The Fall 2018 class of Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholars includes students from all over the region, in various stages of life with one common goal – to make a difference in healthcare throughout Appalachia. Twice a year, students from across the region are invited to apply for the ARH Scholars program. Recipients are awarded a $5,000 academic scholarship to pursue a degree in healthcare.
Nancy Dye has always been an incredibly driven individual. At the age of 16 she was able to begin college early as a student at Big Sandy Community and Technical College where she studied nursing. In fall 2017 she began working for McDonald’s where she says she grew a lot as a person and became more independent. By the age of 18 she graduated from BSCTC, something she says she could not have done without the support of her family.
“My family has shaped me into who I am today and I don’t believe I would have made it this far without them,” Nancy says. “They pushed me to make straight A’s when I felt like giving up and taught me that you never succeed unless you try.”
She is excited to begin classes at University of Pikeville this fall pursuing a RN-BSN degree. Her anticipated graduation year is 2023, but she is debating returning to obtain her Master’s Degree.
“I chose nursing because all I’ve worked towards in life is helping other people,” she says. “I want to do something that is challenging, interesting, and rewarding with my future and make a difference in people’s lives on an everyday basis. I feel that the nursing profession would allow me to do exactly that. I want to help people through difficult times and give them the assistance needed when no one else can.”
Nancy says her mother has served as her biggest mentor throughout life and her career. She has served as a constant source of encouragement through every stage of Nancy’s life.
“She’s always told me, ‘You can do anything you dream of as long as you set your mind to it.’ And that couldn’t be more true,” Nancy says. “I’ve lived by this every day, and I’m truly happy with the decisions I’ve made in my life. Thanks to my mom, I’ve been shaped into a successful woman who only dreams of helping others.”
Nancy learned about the ARH Scholars program through Facebook. She is very thankful for ARH’s efforts to spread the word about this scholarship program to inform the largest number of potential applicants possible.
“Since I’ve already graduated [and I’m about to go back to school] I don’t have connections to hear about scholarships anymore,” she says. “I was ecstatic when I found a scholarship related to the medical field that I could actually apply for. It has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders. One of my biggest fears is student loans and ARH Scholars has helped rid me of that. I couldn’t be happier to have received this award.”
“The scholars are selected by the ARH Scholars Judging Committee,” says Danya Anderson, ARH Scholars Coordinator. “Once I receive the applications, I prepare them to be sent to the committee by making them a ‘blind’ application, which makes it fair for each applicant. The Scholars award is paid in two installments of $2,500 directly to the school. One is payable after verification and the other is paid the following year. For this round, we had 73 applicants with 10 finalists awarded.”
Nancy is excited to begin this journey toward completing her nursing education and making a difference for the people in her community.
“I’m so excited to get out there and help those who need it,” Nancy says. “To me, that’s what life’s all about. Just seeing people in need hurts my soul. I want to be able to give back and step out of my comfort zone. It would be a privilege to help people when they’re most vulnerable and have no one else. I can’t wait to be part of a team whose number one priority is treating patients with the best care.”
Nancy clearly has a passion for nursing. Through her education and training she hopes to become the best nurse she can be, offering care to those who truly need it.
“I want my patients to know how much I care about them and how passionate I am about my work,” she says. “I can’t wait to see the smile on those patients faces that I help. The satisfaction that it will bring me is unbelievable. I could save a life and that itself is an amazing accomplishment and something that I’ll look forward to everyday.”