alexis-skjelbredAlexis Skjelbred’s educational journey is a story of perseverance, strength, and gratitude. In her own words, Alexis describes how she overcame obstacles and challenges along the way.

“As a firm believer that you only get one chance to raise your children correctly, my path to college has been a longer journey than for most of my peers. I worked two jobs, seven days a week, for six years as a single parent to pay off debt and send my children to college. As a result, I have an enormous appreciation for the opportunity to attend and succeed at WSU. Opting to step out in faith during school and reduce my work hours was risky, and finances are very tight. Scholarships helped lighten a tremendous financial concern and allowed me to focus my energy on my education.”

Why choose nursing?

“My drive to become a nurse was fostered by my step-grandmother, who served as a nurse during World War II, and the stories I heard about the challenges of advancing nursing during this time. I have always known I wanted to be a nurse, but I lacked confidence, support, and opportunity as a single mother. It was the words of those who love me that pushed me out of my comfort zone and back into school.”

How do scholarships help you?

“This journey has challenged me on a regular basis. The support I receive from scholarships provides wonderful encouragement on many levels. My daughters are watching me closely, and I hope to make them proud. Scholarship donors are helping me show them it is never too late to pursue your dreams.”

What would you like to tell the donors who support the scholarships you received?

“Please know, it is not just about the financial support; it is also your faith in my ability to learn and someday serve our community that encourages me.”

Has your experience at WSU changed you in any way?

“The rigorous academic process at WSU is extraordinary, but I am grateful for every challenge I am offered. I have learned a lot about myself. I was not a strong student in high school (which was many years ago), but I attribute that to a lack of maturity and focus. My passion for nursing has led to my putting forth greater effort in school and earning excellent grades. My goal is to become a certified cardiac nurse and to work in a local hospital on the cardiac floor. But I am also looking forward to returning to WSU for my master’s degree. I hope to be a lifelong learner who is always asking questions and needing to know more.”

What is the biggest impact you’ve experienced as a recipient of scholarships?

“Receiving a scholarship means so much to me on many levels. It has meant the difference between  having food in my refrigerator, gas in my car, and all the recommended textbooks (which I have read) or going without. As a mom who worked hard to pay off debt before starting college, reducing student loans is invaluable. What humbles me most is that someone I have never met has faith in me, and is sending encouragement and support, through scholarships. I see education as more than an investment in my growth, but also in the well-being of those whom I will care for during my career. When you help a nurse succeed, your generosity creates an enormous ripple effect.”