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Compassion • Perseverance • Accountability

Compassion, perseverance and accountability are just a few of the many positive attributes that guide each day’s journey for Mount Carmel College of Nursing student, Amanda Utzinger.

Now in her junior year at MCCN, Amanda was a senior in high school when her earlier interest in nursing as a career became a firm decision. Her 82-year-old grandmother, who had become seriously ill, was admitted to hospice. “I was really inspired by the compassion the nurses showed to Grandma and our family,” Amanda recalls. “It was more than just how they cared for her, but also how they cared about her as they tended to her every need and helped her through the end stage of her life,” she says.

Just three years earlier, Amanda first dreamed of becoming a nurse. One of the star freshman players on her soccer team, it was not unusual for her to come home bone-weary and feeling pretty beat up after an afternoon of hard practice. However, when her parents recognized that their daughter’s pain level, along with swelling and stiffness, might be caused by more than simple sports-related concerns, visits to physicians’ offices and Nationwide Children’s Hospital resulted in a diagnosis of systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“The nurses who cared for me during my several hospitalizations – sometimes for as long as two-weeks at a time – were like angels to me,” Amanda recalls. “Their concern with my physical needs, as well as compassion about my feelings and worry over what I was missing at school, really touched me, and that’s when I realized how important the role of a nurse can be.”

Amanda’s perseverance through her own illness and recovery came to the fore in helping the Grove City teen successfully complete high school and subsequently gain admittance to MCCN.

“I chose Mount Carmel College of Nursing because of the warm atmosphere and because I felt the faculty members I met were truly interested in helping me achieve my goals,” she says. Amanda has proven be to be a “star player” at MCCN, too. She is not only a good student, maintaining a 3.7 GPA, but recently was awarded three scholarships.

She is the first recipient of the inaugural Tammy Snyder Weidner Endowed Memorial Scholarship, which is in memory of 32-year Mount Carmel associate Tammy Snyder. Snyder, who worked her way from diploma graduate of MCCN to Chief Nursing Officer, Mount Carmel St. Ann’s after earning both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Business Administration, was a proponent of life-long learning. Amanda’s winning essay discussed not only her own life-long learning goals, but also her understanding of and dedication to accountability in nursing practice.

“I believe that a life-long learner is someone who is constantly striving for more knowledge, which can be gained from experience, reading and learning from others, as well as formal education,” Amanda asserts.

Also the recipient of the Delores Street Ohio Contractors Association Memorial Scholarship and the Monica and Stephen Walter Scholarship, Amanda attributes her mother with instilling in her a desire for learning and is grateful to MCCN for the opportunities she has realized. “My taught me that education is valuable because it is something that can never be taken away and it opens endless opportunities. I will always be very grateful to her for that – and I’m also very grateful to MCCN for helping me to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse so that I can help others,” she adds.

Like many stories that lead to nursing careers, Joshua Aronovsky’s began with a family health crisis. His mother lost a yearlong battle with brain cancer in August 2007. Her care included multiple craniotomies and three months of chemotherapy and radiation.

In addition to his mother’s strength and courage, Aronovsky found inspiration in the nurses who played a critical and personal role in her care. “They were not only caring, but also empathetic,” he recalled, “which provided a great deal of consolation to me and my family.”

It was during that time that he made the decision to return to school. His new goal: a degree in nursing. Three years later, thanks to donations to the College of Nursing through the Mount Carmel Foundation, he is mere months away from reaching that goal.

Through his commitment to academics and service, Aronovsky has earned three scholarships: the Josephine Walters Care Star Scholarship, the Robert G. & Katherine R. Schwemley Foundation Scholarship and the Trinity Health Scholarship. Add them to his student loans and his work as a patient care assistant in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Mount Carmel West, and he will be able to complete his degree this spring without any additional out-of-pocket costs.

“I’m extremely thankful to all the donors who continue to make high-quality nursing education available to students like me,” he added. “In a way, they’re honoring my mother and her caregivers, too, and that makes it even more special.”