Like so many before her, Northland Pioneer College (NPC), second-year nursing student, Jamie Ortega of Lakeside was inspired to become a nurse by the nurses who cared for her loved ones. Both of Ortega’s parents have battled cancer. Through her scholarship essay, she gives a moving and timely reminder that nurses are both angels and heroes. “When my mother was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of COVID, and needed a bone marrow transplant, she was in the hospital for three weeks alone,” Ortega wrote. “No family was allowed to be with her, but she had a handful of amazing nurses who could be by her side when family could not. They bought her a bracelet that said, ‘fighter’…and had a farewell parade in the hallway for her when she was able to go home.” With the support of the Summit Healthcare Foundation, Ortega will finish her Associate Degree in Nursing in May 2022 and join the ranks of the angels and heroes she admires.
Scholarships like those offered by Summit Healthcare Foundation and Beehive Homes of Snowflake are particularly important for NPC students, who face significant and unique challenges related to earning a college degree in a rural, remote area. The Beehive Homes scholarship goes to Raylee Johnson of Eagar. Johnson, who was inspired to join her mother in the nursing profession, supports herself through full-time employment. Her commute from Round Valley to Show Low for classes, and to the Indian Health Services hospital in Whiteriver for clinicals, adds up to over 400 miles traveled each week. A journey like this is not likely part of the experience for student nurses in more urban area, but it is not at all unusual for an NPC student. Johnson’s commitment is evident in her essay as she expresses, “When I was younger, I was able to watch my mother develop into a strong, independent woman while she was in nursing school. Just being out on my own has made me realize the strength it took my mother to pursue her career goal, all while dealing with ‘life’.”
The Summit Healthcare Foundation scholarship was also awarded to first-year students Alysia Yosin, Amber-Rose Glauvitz, and Lillian Fish of Show Low, and to Shavan Flake of Snowflake. Each of these students worked diligently to complete the rigorous schedule of prerequisites in order to apply for acceptance into NPC’s nursing program. All of them did so while working and raising families. Their journeys have not followed a straight and narrow road, but they have never lost sight of their dreams. Their acceptance into the NPC nursing program was a big step in the culmination of those dreams, and NPC Friends and Family is grateful for the generosity of Beehive Homes of Snowflake and the Summit Healthcare Foundation in supporting these exceptional and worthy nurse candidates.
Since Fall 2014, NPC Friends and Family has awarded over 350 scholarships to NPC students, making a tremendous difference in their pursuit of a post-secondary education. Over 95% of awardees have either completed an NPC degree or certificate program, or are still enrolled at the college. To learn more about NPC Friends and Family, and how you can help to transform a student’s life, contact Betsyann Wilson at 928-536-6245 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make a tax-deductible donation at www.npcfriendsfamily.org.