Jolene, a single mom with big dreams.
Reaching her goal and giving back to Kaua‘i is becoming a reality because of scholarships. Read her letter to donors.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a nurse. When I was three years old, my mother passed away, and my great grandparents raised me. By the time I was in high school, I was taking care of them, assisting with their meals, baths, and medications. They took care of me, and it was now my turn to take care of them. I discovered that my nursing skills came naturally. Sadly, my great grandparents passed away before I completed high school.
After I graduated, I took nursing pre-requisite classes at Kaua‘i Community College in 2004. I was almost finished with my studies when I became pregnant. I had to take time off from school to raise my daughter with no support from her father.
When I was ready to reapply to the nursing program, the requirements had changed, and I needed to take additional pre-requisite classes. I applied for as many scholarships as possible to ease the financial burden of being a full-time student and a single mother. I worked hard, never gave up, and was accepted into the program. I am now starting my second year.
My journey has been challenging, and there were many times I didn’t think I would make it. I suffer from test anxiety and I was the last person to take the HESI test (it took me four hours!).When I was done, I couldn’t even press the submit button. One of my instructors had to do it for me.
Throughout my struggles, the nursing faculty continued to encourage, inspire, and motivate me, believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. They helped me to come out of my shell, gain confidence, and stay focused. When I graduate in May, I will continue with my education at UH Mānoa to get my bachelor’s degree, and would love to someday teach at Kaua‘i Community College, and help the next generation of nurses.
Because of the generosity of donors, my dream of becoming a nurse is now a reality. I am so grateful for the opportunity, for their belief in me, for making a positive difference in my life, and for allowing me to be a role model for my daughter. Mahalo nui loa for your valuable investment in me and in Kaua‘i’s future.