I separated from my husband and suddenly found myself single with two children. I was faced with the choice to take on additional hours at work which would help me short term, or to start school which would help me long term. I decided to go back to school, but was worried. The cost of school would directly take away from my ability to provide for my children. I started anyway and just hoped everything would work out. I studied hard because I was determined to succeed. I applied for a scholarship and I received one!!! Receiving the scholarship was absolutely critical in my ability to attend school. Beyond the scholarship, the Foundation and their donors made me feel like they believed in me. By being chosen as a scholarship recipient, they were saying they support me in helping me reach my academic goals for myself and my children. Receiving a scholarship was a monumental occasion - had I not received the scholarship, I wonder if I would even have been able to start the next semester. I will forever be grateful.
I attended Ventura College for 5 years as a full time student. That is 9 semesters and 3 summer sessions! I lived in Ventura, which is essentially paradise. There's a cost to living in paradise however, and I wouldn't have been able to support myself and my adolescent daughter while pursuing my dream of becoming an RN, regardless of my 3 part time jobs, without the aid of the Ventura College Foundation. The Foundation staff assisted me through the detailed and sometimes complex process of seeking and applying for scholarships, of which won several. They were a continued source of support and strength and helped me to find donors who also supported my dream of bettering my life and the lives of all I touch.
I came from a place in my life which was riddled with addiction and nearly destroyed me. Thankfully I found strength to overcome that dangerous place when I finally understood that I was created, and desired to enhance the world we share rather than to cause pain and spread sorrow with the selfish, destructive tendencies of addiction. When I completed my time in treatment I found myself influenced by the guidance of a trusted counselor to realize my need to give of myself and touch lives in a positive way through nursing.
I became devoted to the cause and was driven to pursue the goal. It's sometimes daunting to be a full time student, a mom to an adolescent daughter, hold 3 part time jobs, and volunteer weekly. When the foundation staff would see me treading through they were all a source of encouragement and for that I will always be grateful. And they helped me establish a scholarship through the student nurse association on campus so that we too could begin to give back financially.
Currently, after 2 years as an RN, I am a hospice nurse. I get to help ease families through what is potentially the most frightening time in life for most people. I'm finding fulfillment that I never could have anticipated. I honestly don't believe I could have done it without the aid of the Ventura College Foundation. I simply wouldn't have been able to survive financially in nursing school without their help.