“Peppermint lingered in the air as the nurses rushed me into Women and Children’s Emergency Department on Christmas Day in 2003. A small Christmas tree with bells and ornaments shined underneath the harsh lighting of the nursing station as my family and I passed into a triage room. To me, it was the most beautiful sight. For the first time in my life at the young age of 6, I was ripped away from the one day of the year our family looked forward to the most! Oh, did I hurt! Pain filled my throat and tears pour at the outer edges of my eyes. I did not know what strep throat was, but I can still tell you how big the lymph nodes were in my neck and I can still see the look of worry on my parents’ faces.
My parents will tell you about my bravery. I will tell you about the nurses. Though it was traumatic, my first real encounter with nursing was anything but. Compassion, upbeat, kind, positive: all descriptions of the nurses that Christmas. These people sacrificed being with their own family so they could take care of children like me on Christmas morning. When I received my baby doll gift at discharge, I didn’t know it, but this was the most impactful event of my young life: the day I knew I would become a professional nurse.”
Fast forward 14 years, Ashton is 20 years old and entering her third year of nursing school at Marshall University. Now a single mother with adult responsibilities, Ashton remembers her call to action in that Emergency Department years ago and how strangers took such great care of a child. That call grows more powerful each month and year as her daughter grows. The unwavering determination allows Ashton to care for her own child and enter the workforce while attending nursing school full time.
CAMC Foundation’s Student RN Tuition Assistance has removed otherwise insurmountable financial burdens. Ashton’s personal finances are mostly used by the costs required in raising children. Additional funds can certainly be acquired by working more or taking a second job, however that would take the only time available for Ashton to focus on her studies. The funds made available by CAMC make it possible for Ashton to achieve the dream CAMC helped to foster all those years ago.
Many of Ashton’s colleagues and fellow millennials promise to return to school after taking a year or two off to save money after high school Though one can discuss the merits of such a plan, the reality is that it rarely work. This tuition assistance program allows Ashton to focus on what’s important and allows a driven individual to give back to society that much quicker.
As the CAMC Foundation remains committed to CAMC’s Pillars of Success as Ashton has been in the CAMC family her whole life. In the true “grow your own” fashion, Ashton attended CAMC’s Lighthouse Development Center until she was the age of 11. Ashton participated in CAMC’s Volunteer program during each summer of her high school career, and Ashton hopes to participate in CAMC’s Nurse Extern program in summer 2019 as she enters her college senior year. As Ashton continues the program’s agreement to work for CAMC after graduation, she expects to find herself on the other end of a child’s Christmas morning.
I wanted to send a letter of appreciation to the CAMC Foundation for your investment in me as a nursing student. Thanks to your support and financial investment, I am now a proud graduate of the University of Charleston BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) Program, fulfilling a dream of joining the nursing profession and dedicated my professional journey to the care of others. The tuition assistance program has significantly reduced my financial obligation in student loan repayment. This means so much to me as I have gotten married and am starting a new chapter in my life. Your outstanding support of the nursing profession and nursing students does not go unrecognized. I am inspired by your generosity and can only hope to someday be able to help students just the same as you have helped me.
Last year, during the end of my high school years, I could not stop worrying about how I was going to pay for college. I had taken the ACT multiple times and just couldn’t pull through with the Promise (scholarship). I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t want to ask my parents for money because $5,000 for just one semester was a lot to ask for. I prayed every night for God to help me in such a stressful time. I graduated on May 27, 2017 and received four local scholarships. I felt so relieved. All my prayers had been answered. I received enough scholarships and did not have to pay for anything my first year of college.What I am getting at is that many people who want to go to college can’t due to the fact that they do not have enough money to go. By becoming a recipient for the Student RN Tuition Assistance Program, I can now go to college without worrying about paying for school. CAMC has gone above and beyond for many nursing students. I am ecstatic to be a part of this program and could not be more thankful. I will strive to do my best throughout school to fulfill my dream as a nurse. Once again, I want to thank all of you so much for the financial assistance.
One thing I had not thought about was paying for the next three years of college. I applied to many scholarships and did not receive any of them. All the stress from the year before came back. I didn’t want to get a student loan but I thought it was my last option. I heard my friend talking about the CAMC Tuition Assistance Program and decided to do some research on it. Sure enough, I found it on the internet and applied for it. I am honored and blessed to be the recipient for the tuition assistance.
I would like to begin by thanking each and every one of you for giving me the opportunity to become one of the recipients for the Student RN Tuition Assistance Program. By getting the financial help from CAMC, I have been able to go to school as a full-time student without having to pay for anything. I would like to thank God mostly because without Him, I probably wouldn’t be in nursing school. I have definitely been blessed!