Emma Hill, a nursing student at Kent State University, was recently awarded the first Fathom Fund Scholarship for Purpose-Driven Students. Launched by Fathom Education in 2014, the $4,000 scholarship is awarded to one undergraduate student who impacts his or her community and has goals to make a difference.
Although our Scholarship Committee received 50 applications, Emma stood out among the candidates. While she pursues her nursing degree, Emma also makes time to volunteer and to run her own pet care business. It’s easy to see that Emma works extremely hard at everything she does.
But the Scholarship Committee was most impressed by Emma’s profound love for her sister, Allison, who is severely disabled. “A major part of what has driven me and has been my major motivator throughout my life is my sister Allison,” wrote Emma in her application essay. “Allison has inspired me to make a difference and enter the health care field. Her life is very difficult and I have seen how much she depends on quality health care and good nurses. Besides an excellent career and job security, nursing will give me the opportunity to give back and ease suffering.”
An Interview with Emma Hill
We had a chance to talk to Emma about her experiences, so take a look at our interview with her.
What helps you be successful?
What helps me be successful is that I am highly motivated to succeed. Being lazy and failing is not an option. All I have to do is look at my sister, Allison, who has many physical challenges, as my example. She has so much to deal with every day and still continues to remain positive and works hard. I have been blessed with so much and have so many opportunities that I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t give everything 100%.
You have experience in business, athletics, volunteering, and more. How do you think your diverse interests and background will help you be successful in the future?
I think my experiences have made me mature for my age. I have always been driven to succeed and I have tried to make the experiences I have had be positive and get me to the next level. I have met many valuable contacts through these life experiences and I have learned a lot from teachers, coaches, employers, business contacts, etc. I have learned sitting around and waiting for things to happen will get you nowhere. Hard work truly does pay off.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been dealing with stress. Worrying about paying for school, keeping good grades and my work schedule takes a toll on me physically and mentally. I try to go to the gym and work out as much as I can. I take walks with my dogs and try to go out and have fun with my friends as often as I can, but it is not easy when I am busy.
Can you tell me more about your pet care business?
I started my pet care business, Precious Pets, when I was 14. I really needed to make my own money and I was too young to be hired by any business. I have always had pets and love animals, so I thought that I would give pet care a shot.
My aunt helped me design a brochure that I took to my school and different vet offices and local businesses, and asked them to display it. It started out slow but as time passed, I now have all the clients I need. I take care of dogs and cats while their families are out of town. Some dogs come to my house to stay or I will go to their house a few times a day to feed and play with them. I even give medications including injections of insulin to my diabetic pet clients. I dog-sit a Labrador Retriever with anxiety issues who cannot be left alone for any period of time because he will destroy the house. I care for cats in their homes because cats do not like change and I visit them once a day. I charge based on the number of visits, how far the drive is and whether they are staying at my house or not.
What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had since you started school?
The most rewarding experience for me school-wise has been the post-secondary educational options program. I started taking college classes as a junior in high school and I went to Kent State full-time my senior year. I was able to take the majority of my required Kent core by the time I graduated from high school and I had earned 45 college credits.
Because I was able to get so many of the pre-requisite classes out of the way, I believe it helped me focus and get good grades in the classes that I needed to get into nursing school. This program, funded by the State of Ohio, saved me thousands in tuition and book fees. I have met many wonderful people through this program who still support me and give me advice. I want to take this opportunity to thank my Kent State post-secondary advisor, Cara White. She has always been there to answer any questions that I have had and continues to support me even though I have graduated.
What will you do after you graduate from nursing school?
I have been thinking about this for the past few months. I had already decided to continue on in school after I receive my BSN to become a Nurse Practitioner. After talking to my aunt, who is in her last semester of classes to be a Nurse Practitioner, and because Ohio is changing the requirements for Nurse Practitioners to have a year of work experience and three years of additional schooling, I have decided to instead apply to medical school and see what happens.
What advice do you want to give other nursing students?
My advice for nursing students would be to put school first. If there is a party on the weekend and you have a big test on Monday, it is probably not the best idea to skip studying to party all night and get super sick and have to spend the whole next day recovering.
I would also say learn how to manage time because it is crucial for success in college. Make a list of what is most important to get done each week in each class and start from there. Try not to procrastinate because you will regret it when you have a million things to do in a short amount of time. You will be asking yourself was that Netflix binge really worth it?
Also, get involved with groups and organizations on campus. There are many campus organizations like Habitat for Humanity, HPAC, sororities or fraternities, student government, student ambassadors, etc., that are great places to meet people. Getting involved will help you feel less isolated and trapped in a room studying all the time. You can make friends with similar goals and interests and you can network. Being involved in campus life in a positive way is a great resume builder and the contacts you make may someday help you get a job.
For more information about the scholarship, visit our page for the Fathom Fund for Purpose-Driven Students.