The droning whir of printers. The metallic clack of a mistreated stapler. The tap, tap,
tapping of fingers on keyboards. I sit in my small cubicle, drowning in the monotony of the
office life that swirls around me. But there is an ember within me, fanned by the words of my
grandmother. "Find something you love. Make your own hope."
Make your own hope. My grandmother said these words to me two weeks before she
passed away unepectedly. Four simple words meant to ease and encourage a weary heart. Four
words that changed my life forever.
It took months to save for tuition, but in the Fall of !"## I registered for my first class at
$helton $tate %ommunity %ollege. I could only take one night class a semester because I still
needed to work full&time to provide for my family. 'owever, each passing semester took me one
step closer to being a (egistered )urse.
The road to becoming an () has been full of bumps, dips and the occasional scenic
drive. I grew up as the daughter of limestone miner on the outskirts of a college town in *est
+irginia. *e went without luuries like a television, home phone, and, on occasion, heat. But
what we did have access to a vehicle every other week and a library card. These things helped
ignite a lifetime love of reading, science, and medicine. ,s do most progeny of "boondock
living", I yearned for escape. ,nd, fueled by my desire for adventure, I started my first semester
at the -niversity of ,labama in #../. I was going to be a doctor. I was going to save the world.
I was not prepared.
My youthful ideations of the world were 0uickly shattered. I had bree1ed through my
college prepartory classes in high school. 2e 3ods4 I had not been prepped at all. $o, I did what
any practical, poor girl from ,ppalachia would do. I changed my focus to 'ealth %are
Management. 5id it invigorate the very core of my being6 5id it spark imagination or foster
child&like wonder6 )o. But it was a solid field and I was actually very good at it. 7ighteen years
later, my business degree has provided me with a wealth of eperience in various healthcare
settings and a certain degree of 8ob security but has left me impassive.
Find something you love. I have found so much more than something I love. I have found
my passion. 9erhaps most importantly, I have rediscovered a love of my rural roots. *hen I
graduate with my ,ssociates 5egree in )ursing I intend to provide nursing services, outreach,
and education to rural and low&income populations.
I am now in the middle of my second semester of the ,5) program at $helton. *orking
full&time and attending school full&time has been a challenge. -nfortunately, my 8ob has not been
able to work around my classroom and clinical schedules and my hours have been cut back to
one day a week. My husband makes a meager living as a high school science teacher here in
Tuscaloosa. I do not 0ualify for federal aid as I already have a degree. ,s the cost of living
continues to increase I fear that I may be forced to abandon my education.
I found something I love. I found my hope. Thank you for considering me for this
scholarship that will help me find a way to make my nursing career a reality.
3ordon and ,nn (osen 7ndowed )ursing $cholarship