My name is Abigail Johnson and I was born and raised in Arvada, Colorado. I am the youngest of four children and was raised in a hectic family. Both of my parents worked, and even when they were off from work, they spent a lot of time driving kids to soccer practice, attending cub scout meetings, and taking me to dance lessons. Due to this, most of my childhood was spent at my grandparent’s house, where they watched me until my parents could pick me up. During the time that I spent with my grandparents, I believe that I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life, and the foundations of who I am as a person were built. They taught me the value of kindness and putting myself in other people’s shoes. When I think back, many of the reasons that I was drawn to a helping profession stem from the lessons that were provided to me at a young age.
In high school, I knew that I wanted to work in the medical field. However, this desire was placed in a very logical frame of mind. I liked science and biology, and I was good at it. However, as I grew older and experienced sickness in my own family, my vision for a career in the medical field shifted into a career as a nurse. In my Junior year of high school, my grandfather had back-to-back strokes. From this experience, I learned how much sickness impacts an entire family in addition to the patient. My mother and grandmother were impacted the most by these events, and I know that they both heavily relied on the medical staff for reassurances during this time. As a nurse, I wish to help my patients and their families through some of the most difficult moments of their lives. This means providing both medical and emotional support to them.
Unfortunately, my grandfather recently passed away. Following his death, the nurses at Mountain Vista Senior Living stayed in the room with me, my mother, and my grandmother for about an hour and a half. We shared our good memories with my grandfather, and told stories of him. While much of the time they spent with us was in silence, it was also very meaningful. Following this experience, I was even more solidified in my commitment in wanting to become a nurse. I think that it was the first time that I had ever experienced nurses being there for me, rather than knowing that they were there for my family.
I am excited to continue my nursing education at Regis University and I am hopeful that in these next two years I will be able to discover even more reasons that I am passionate about becoming a nurse. I am incredibly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Myrick for their generosity in providing this scholarship.
Meet Our Scholar: Julia Folmar
My name is Julia Folmar, I was born at Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado along with my brother William. We were born prematurely at 29 weeks of gestation. The nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit saved my life. My brother suffered a different consequence, and it has shaped my life from birth. He and this tragedy have given me the inspiration and strength I have today to reach my goals. Growing up I realized my passion in this life is to help and care for others in the way that my nurses cared for my family and myself. Beginning in sixth grade, I have been making and donating blankets to NICU families at Rose because I felt such an attachment there. I have recently completed the Eat, Sleep, and Console course at Rose. Since December I have been volunteering as a desk attendant and more recently, as a baby cuddlier. Some of the infants I am serving now are not as fortunate as I was in their familial situations. Many suffer from withdrawal, neglect, and poverty. Those circumstances only make me more resolute in my conviction to help them. My heart is so full of love to spread to the babies and their families, and I am determined to impact them as positively as I am capable. I am truly thankful to experience this life on earth, and I thank God, my parents, my doctors, and my nurses for my opportunities. I am relentless in my aspiration to give back exactly what was given to me and my family. With the scientific advances, along with increased social awareness, since my time in the NICU, I know I have the potential to contribute immensely. I will forever feel a void in my life without my twin; however, his legacy drives me to carry on my life’s journey of giving back in the same way that others have given to us.
Meet Our Scholar: Kara Rodeheaver
My name is Kara Rodeheaver. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM and since I was young I felt called to help others, to heal them. During my Junior and Senior year of high school I was blessed enough to take part in an LPN program where I discovered my true passion for nursing. During my time in the program, I was given valuable first hand experience through clinicals. It was during my first semester of clinical and the day started like any other; however, once we entered the unit our instructor told us that there was a patient on the floor that was actively dying. I was assigned this patient and throughout the shift the patient began to decline, she wouldn’t make it through the day. She was an elderly patient and a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) code, and this is why when she began to go into cardiac arrest, there was nothing we could do except try and make her more comfortable. After she passed, we had to prepare her body to be brought down to the morgue - it was a solemn yet methodical sort of ritual. Once we had finished, I went into the hallway just outside of her room and sat down to document. Shortly after, a man came running out from the elevators in a frenzy, he slowed when he came up to me, he asked, “Am I too late? Please don’t tell me that I’m too late.” I knew exactly what he meant. I then continued to tell him that his mother had passed just moments before his arrival. This is when the man broke down into sobs, and I hugged him. He sat with me for quite some time just crying in my arms. After a while, he sat up and thanked me. I showed him where to see his mother and said my goodbye. This day impacted my life in a major way. It opened my eyes to holistic care. Right now, I am blessed to be able to have the opportunity to dedicate my life to healing others in more than just a physical way. That man will remember that day for the rest of his life, and I was able to make it a little bit more bearable. This is what lead me to Regis University where I was able to not only take part in one of the best nursing programs out there but also play the sport I love for a school I love. I play on Regis’s softball team as a pitcher, softball has allowed me to learn how to work together as a team and vital time management skills along with so much more, all vital to working as a member of the healthcare team. I am eager to learn from the wonderful mentors at Regis and get to work on helping others on their worst days in any way possible. I am truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community, and I cannot thank Pam and Steve enough for all of the support that they have given to me on this extraordinary journey.
Meet Our Scholar: Chloe Weigum
My name is Chloe Weigum. I was born and raised in Colorado and have lived here my whole life. My passion for nursing began at a young age, when I began to discover the drive I had to help people both physically and mentally. My grandfather had been diagnosed with COPD, and became very ill when I was 16. Both my mom and I lived with him and took care of him as he started to become more ill. This was the first experience I had that made me realize I wanted to become a nurse someday. The most inspiring part of my journey with him was understanding that I wasn't only able to help him complete tasks that were more difficult for him, but I was also giving him a type of companionship as he became more ill.
After this experience, I decided I wanted to discover more about what it means to be a nursing student and how it works. I then attended Warren Tech Technical Education School and was apart of the nursing class. This opportunity gave me confidence that I wanted to become a nursing student in college because I was able to learn more nursing skills and be able to practice small clinical work like taking vital signs.
I currently work as a junior golf coach at a golf course in Golden. I have done this for the past five summers. I am able to work with kids everyday of the week, which has fueled my passion to continue working with kids as a nurse after I graduate. As of now, my goal is to become a nurse who works in the pediatric unit. I hope to continue to explore my drive to help people and children. I am excited to use the skills I have learned at Regis in the nursing field when I graduate.
I am unbelievably grateful for Mr. and Mrs. Myrick giving me the opportunity to be a recipient of this scholarship. I cannot wait to continue my education at Regis University for the next two years.
Meet Our Scholar: Alexa Grygorcewicz
My name is Alexa Grygorcewicz, and I’m a strong believer that life is ironic. It coincidentally introduces us to things, such as ideas and people, that heavily influence our future experiences and decisions. We find meaning in each of these experiences, whether they’re good or bad. As a result, these ideas and people shape the individuals we become and forever alter our lives.
Shortly after my second birthday, I was diagnosed with severe asthma. I spent almost four weeks in the hospital every year up until I was 16 years old. Throughout the night, I woke up for breathing treatments every two hours. The medications I took made me tired and irritable. I struggled with being a “normal” kid because I barely had enough energy to talk. However, the nurses provided me with the care and comfort my family and I so desperately needed. They bought me an Easy-Bake Oven to keep me engaged and active during the days I spent confined to my bed. When I was unable to sleep at night, they would read and sing to me. Most importantly, they taught me that my health condition did not define who I was or who I would become.
As I grew older, I finally understood the meaning and truth of my annual visits to the hospital. Each of these experiences had introduced me to my dream job as a nurse. Rather than dwell on the adverse effects asthma had on my life, I decided to pay it forward. With the help of Regis University, I’ve dedicated my life to helping and healing others, both physically and emotionally.
I am excited for the journey ahead, and I can’t thank Mr. and Mrs. Myrick enough for their support and guidance.
Meet Our Scholar: Madison Fliedner
My name is Madison Fliedner, but everyone calls me Maddie. I was born in Denver, Colorado and have lived in Colorado my entire life. I want to be a nurse because when I was a kid I lacked courage. I attended a school that labeled me “a slightly slower student”. That label took away all my courage; courage to try new things, courage to push myself into unknown endeavors and courage to show my true self. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I gained the courage to fight that label and push myself into being the person I am today. One normal Monday, I came home to find my mother doubled over in pain. She pleading to me not to call the ambulance because “it wasn’t that serious”, but I knew I needed to do something. Now, I understand that calling 911 may seem like a small act, but it was the one that saved my mom’s life. My mother’s spleen had spontaneously ruptured and it was in that moment, when I saw the life in my mom fading away, and I knew I could do something to help that I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I want to help people in their moment of need and to be their advocate when they might not know what is best for them. Ever since attending Regis, I have further confirmed that I am destined to be a nurse. I want to pass on my belief that anyone, even the “slightly slower student” can overcome any boundaries and become the best version of themselves that we establish for ourselves. Winston Churchhill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” In my journey to the woman I am today that quote has given me strength. I have failed many times, but with each failure I stand up taller and I succeed greater. I want to pass on to my patients that we are not our labels and we should have the courage to show the world what we are made of – and that it is not flaws or diseases.
Our Past Scholar: Lindsey Richards
My name is Lyndsey Richards and I’m a junior at Regis University. Born and raised in San Diego, I chose to move out to Denver to pursue nursing. When I was in high school, my mother made the decision to divorce my father and to leave behind a marriage of chaos, fear and abuse. It was an overwhelmingly complicated period of time in my life. Although it was an important decision and a step in the right direction for our family, I found myself in a broken place, feeling both lonely and lost. I had no idea what I desired my future to look like and the chaos within my family clouded my thinking.
However, something shifted in me as that year continued. By reaching my lowest point in life, I learned my most valuable lesson thus far. What if we could use our deepest, most crippling adversity as our greatest launching pad to finding growth and wisdom? Furthermore, imagine how we could change the world by choosing to lift up those around us that are struggling too. Everything changed within me once I further developed and began to understand this notion. It slowly shaped me and helped me make sense of my own struggles. This is when I inadvertently decided to pursue nursing. The idea of going into a profession and using my knowledge to change the lives of others for the better; that is what began to spark a light in me. The thought of a career in nursing has given me a sense of purpose, knowing that I can make a difference in this world and begin to heal and impact those around me. What a beautiful thought.
I hope to pay it forward someday by striving to be a nurse that embodies empathy, compassion, strength, and most importantly one that radiates love for others. Additionally, down the road it is my greatest desire to work with children transitioning out of unstable home environments. My ultimate wish is to show these individuals that hope still exists. I want to be a reminder that they too can escape any adversity and that their current circumstance does not have to be the end. Rather this new transition, in fact, can be where their story begins. It’s where mine did.
Our Past Scholar: Molly Ann Ginther
I grew up in Southern California in a town called Thousand Oaks. I am the youngest of four children and sadly I got to know the Regis Community support best when I too lost a loved one. My older sister passed away the beginning of my Freshman year at Regis due to a drug overdose. I knew at that moment I was lucky to be at Regis because my admissions counselor, teachers and friends were all there supporting me during that time. It really pushed me to want to succeed more not only for myself, but also my family.
One of my life goals, is to somehow use my Nursing Major and Sociology Minor to create a non-profit organization to help combat/relieve some of the symptoms that come from substance abuse. I want to be able to support and give tools to the user and the users family. My family also felt that the criminal justice system did not help as well as they could have or at least I felt that way. I want to help somehow impact the medical care, both physical and mental, within the jail system. The transition for my sister and brother, also did drugs but is sober now, coming out of the system was always extremely difficult and stressful for all of us because we never knew what was going to happen next. I want to help make that transition better for people.
In my scholarship essay I talked about my grandparents. Another one of my life goals is to be able to start my own family and I really admired their relationship, so I hope that one day I can emulate them in my own relationship.
I am currently working two jobs this summer, one at a shaved ice place and the other as a YMCA summer camp counselor! At school I got the position for Coordinator of Weekend Programming in the Office of Student Activities, which I’m really excited for because I’ll get to explore more of Denver while getting paid.
Our Past Scholar: Melissa Howell
“They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel”– Maya Angelou. Nursing, by nature, is a profession of caring and giving to others. Every day they dedicate their lives to save the lives of others. My passion for nursing has always been rooted in caring and giving back to others but in a different form than most nursing majors. My family’s history of military service sparked a passion in me to use my nursing skills and passion to save the lives of those who sacrifice theirs for our country. I also have a deep passion for volunteering and hope to continue to volunteer my services during and after college. I plan to “pay it forward” by caring for veterans and volunteering my nursing skills for the betterment of others. Regis University is renowned for its unmatched nursing education and I’m proud to have been selected to attend nursing school here in order to learn from some of the best. Growing up with a father who served in Vietnam and an extensive familial military service, I developed a deep appreciation for those who serve. One day, I hope to utilize the skills I learn at Regis and become a nurse in the Air Force. I hope to give back by becoming an inflight nurse to save those who are serving our country. I additionally hope to work on base or in the VA hospitals to “pay it forward” to not only those who are serving but for those who have served and their families. Military families and our veterans give so much more than they receive credit for and I hope to one day say thank you through offering the best care I can. I believe that serving for those who have served, like my father, is the best way to give back to those who have given for us. I also plan to pay it forward by continuing to volunteer. Attending a Jesuit High School, I was exposed to the Jesuit values. One that always spoke to me was “men and women in service of others.” This compelled me to volunteer at the Shriners Children’s Hospital during high school to continue my passion for working in a hospital and care for patients and their families in hopes of making their stay a little brighter. I plan to continue to volunteer my nursing skills and time to better the lives of others. Nursing takes care and passion, it is the profession of giving. I hope to pay it forward to those who have given to me by using the talents and skills I have learned at Regis to give back. I hope to work to save the lives of those who have sacrificed theirs for the protection of our country. I also plan to pay it forward by volunteering to care for and better the lives of patients and their families. Nursing and caring for others has always been my passion, and I hope to use it one day to give back to those who have contributed to my life and to spread that care to others. Very Respectfully, Melissa M. Howell Regis University