Laura's Nursing Scholarship Pursuit
Let me tell you a bit about myself and my journey. Growing up as a shy and introverted child in rural MN (population 1,100) I had great aspirations to break free of my rural home and help others in some way but little know how regarding where to begin. Needless to say I was filled with self doubt. My first step was getting myself through my first round of college to obtain a bachelors degree in Social Work. There were some stressful years of work and study but I emerged with a degree and minimal debt.
After spending the first year of my career working in victims advocacy with the Stern's County Attorney's Office in St. Cloud, MN I received a post card from AmeriCorps *NCCC that changed the course of my life. Not hesitating for a moment I filled out an application only to be denied intially; it took but a moment for me to make a direct call to further express my desire to serve with them....that phone call paid off.
For the next 10 months I had the amazing opportunity to contribute to local communities while gaining important leadership skills. During my service term I was thrilled at being selected to lead a team of 10 chainsaw weilding volunteers (of which I labored alongside) while working in conjunction with FEMA to remove downed trees following devastating straight-line winds in Columbus, MS . Certainly this was the first moment I realized I had the potential to lead and that being an introvert may actually be an asset rather than a limitation. Following my term of service with *NCCC I made what at the time seemed to be a great departure from my personal mission and, along with two other alumni, undertook the goal of hiking the PCT.
My time spent hiking some 1,200 miles through the rugged terrain of the Sierra Nevada mountains taught me important lessons in self-reliance and mental fortitude; it also paved the way for an eleven year career as a Backcountry Guide with Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides. This seasonal lifestyle allowed me the to explore my passions and dedicate more of my time to acts of service.
For one year I was able to live and travel throughout India, working with Operation Smile International and participating in medical charity missions. This experience allowed me to work among many an amazing nurse and surgeon, allowing me a glimpse into the powerul impact they have on people's lives when options are not only few but often absent all together.
Operation Smile is an organizaiton that has opened my eyes to the imporatance of nurses within the medical profession, allowed me to travel in service to multiple country's and work with local organizations such as Pratyasha in Guwahati, Assam and Rogpa Charitable Trust in Darahmasala, helping others and playing a small role in their overall mission for change. It is with Operation Smile that my dream fully took shape and I was able to see how I might utilize my degree in Social Work along with the leadership skills and wilderness medical training to fullfill this goal of mine. This is my chance to tie it all together.
At this juncture, I am looking toward a career in nursing to bring all the pieces together. Nursing will provide me the opportunity to integrate service to our greater world community (it is after all much bigger than just us), and utilize the wilderness medical and leaderships skills acquired while guiding by working in remote and underserved regions of the world.
I begin an intense 12 month accelerated nursing program on January 9, 2017 and will use any funds raised to cover the cost of tuition and related expenses while in school that are not covered by federal loans. I must add that it feels incredibly unnatural to ask for help and am currently applying for multiple scholarships (#GFMScholarship) in addition to creating this compaign.
So, to make this feel a bit better to me, I'll make a promise to you, the donor. If I receive funding (in addition to any scholarships awarded) in excess of my financial need, all will go toward my first international medical charity mission or be donated directly to a worthy cause.
Please consider any funding you provide for me to be a donation towards a nonprofit organization as, ultimately, my career will be dedicated to volunteering with nonprofits and an effort to further medical research.
With great humility and gratitude, I thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness in advance.
Hard to ask for help when I know you all have financial needs of your own...some of whom are even paying off their own school debt...certainly humbling.