This is the second year Wanderly has been able to grant a nurse a $1,000 scholarship through the Nurse Kelley Scholarship program. After hundreds of applicants, we were touched by one young woman who is sharing her piece of writing here today. Get to know Xyannie De La Rosa as she shares what this scholarship means to her, her career, her family, and how she will use it:
“The first thing I want to share is my gratitude for this award. I am certain several other deserving students submitted applications for your consideration, and I feel so lucky your committee has chosen me. I have only known hard-working students to put on themselves the extra, voluntary task of applying to scholarships. Looking for them takes time, and writing a thoughtful essay takes even more time. Those students are likely just as deserving of recognition like this, so I want to give a shout out to them. Winning an external scholarship is a first for me and for my first to be a nursing scholarship is very reassuring of my career path. Of course, money is always appreciated but I have a lot to express regarding this win.
First of all, the obvious: it is no secret that college is expensive and often unaffordable. While I am awarded financial aid, it is usually not enough to assist with living expenses. I knew when I initially decided to become a nursing major, getting good control of my expenses was going to be an influential factor in my success. The expenses were also my most worrying concern, as they are often unpredictable, and if announced are mentioned with little time to prepare. There is a lot to be ready for: a mandatory uniform, keeping up to date with vaccines and doctors visits, required materials for class and clinical, and maintaining a working car to get to clinical locations. Between all of these expenses, I have had moments where I could not meet the out of pocket expenses I have been expected to pay. I have made it this far with the help of grants and like a lot of other students, debt– in credit cards and in federal loans. I have also done my best to hold onto multiple jobs. The most I have held at one point was four jobs during the spring 2019 semester, which has made me so grateful to be in a place where working only two can pay for my expenses. However, as the semester progresses, I know I will have to decrease my hours at work even more as my course material gets heavier. This scholarship gives me the liberty to do so.
More recently, I moved out of my mother’s home into an off campus apartment in need of more quiet time. I miss my family and my dogs, but every move I make is in the best interest of my grades. Sometimes, I go even further and ask myself if my current situation is helping or hurting the patients I want to care for in the future. Meeting a program’s standards in college is important in any discipline, but my professors remind us regularly it is especially crucial for us as nursing students to exceed their standards as it has a direct effect on living, breathing people. At least once a week, my professors say “you are the last line of defense for your patient” and it is all the motivation I need to close Netflix and finish whatever reading I am procrastinating on that week. It was also my rationale for moving out, which was a decision I needed more confidence in, which this scholarship provides.
Beyond the financial assistance I get with this scholarship, I am also just very honored that someone cared to ask about my career goals, and not only read about it but possibly, in some way, endorse those goals. It was a vulnerable act for me to share all my plans, plans I never thought hard about. My career goals come to me during mindless, uneventful activities like washing the dishes or grocery shopping. I never critically thought them through, so writing my essay gave me room to clarify what my greatest desires are.
I wrote in my essay about my desire to not only be a good nurse but to also redefine what nurses mean when they call themselves advocates. Although I am two years away from graduation and the NCLEX, I am ready to start practicing a new philosophy of nursing where nurse advocacy intersects with social justice. I believe nurses need to be advocating for patients in every capacity we can. It can no longer be debated if health care professionals have a place in the local or federal government. Nurses need to have a seat at every table decisions are made. Preventive care is nursing care, and it can not just exist in a hospital in a ten-minute conversation before a patient is discharged. If nurses had a say in what public policy is written, we would have the power to reroute the course of health our communities are on. There are several crises we are experiencing right now and though we do not know the health implications of, for example, the climate crisis, we will all be tasked with managing whatever care the world will need in the coming years as a result of it. This is why I decided my career goal to be to build a legacy of advocacy and this scholarship only broadened the scope to which I imagined it. Having someone hear what I have to say, and to a degree, agreeing with what I have to say is very encouraging and strengthens that dream even more.
I do not know what I will exactly do with this extra money. As most students do I have bills to pay. I also have a very old car that can use some maintenance work. I might also just save it for whatever expense pops up in the upcoming weeks. What I do know for sure is that this is a moment I want to pay forward. I did not know winning a scholarship would feel this meaningful. I definitely have a new goal of funding my own scholarship once I am in a place to do so. Once again, thank you so much for this opportunity. It was an awesome chance to ponder my future and flex my writing muscles for the first time in a while. I cannot wait to see what may become of my goals.
Are you in clubs? Deans list? we want to know! My previous activities are Treasurer of two clubs on campus: Minorities in Medicine, and the Potential Candidates of Lambda Theta Alpha. I’m also an Honors Student with the Kathwari Honors Program on campus. I’m a student employee in the Financial Aid Office. I’m also an SGA Representative and will be sworn in by the end of the week.
Again, thank you so much for this opportunity.”
Xyannie De la Rosa
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