving higher education, and/or trade professions first and foremost. I am a first generation college student, and I intend for this standard to continue on in my family. I also have the goal to buy 2 acres of land and build a home that is made to last many generations into the future. This is a physical legacy that I hope will be valuable for my family for years to come. As part of this legacy, I hope to leave behind knowledge on how to live as self sufficiently as possible. The stamp on my life story will hopefully be one of beating the odds, working in a heroic field (health care), and investing in my family's future for many generations. I seek to do this not to gain praise, but to set the bar high for my family. A legacy is a gift, and it is my hope that my legacy enriches my families future heirs.
    Amplify Green Innovation Scholarship
    The problem that interests me most, in regards to climate change, is the effects of animal agriculture. I believe this is the one area where we can all make a huge positive impact, on a personal level. Many aspects of climate change can be quite out of our control, and we have to rely on the government to do the right thing. So it got me thinking, what can we do every day at home to make a potentially huge impact? Eating a plant-based diet is the answer that I found in my research. We vote with our dollar every day at the grocery store, and at restaurants. If you put into google: "eating vegan for one day saves", you will find incredible information on how much water you can save by living plant-based, among other important things as well. Therefore, I plan on working on the climate change problem by sharing my lifestyle, and all the benefits it is providing me personally, and the world too. I have lost weight eating this way, and have greatly lowered my cholesterol. I also save a ton of money eating a plant-based diet. This is something that can be very helpful for my fellow college students. I post a lot of helpful information, and my personal results on my Instagram where I am gaining a following, and no doubt am making a tiny impact in the right direction. You can buy a week's worth of groceries including rice, oats, plant milk, fruits, veggies, beans, and even treats, etc. for less than $50 a week. The potential solution of using a plant-based diet, that I am most excited about, is lowering the demand for meat in general. There are more plant-based substitutions for meat and dairy than ever before. If someone is craving pizza, ice cream, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and even ground beef for pasta, etc. There is a delicious and affordable plant-based option available at almost every grocery store now. The less demand for meat, the fewer cows, chicken, and pigs they need to pack into the factory farms. This greatly improves our air quality and water quality. I am so excited about the plant-based solutions hitting the market because they are so much more affordable now, and in almost every case, there is literally no reason someone has to choose an animal option. There are even delicious "hamburger" substitutes in the meat section. It is easier than ever to eat plant-based. The easiest solution to climate change that we can make personally, is by voting with your dollar at the store. If you want ice cream, grab a Ben and Jerry's dairy-free pint, it's delicious, and even slightly healthier. Instead of cows milk in your cereal, grab almond milk, or soy milk, or oat milk, or cashew milk, etc. These milks' are sweeter, tastier, and won't upset your stomach either. With these simple swaps, you personally can make a huge positive impact on the environment, and your own personal health.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    When I was 17 years old, I experienced my first panic attack. My whole body felt hot, I felt sick to my stomach, I broke out in hives all over my body, I felt terrified, and completely out of control. I experienced these attacks for almost a full year. It affected me in school, my relationships, my job, and sports. Mental health was not talked about much when I was going through these things. My family didn't understand what was wrong, the doctors could find nothing wrong with me, and so I thought I was just destined to live this way for the rest of my life, and this made me feel hopeless. While I never considered ending my life, I did feel that it was impossible to live a long life feeling this way. I had no idea what to do or how this was going to resolve. It may sound super strange, but it wasn't until I started watching the show Grey's Anatomy that I started to get better. I realized that I had many phobias about the human body, mainly because I didn't understand how the body worked. I was terrified of blood, veins, vomiting, heart attacks, and death in general. I can now trace the source of my anxiety, and panic attacks, to the general fear of losing mental control, and the realization of having no control over my body's autonomic functions. By watching this show, I had no idea I was practicing Exposure Therapy. I know that this all may sound pretty morbid, and heavy, but this was my daily reality in my late teens. Nobody would have ever suspected it either. I appeared to be a normal and healthy teenager. I was physically fit and active, I had a lot of friends, I was a cheerleader for goodness sakes. Thankfully, there is now so much more awareness about mental health, and I share this in hopes that it could possibly help someone else who also struggles similarly with these fears, panic attacks, and anxiety. I can honestly say today, it gets better. Now, would you believe that the girl who was terrified of blood, and veins, to the point of breaking out in hives all over her body, went on to be a licensed dialysis technician, and now, a future nurse? If you had told me at 17 years old that I would one day be sticking 15 gauge needles into surgically manipulated fistulas, I probably would have gotten physically ill. At my work, I would daily clean up blood spills, pack gauze into bleeding fistulas, and strategically stick needles into my patient's arms, and sometimes even their legs if we had to. Sometimes the best way to face our fears is to expose ourselves to the point of normalcy. My experience with mental health has completely shaped my goals into what once scared me the most. I am now currently applying to BSN and RN programs, and am now a future nurse. I am so proud of what I have accomplished considering where I started. My experience with mental health also shaped my relationships for the better. I learned that I needed to be direct with those around me. When I was not feeling well, rather than keeping it to myself, I let those around me know that I was experiencing anxiety and to please forgive my behavior if I was a little distant and standoffish. I received a lot of support from those around me by expressing what I was dealing with openly and honestly. It is amazing the sense of relief when you release some of that weight. Mental health has also shaped my understanding of the world. The world can seem like a very scary place, and it is often that overwhelming lack of control that triggers us. So my solution was to immerse myself in my fears completely. Now the human body is not a fear of mine, but a fascination, and even my career now. While there is still a lot of scary aspects about the world, I now know the good far outweighs the bad. Most people are good, and want to help you, and want to see you succeed. There is no better time to be alive, and to stay alive, as far as medical advances go as well. If you are experiencing struggles with your mental health, I urge you to please seek out help. If I had gone to a school counselor at that time in my life, I am sure I could have gotten a handle on things a lot sooner. There are so many trained professionals who know exactly what resources to offer us, and I urge you to take advantage, especially while in school. I want to take this time to also thank this scholarship panel for raising awareness on such an important subject. Thank you for your consideration.
    Sander Jennings Spread the Love Scholarship
    When I was in high school, and my early college years, "self-love" was not a thing people talked about. I had no idea that many of the decisions I have made along the way were due to not practicing self-love. For example, how I ate, how I exercised, career choices, and even dating. My journey with self-love has impacted everything in my life. Spiritually, relationally and aspirationally. It is all connected. Self-love has affected many of my beliefs, but I would like to first start with health and fitness. I used to try to "hate myself skinny", but I had no idea that was what I was doing. I would first start by not liking what I saw in the mirror, and then start an awful diet where I was hungry and not enjoying the food in order to punish myself for the result I wanted. One day it clicked, after years of failed attempts, that I had to love myself to health. I now focus on the things that I do like about my body. I acknowledge the issues, but I practice positive thinking that things will fix themselves slowly and gently due to my good and healthy decisions. I have adopted a whole food plant-based diet for health, and I am trusting the process of the results that it brings. I have lost 15 pounds in just over two months, and no doubt have lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure. I have also become more active physically. This journey all started with changing my view completely, and starting from a place of self-love. I used to be a people pleaser at my expense. I felt that it was nobler to make others happy, even at my expense. My journey with self-love has corrected this. If I am not giving people the true me, that is actually a disservice to them too. I now understand that sometimes I will do things that maybe I don't want to do, but only if I truly feel that someone else really needs my skills, expertise, or service. As long as I know that I am not getting taken advantage of, I serve with a happy and pure heart. I no longer do things just to please people. I now do it from a place of true service and genuineness. My aspirations have also changed since practicing self-love. I had been working so hard to be a nurse for years. I let self-doubt get in the way of that and almost made a huge mistake. Since working more on self-love this year, I have found my way back to my path toward nursing. I know that I am smart enough, capable enough, and driven enough to accomplish this goal. These realizations could only be accomplished through self-love, and it is something that I will have to work on daily until I get that RN license and badge. Every accomplishment can be tied back to loving yourself enough to try.
    Mechanism Fitness Matters Scholarship
    I am a woman who has struggled with her weight since graduating from high school. I had no idea what to eat, how to eat, or how to cook healthy foods, and what in general were healthy choices at all. In a world of calorie counting, low carb, and varying degrees of "vegan" diets, it is no wonder kids are so confused and are having such a hard time. After years of research, and trial and error, I have finally found that nutrition is the number one step to get down, in order to succeed with fitness goals. I have done almost every diet out there. I know everyone says that, but it is really true. I was always known as the girl at work on a different diet every month. I have done low carb, vegan, high raw, calorie counting, intermittent fasting, paleo, systems much like Jenny Craig, some MLM type stuff, you name it. It was exhausting for friends and family to keep up with my confusion, but especially confusing for me. This year I finally found what works best for me, and what I believe could largely work best for everyone. A whole foods plant-based diet. I technically do follow a "vegan" diet, but I don't eat things just because they are vegan. Oreos are vegan, many pop tarts, and high-calorie ice creams can be vegan. This plant based, vegan diet, is different. It focuses on whole plant foods, and focusing on filling up on your starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, brown rice, beans, and lentils. Your starch should take up most of your plate, and then you add non-starchy veggies to round out your nutrition and fiber needs, for example, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, squashes, and carrots, etc. You can really get creative. Fruit is also important to include each day. It is also important to know that you must keep fats low on this way of eating for it to be fully effective. This means not cooking with oil, or using vegan butter, etc. Your fats should come in whole form and in moderation, like nuts, seeds, and avocado as garnishes. Since adopting this way of eating I have easily lost 15 pounds in a little over two months, no quarantine 15 for me, I went the other way. It also gives me a ton of energy to work out. I make sure I use my stationary bike 4-5 days a week, and I invested in one that is in my home due to the current pandemic situation. After I workout on my bike, I do some squats, push-ups and I stretch. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. I have a long way to go to reach my goals but I am definitely on the fast track to get there. More importantly though, I am mentally happy, and healthy along the way. I wish I could give everyone I meet the book, The Starch Solution by Dr. Mcdougall.
    Nikhil Desai Reflect and Learn COVID-19 Scholarship
    The COVID-19 pandemic has affected my life in a few profound ways. While I wish the effects were limited to just things like not being able to find toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and home gym equipment... I am afraid it has gone much deeper than that. First and foremost, it has rocked my sense of security in that everything can radically change, in a split second. Most of us in this generation, in America especially, have not had to deal with too many long term life interruptions, especially on a national disaster level. Seeing people in the community all wearing masks, afraid to go to the grocery store, businesses closed down for months, and travel restrictions that have all lasted for almost a year has been, to say the least, surreal. No longer will I ever take normalcy and safety in numbers for granted, ever again. Second, I have learned to take comfort in that we are "all in this together". I have been through hard times in the past. I have faced personal tragedies, and they are lonely events to walk through on your own. Everyone else goes about their day, and everything is fine in their own personal world. However, in this case with the pandemic, we are all going through this. All of our lives have been affected by this. Almost every single one of us now knows someone who has contracted Covid-19, many of us have personally caught it ourselves, and many of us have lost people we love to this virus. While it can be so easy to focus on the tragedy, the inconvenient, and the frustrations of all of this; I have learned to focus on how when all of this fades away, we will all be closer and more connected due to all going through such a hard time together. I used to consider myself an introvert, and someone who is very content to just spend time alone, and not do much outside the house. However, I have now learned that I am not as introverted as I thought. I desperately miss going to relaxed dinners with my family, concerts, weekend getaways, and carefree family BBQs. While it is hard to realize this now, considering we are still very much in lockdown mode in a lot of ways, I am also happy to know that when all of this is over, I will make sure to take more time to spend with those that I love, and I will truly enjoy it, and never take it for granted again. I have learned that the world is far more connected than I originally realized. Not only are we all going through similar tough times in America, but the whole globe is going through this as well. It is almost too big to wrap my mind around that concept. It is truly incredible how something so small, could cause such a big thing. I have also learned that the world is a lot kinder than I realized. I have seen many "well wishes" comments from people from all around the world. They are praying for America and the other countries across the globe. I have also learned how there are many benefits to being a connected world as far as trade goes, traveling, and keeping families connected, but it is also dangerous how easily a virus can spread due to these technological advances. It is more important than ever that our world leaders work effectively together to prevent something like this from spreading globally, so quickly, ever again. COVID-19 has left no life untouched, in one way or another. It is so easy to get down on what has happened, what is still happening, and what may happen in the future. However, life is so precious, it is such a gift. We are never promised tomorrow no matter what the crisis is. I have learned the best way to deal with this in a mentally strong way is to love our neighbors, follow the safety protocols for each other, help those in need as much as you can, and keep our heads up. This too shall pass.
    Amplify Continuous Learning Grant
    I am currently working on my bachelor's degree in public relations. My goal afterward is to then immediately start my MBA in healthcare administration. While I am in school, I am working on getting a part-time job in the hospital to get my foot in the door. I am having difficulty landing that job, and I believe adding to my skills will be very helpful in reaching this goal. I would use this grant to pay for the business management certificate at my local community college. I am currently taking a Principles in Management course for my bachelor's degree, and it has inspired me to pursue a career in upper management. Rather than change my major, I believe a management certificate of completion from the local community college would pair very well with my public relations degree. Management is a skill. There is a lot of information that has come out through analytical and observation studies in the workplace, and it is an important skill to learn properly. No organization can thrive without highly skilled management ensuring operations are running smoothly and that talent is being scouted to further invest in the company. Thinking about getting my certificate in management is super exciting, and this grant would help tremendously.
    Black Friday Prep Scholarship
    Winner
    My first favorite influencer is Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey has a blog, books, and he has a youtube channel. By following his baby steps system, I have learned the importance of not only paying off debt quickly, and staying out of it, but also the importance of investing and starting at a young age. He provides all the tools to learn how to do these things very easily. My second favorite influencer is Graham Stephan. Graham Stephan is an influencer and a very successful YouTuber. He publishes daily content by updating his viewers on what is going on with the market, and economy. He is also very big on staying out of debt, but by also maximizing the rewards and free money, that credit cards have to offer. He is very inspiring with his personal story of utilizing the internet to make millions of dollars. My third favorite influencer is Dani Johnson. She is an author, YouTuber, and life coach. She teaches people the importance of being frugal, attacking debt, and she also backs it up with spiritual laws and scripture. She and her team put on huge seminars across the country every year and they have a cool culture.
    Support Small Businesses Scholarship
    Nothing makes me happier than when I see a local business popping up in our community. While I do believe larger corporations can be important for a cities economy, small business is the heart and soul of the local economy. Without small business, your city has no culture. My relationship with the small business community, at this point in time, is a patron. I always seek to support small businesses first. Not only that, but I also like to do my part in sharing that I visited that business on social media, and I always take the time to write positive reviews to help in their marketing. I never write negative reviews for any business because I believe negative experiences should be handled directly with the business. A public platform is really not the appropriate place for negativity. I also encourage my friends and family to do the same, which I believe is very important and helpful to our local economy. I am working on my degree in public relations at this time, and it has given me a lot of time to think about my long term goals. My long term goal is to work in health care administration, but a short term goal of mine is to start my own small consulting business in 2021. This is something that I will be able to do throughout the rest of school, and also when I get to work on my MBA shortly afterward. And who knows, you never know what it could turn into. Working a traditional 9-5, as a full-time college student, is not very realistic. Through my small business, I would like to gain experience and local connections by working directly with the small businesses in my community. My consulting business will include social media marketing, copywriting, writing press releases, creative strategy, data analysis, and problem-solving. This is a business that I can work from home, with very low overhead costs. With a limited budget, my marketing strategy would be to go door to door to local businesses to introduce myself, offer my services, and then follow up by phone. I am a big believer in having multiple streams of income. With my PR business, I hope to achieve a business that eventually runs itself when I move into an executive position in healthcare administration. I will have to eventually hire people to run the business, and PR consultants to do the work, but I believe it is important to have a business that is your own because you never know what can happen when you work for someone else. I also want to contribute to the local economy by providing jobs to the citizens in my community. I am passionate about small business. I will always be an advocate and cheerleader for the success and support of small businesses. Small business is the heart and soul of not only our towns and cities but our nation as well.
    Aspiring PR Professionals Scholarship
    If someone had told me one year ago that I would be enrolled in a university pursuing my public relations degree in 2020, I would have had to run away from them because there would be an excellent chance I was talking to a crazy person. See, I was a pre-nursing student for the last handful of years, and I even gathered three associates degrees along the way in my pursuits. However, working in the technical aspect of healthcare, opened my eyes to so much that happens behind the scenes that most people would never realize. Through my work experience in patient care, I realized that I have a real talent in communications and a real passion for fundraising and leadership. Our local teaching hospital depends on donors and fundraising, and it is my goal to join their PR team. I am passionate about public relations because it doesn't matter what field someone chooses to work in, there is going to be communications involved. Through my studies, it is more apparent than ever that if you don't have a solid understanding of the importance in effective communications, and understand the basics of marketing, your organization is going to struggle. Therefore, I am choosing a career path in public relations, in the health care space specifically, because people deserve to have access to excellent healthcare no matter where they live in this country. My goal is to be a part of the communications team to ensure a well-funded, and thriving, hospital. Since I am pursuing a career in public relations, in the hospital setting, it is important that I am also preparing for my master's degree immediately after I complete my bachelor's. My student loans are already at a concerning amount, and so it only makes sense to utilize my PR skills, in training, to raise funds for my college education. I believe I will be successful in PR due to my unique work experience in health care, and I believe I will rise up the ranks rather quickly after I complete my education. Thank you so much for your time, passion, and consideration.
    Cyber Monday Prep Scholarship
    My first and foremost favorite place to shop online is, of course, Amazon.com. They are just the best in the game due when it comes to variety, shipping, customer service, and reviews. It is so helpful to shop by going with what most people are happy with, rather than having to just take the risk and see if it works out. My second favorite place to shop online is Vitacost.com. Vitacost.com is a website with an incredible variety of vitamins, supplements, natural foods, and natural beauty products, etc. They also have extremely fair prices, and they often e-mail users a 10-12% off coupon code quite regularly. I find that their prices are not too far off of Amazons when it comes to vitamins and protein powders especially. My third favorite place to shop online is Childrensplace.com. As a college student and parent, their pricing for kids' clothes is literally unmatched by anywhere else in my experience. They have awesome sales, super cute clothes, and they even sell clothes for adults as well. They have huge black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that are super helpful in stocking up for the next season of clothes for your kiddos.
    Giving Thanks Scholarship
    This may sound so cliche, but I am most thankful for my husband. But please, stay with me because this is a cute story. My husband and I met when we were just ten years old, in the fourth grade. He was the loud kid, funny, nice, but honestly, he annoyed me a tiny bit. I was the more reserved, and quiet type. I always had such a respect for authority, and it would stress me out a little when kids were on the rambunctious side in class. He was that kid. All the girls in school thought he was just so cute, he was one of the most "crushed" on boys in school. Growing up in a very small little beach town, we had no choice but to grow up together. I hadn't been around him much once we entered high school, but in tenth grade, he started sitting with me and my friends at lunch. It was then that I realized he was extremely sweet and respectful around us girls. This was not typical of the tenth-grade boys, at least not in my experience. While all the girls were dreaming and hoping he would ask them out, for some reason, he was interested in me. To this day, he will tell you that it was because I inspired him, and motivated him to be the best man he could be. I saw potential in him that he says no one else ever did, and boy was I right. Fast forward to today, we are happily married, and have a child of our own now. We dated all through high school, and we got married very young. It has not been an easy, or necessarily conventional life that we chose, but I would do it all over again, every single time. I have watched my husband grow up from being a young boy to a teenager, to a young man, and to now entering into the next phase of being a grown man. It has truly been an honor. Instead of partying, and having fun as a teen, he went and got an amazing job, and has supported me through school all these years. He has financially and emotionally supported me through the twisting turns of my career choices, pursuing my degrees, all while we are doing our best to give our daughter the most amazing life that we can. Going through school, and raising a child at the same time, I have difficulty in contributing financially to our family. Regardless, he always works his hardest to make it work, and he never complains. It is not an easy route we've chosen in life, but it is a unique, scenic, and adventurous one for sure. To say that I am thankful for this man would be the biggest understatement of 2020. It is my absolute honor just to know him, let alone to get to share my life with him.
    Justricia Scholarship for Education
    The role that education has played in my life is the role of confidence. As a minority female, it can be easy to fall into the mindset of not feeling like the path is wide open for me. However, when I remind myself that I have achieved three associates degrees, I can pick myself back up and keep pushing forward. Confidence is so important to have in life. Confidence is what gives you the courage to apply for that job that intrigues you, to talk to that person who inspires you, and empowers you to look a person in the eyes rather than down at the floor. The role that education plays in a person's life is more than just checking off the boxes that you have a certain degree. It is a proven track record that you can complete tasks, retain information, follow directions, compete with your peers, and follow the leadership of your professors. I was raised by two parents who did not attend college, and one parent who did not graduate from high school. All of the cards were stacked against me. Due to not growing up in a family that valued education, I was not aware of the financial help that existed for students like me. I did not apply to universities out of high school because I was told by my family that we could not afford it. Going out into the workforce without a degree followed me like a dark cloud. However, once I entered community college, just being enrolled and engaging in the work lifted my confidence and my sense of worth. Although I did not have a certified diploma in my hand, I knew I would one day. Having my associates' degrees gives me a sense of pride. However, because I got started a little later in life than my peers, my financial aid was used up quite quickly while trying to find my path. I am proud of my degrees, but I know that I have to take this all the way. I am working toward my bachelor's degree, and I will have it in the summer of 2022. It feels surreal to know that I will be walking that stage in less than two years. This newfound confidence is expensive, however, because I know that I will not stop at a bachelor's degree. After I complete my bachelor's, I am going for my MBA immediately after. I will need all the financial help that I can get to achieve these goals, and to be a part of smashing the glass ceiling for minority women in America. I am grateful to be considered for this scholarship and I thank you for your time.