McKinnlee Hatton – football player, musician and most importantly, future nurse – has been named a 2018 Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholar.
He grew up in Clay County and is a recent graduate of Clay County High School, where he played football as a left tackle on the offensive line. He says he loves spending his free time playing any instrument with strings and volunteers playing music at the local nursing home with his church, Turkey Foot Pentecostal.
McKinnlee’s interest in the medical field came after a traumatic experience when he was four-years-old.
“As a young kid, I hemorrhaged from a tonsillectomy and if it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses I probably wouldn’t be here today,” McKinnlee says. “I just want to help people and what really sparked it all was being a survivor because of the nurses and doctors.”
He was overwhelmed and happy after learning he had been named one of the 11 Spring 2018 ARH Scholars selected as winners. He was one of 72 student applicants entering the medical field from the 12 ARH communities chosen to participate in the program. As an ARH Scholar, McKinnlee will receive a financial reward of $5,000 toward tuition and living expenses while beginning his college career pursuing a degree in Nursing at Kentucky Christian University in the fall. His goal is to become a nurse offering the same kind of outstanding care as he received as a child.
“The competition was very intense,” explained Christopher Johnson, System Director of Employee and Labor Relations at ARH. “We are pleased to offer these awards in an effort to encourage individuals to pursue higher education.”
“The scholarships 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.”
After completing his undergraduate degree, McKinnlee plans to pursue his Master’s Degree in Nursing and ultimately become a nurse practitioner.
“I want to be a role model for people,” McKinnlee says. “I just want to help others and to show how to be courageous and a good Christian person to other people.”
McKinnlee is excited to begin his college career, making him one step closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming a nurse and bettering his community.
Story published in The Manchester Enterprise