Matt Williams - ARH Scholars Winner | Spring 2018

ARH Scholar employed in McDowell

Recently Matt Williams’ life has been a whirlwind of excitement. First he heard the news that he had been named a 2018 Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholar, he was then hired as a nurse extern for McDowell ARH.

As an ARH Scholar, Matt will receive a financial reward of $5,000 toward tuition and living expenses while finishing his associate’s degree in nursing at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. He plans to continue his education to receive his bachelor’s degree in nursing and eventually his master’s degree.

“I feel like ARH overall in the last two months has impacted my life in a way outside of healthcare tremendously,” Matt says. “Things would be very different if I hadn’t received this scholarship and if I hadn’t received this job through them.”

Matt’s interest in the medical field, specifically Biology, started at a young age.

“I’ve been interested in [the medical field] really since 6th grade,” Matt says. “I had a teacher who introduced all of us to biology and there was a lot of emphasis on human anatomy. This interest has carried on throughout my entire life.”

Matt has experience in various fields including insurance and construction. He spent a portion of his life watching and working for his father’s construction and excavation business where he says he learned to have a good work ethic.

Before pursuing nursing, Matt gained a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Morehead State University. After graduation, Matt began working outside of the medical field, but ultimately followed his passion deciding to pursue a nursing degree.

“I think my life developments and the things I’ve done, even though they may not be medical, have really prepared me to be a great nurse rather than just coming straight out of high school and becoming a nurse,” Matt says. “I would have missed out on a lot of personal development. I really feel like my life events have built me up to make me uniquely capable of taking care of people.”

While Matt is unsure of the ultimate career path he will take, he is excited to begin working at ARH. The experience of working in a hospital every day will allow him to learn what area he would like to focus on and where his passion lies.

“I’m absolutely thrilled because I’ll get all of these opportunities to practice my skills…I don’t have any experience as a nurse aid or really any medical experience other than volunteering and clinicals. I felt like at 34 years old it was really important that I be ready to hit the ground running when I graduate,” Matt says.

Matt is excited for this journey with ARH and says he is very grateful for such a wonderful opportunity.

“I recommend other students look into the opportunities ARH offers, whether it be for employment or a scholarship or anything else,” Matt says. “They’re really great for the area. I think things would be very different without them.”

Story Published in Floyd County Chronicle & Times