These are the finalists for the tuition takeover, and their respective essays. Please take the time to read them over, and decide who you think is most deserving of free tuition for a year at Mid Michigan Community College. Voting for winners opens on Monday, April 24th, 2017, and lasts until Friday, April 28th, 2017 at 12:00AM.
When I was 19 I became a mother to not only my first child, but also my brother and sister (age 11 and 13 at that time). I have never looked for sympathy nor empathy from anyone for the sacrifices and choices that I made at a very young age. Every single piece of my puzzle of life has fit together and made a very unique creation that I live every single day. I have always worked hard and dreamed big. I am very ambitious when it comes to my future, and I know after many unfortunate events in my life that there is nothing that I cannot overcome. I have decided to go back to school this year to finish my basics and transfer to Central in 2019 in pursuit of becoming a physician. I work for the most successful and empowering doctor that I have ever met, and I aspire to be as driven and hard working as her. I want to change people’s lives on a daily basis just as she does. My better half is currently not working due to a health condition that he has struggled with from the age of 16. He has helped me raise my brother and sister for the past 5+ years and stands behind my decision to go back to school and chase my dreams 100%. He takes care of our boys for extended hours while I work and attend classes. Financially this has been a struggle for us so far, but he has still been my number 1 support no matter what. I could use all the help I can get right now with tuition. I will show you, and anyone that is willing to support me how much this opportunity means to me. Thank you.
Hello, my name is Monica Barber and I am going to be a Nurse. I’m a 32 year old wife to Josh Barber, and a mother of two amazing and energetic little boys named Noah (6), and Johnathan (2). I moved to this community just after I graduated high school 13 years ago and began my work journey at what is now Mclaren Central Michigan Community Hospital. I’ve been caring for our community there as an ER Tech for almost 8 of those 13 years. I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I love what I do. Back in 2013, my big sister inspired me to go back to school for my RN. For my prerequisites, I worked full time at the hospital, continued my “full time Mom” job, even giving birth between semesters of my first year, and I went to school part time. It was a lot of work but it payed off in August of 2016 when I was accepted into the RN program at MMCC.
On November 9th, I had an injury that would forever change me. When I got out of bed I felt a pop in my back. I could barely move. With the help of my husband, I got dressed and went into the ER. It was thought at that time that I just had a pulled muscle. So I left the ER and went to class, still having extreme difficulty with walking, sitting, or moving in general. I continued my schooling only missing one day of clinicals. After many more doctor visits, and two months of physical therapy I was referred to a Neurosurgeon. February 28th I had surgery to remove a bulging disc in my lower back that was pinching off 75% of my spine. I’m very happy to say after surgery, I’m almost completely back to 100% health. We have health insurance thru my husband’s employer, but our co pays have started to roll in. Since I’m in school full time, my husband has been working 5-6 12 hours days each week to help with costs. If I am chosen to get the free tuition, it will help our family tremendously.
My journey for a better education has been an amazing rollercoaster ride. In May of 2018, good Lord willing, I will be graduating with my Associate Degree in Nursing. As I said earlier I love what I do. The ER is where my heart is and I will return there. My own journey has taught me a new level of compassion for my patients, because I can say that I have been there and I understand. The struggles that my family and I have encountered have just made me that more appreciative of the little things. I will use these experiences to provide the best care that I possibly can to those in our community who need it. Thank You for your time, and hopefully for your vote.
I’m a survivor and a pursuer. My freshman year was normal until we got the news. A lump that was on my leg turned out to be a cancerous tumor. I was diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma (DFSP) a form of skin cancer that is within the middle layer of skin, mine grew into my muscle and nearly into my bone. This set my family back from all the hospital visits. We made numerous trips to Ann Arbor, having to spend the night before for early morning appointments that dragged into the late afternoon. This test in my life proved my strength, when I was told I had cancer I cried for five minutes. After crying I held my head high and looked at my family, teachers, and friends asking, “Okay what’s next?”, this shocked many people by showing my determination to fight this, to take back my life.
After numerous appointments, a lengthy surgery and months of waiting, I finally got the call we were hoping for. I was cancer free again, to this day I still am, and my life fell a little into place. I still have to push and wiggle my way into closed doors, and closing ones that have opened. I can’t dance at dances like I used to, I can’t go for long walks with my friends but, what broke my heart most, I couldn’t march like I was supposed to. I struggled to keep up with my friends as they continued on, I’m often found pushing myself so I can keep up or sitting in the dust. After seeing I was falling behind my friends, I went out and bought a compression sleeve for my leg. The sleeve helped ease the pain and allowed me to walk alongside my friends.
I fear that my cancer will come back and stop me from pursuing my dreams. I may have beaten cancer today, but tomorrow is a new battle. I’ve already had a few scares of the dreaded return, but thankfully it hasn’t. Despite my fears I didn’t let it restrict me. This struck something in me that made me ten times more determined to better my life, and better myself for not only me, but the people who saved my life, who gave me this chance.
Even though this has happened I’ve still pushed myself to get good grades and be an active member of the community. I was, and still am, more determined because I learned life was shorter than I ever thought possible. I worked harder to keep good grades and make myself determined to graduate so I could be the first to attend college in my family. There was a new community center in town and I donate my time or, if I couldn’t, all my spare change. I am over joyed seeing people smile when I help them that I even made it a point to be part of the local theatre. I entertain, and assist with any play I can.
Cast your vote for your favorite finalist now