My Top 5: Valedictorian. Softball, basketball and soccer, four years. NSAA Believers and Achievers nominee. KWBE & Beatrice Sertoma Female Athlete of the Year. CNA from Bryan College of Health Sciences
My future: UNL, Nursing
What was your favorite class in school?
My favorite class in school was Anatomy. The course was difficult, but my diligent study habits allowed me to finish at the top of my class. A lot of the work involved a process we called 'RYNN'. My instructor taught us to 'Read Your Notes Nightly' as a way to succeed optimal learning and not just memorization. This is a skill that I practiced and know will benefit me at the collegiate level. My instructor also encouraged me to sign up for a Certified Nursing Assistant class at Bryan Health College this past June to obtain my certificate. I was able to complete this intense course work in four weeks and receive my degree. Once I completed my degree, I was certain that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Since June, I have job shadowed at the Beatrice Community Hospital in the Women's and Children's Clinic. I have had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Angela Grone, OB-GYN, and Tammi Carstens, Physician Assistant. In addition, I job shadowed with Dr. Maria-Louisa Knobel, Beatrice Public Schools Psychologist, and discussed options for studies in mental health. This exposure and pathway to health care was triggered from taking my Anatomy class and the encouragement of my instructor.
What is your dream job?
My dream job, once I finish my studies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is to obtain employment as a family nurse practitioner with an endorsement in mental health. Mental health has become a growing issue throughout our country, and having a better understanding of the issues facing patients will allow me to assist them and their families. I also plan to relocate to a rural community and help those who may not have quality care within reach. This profession will provide me many different opportunities, options to work in hospitals, correctional facilities, open my own practice, and the experience of something new each day. As a child, I always had an interest in caring for people. My experience in athletics, and as a teammate, will be beneficial in health care, because each member has their role, while working together, to provide patients the best possible care. I also love watching medical shows and am gifted with the tolerance of needles and blood. My interest in taking care of others became strong when two of my family members were diagnosed with cancer. My grandmother and uncle were diagnosed at different times with different types and stages of cancer. Fortunately, early detection allowed their cancers to be treatable and both are now in remission. I witnessed health care providers give my family members the best possible care with positive attitudes, allowing them to have hope. My dream job involves doing the same for others in need.
What activity outside of the classroom do you enjoy the most?
My favorite activity outside the classroom is sports. In high school, I competed in sports year-round and was honored this past week as a 12-sport athlete. I am most proud of this accomplishment as I spent an average of 20 hours each week, after school, competing in the sport in season. I was able to complete all this activity while maintaining my 4.0 GPA. Although I played softball, basketball and soccer, softball is by far my favorite. As senior softball team captain, I helped lead a team of mostly freshmen to a winning season. I helped change the culture of the team with positive leadership skills. This was accomplished mostly by being a good listener and showing care and concern for my teammates. Summer softball teams allow me to meet new people from surrounding schools and travel to different communities. I plan to continue playing softball at the intramural level in college to stay active, have fun, and meet new friends. Athletic involvement has taught me that sports are more than just running plays. I have learned many valuable lessons and skills that carry over into my academic success. Participation has taught me the value of being a leader in the form of teamwork, communication, motivation, and time management. Examples include working hard to get the job accomplished, communicating with instructors outside of class time, and working on homework when time allows. Some examples as a team captain include making sure all participants feel included and listening to everyone's ideas. Ironically, one of the biggest impacts from sports came from the season I played the least. My senior basketball season did not allow me to see a lot of playing time. I did not quit, but stuck with it and persevered. I learned a deeper meaning to being a teammate as my role changed from a consistent junior varsity player to one who saw very little varsity playing time. I was humbled, but I stayed determined. I gave it my all in practices to make others better and kept a smile on my face. Although my name wasn't announced as a starter, I know my contribution to the team was in no way less important. My coaches last words to me were, 'you were the MVP of the practice squad, thanks for making others better and for having a great attitude.' Freshmen players thanked me for being there for them and encouraging them along the way. I learned all roles in a group, on a team, and in the workplace, have a purpose and it takes everyone for success. Sometimes in groups, you are the star, and sometimes, you are the behind-the-scene support. Learning these lessons early on, through a season that appeared not to go my way, actually had a positive life impact on me and will be valued in my college courses and career choice as a team player in health care.
Parents: Kent and Jill Zimmerman