Myah Kerbyson - Joe Zanca Scholarship Winner

The lack of tests and finals was freeing, and I found myself putting in as much work as I would for any other class. I spent my nights exploring endless topics online, then began raiding my local library for medical encyclopedias, nursing textbooks, and a Guide to Illnesses A through E (the others were checked out). Dr. Shepard soon began to help me narrow my interest in medicine to the career of nursing.

Though watching surgery videos and learning about meningitis excited me on paper, I still was uncertain about whether I could even handle the sight of blood in real life. To answer that question, I signed up to go to Argentina for two weeks to study medicine and Spanish by working in local hospitals. After witnessing a cyst being drained, a patient who came in with one less ear than he woke up with, and three surgeries all without passing out, I had my answer. Not only did I know what career I wanted, but I discovered a specialty that excited me--working in the operating room. Since then, becoming an operating room nurse has become my main goal.

I have since applied to and been accepted into six nursing programs. There are a number of factors that will help me succeed during nursing school and ultimately in my career. Through my internship, I not only learned about medicine, but I discovered that I am truly passionate about it, which will give me the drive to be successful in nursing school. Through my trip to Argentina, I discovered that I am truly capable of stomaching more than the average person, which not many people have the opportunity to find out before applying to nursing school.

Along with my nursing-specific experiences, I have developed strong intellectual skills throughout my high school career that will serve me well throughout college and my career. Despite taking seven AP courses and eight honors courses, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA, unweighted. I have also purposely taken challenging science courses such as AP Chemistry, Biology I and II, and physics, which have prepared me extensively for the academic rigor of nursing school. Additionally, I have an extensive background with community service including organizing an American Red Cross blood drive, working to prevent diabetes and flu transmission in Argentina, improving youth centers in New Jersey, and skirting the trailer home of a low-income family in New York. These experiences have given me a greater appreciation for service-based careers. I have already begun working to achieve my aspiration of becoming a nurse by gaining experience in the field, preparing myself academically, and performing other acts of service. In this way, I believe I have made myself into an excellent candidate for success in nursing school, and ultimately for achieving my goal.