My name is Melanie Johnsoncook. I am writing to you today in regards to the Scholarship. I want to go back to school to further my education and become a Nurse.. The passions in my life that drew me to the medical field were growing up Catholic, and my sister Monica Johnson who passed away from cancer. However, I have now been a mother for 7 years, and being a mother is also a strong passion of mine.
Growing up, we went to Sunday school, Monday School and I taught classes to children on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We were baptized rather late in life, as opposed to a few months old. However, my mother did that so we would know the importance and significance of what we were doing, why we were doing it and how it would help us throughout life. My kids also have started to attend Church, as well as goto daycare at a Catholic church because our Faith is so important to us. I don’t think i’d be in this position in life, if i didn’t believe in a higher power. I take my Faith with me in everything I do, so continuing this career for me (aside from it being something I’ve always thought about) it’s a calling that I felt since I was a child. It’s always been in my heart and soul that I need to help people. I was also influenced because along with this volunteer work I did for eight years, I have also volunteered at a community center in Tempe Arizona from the age of nine to 24 years old. My mom worked there and I always loved the people coming in and out. I also volunteered at the food pantry next door, which allowed me to meet some amazing people and hear their life stories. Another part of my volunteering comes from Banner Gateway hospital in Gilbert Arizona. I volunteered there for about a year and was able to connect with mostly grieving people, in passing. Along with that I would take cookies to the labor and delivery ward to families who just welcomed a new baby. More recently, for about four years, I have been donating items to other military families ranging from food, clothes, shoes, housing items, as well as books and coloring books for their children. Volunteer work is very important to me because I love to give back to my community. I love making connections with strangers and just hearing about their day, especially because you never know what someone is going through, so to me, it’s important to reach out, in any capacity and just be there for someone.
My sister Monica is my muse for becoming a nurse. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2007 and our lives were forever changed. We were in and out of clinics, surgeries, ICUs, and ERs for as long as I can remember. She fought hard for a very long time, and thankfully she was still around to see my first daughter Aubrey be born, but unfortunately in 2016, her health got the best of her and she passed away. When we started her journey, I immediately knew my calling was the medical field. I wanted to help people feel better, and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s never easy when you lose anyone, but my sister was so impactful and considerate, even when she was on her deathbed, she begged me to continue in the medical field. I was mad at God, I was mad at myself, I was mad at my parents, I was mad at the doctors, but I knew she’d be going to a better place, an easier place, a place where she could heal and forever be healthy. Ultimately, I knew in my heart that working in the medical field and helping people would be the best thing I would ever do. I have been a CNA, a phlebotomist, a medical assistant, a surgical medical assistant, a pharmacy technician, an office manager, a pharmacy manager, and now I am a health insurance agent. All of that is a lot of hard work that has paid off. However, I’ve done that, in that specific order so one day I could be a nurse one day. My skills from each career compliment the other, and most importantly I feel very well versed in patient care. I feel like I would absolutely be able to help people and with everything I’ve experienced and seen, I am also relatable which can also help potential patients.
I became a mom at the age of 18, when I had just finished high school and was starting my journey in the medical field. Being so young to have a kid, I was definitely judged in my every move. One thing I knew for sure, was that I needed to go to .. I needed to prove to myself and my daughter that I was more than a statistic. I graduated from my CNA program when I was 8 months pregnant. Since then I completed a few more programs as well as my associate and bachelor’s degree. Even if I stopped now and didn’t go back to school, I am still proud of how far I’ve come. I am married to an active duty army service member, and that within itself has been a challenge. We have a total of three kids now, and with him being away so much for training we are challenged everyday to find a way to be a family even if we’re not physically together. My kids are my passion, they’re the reason for everything I have done and continue to do. Also, in everything I have done with each of them since day one, I’ve known I always need to lead with the right foot to ensure I am setting the best example. Of course, no one is perfect and I’ve had my fair share of things I am not proud of, however I am older now and I am not the same person I was before I had my children. I can honestly say I am a completely different person. I want my kids to know you can and will succeed, you will get up more times than you fall down. Despite the challenges that come with being a military family, my kids are absolutely amazing and they keep me going, they are the reason I want to go back to school. I want them to see that their mommy achieved her dream of being a nurse, and they’ll know they can achieve their dreams too.
I believe I will contribute to the values of giving and more so the nursing profession because of the things I have done in life thus far. When I was 13 I was baptized which allowed me to fully emerge myself in the culture, take classes and understand what it meant to follow values (I chose St. Catherine when I was baptized). I don’t like to make decisions, or commitments until I am fully aware of exactly what I am doing. With that thinking I’ve had growing up, it helps me understand how people should be treated and also allows me to fulfill my calling. I have been a CNA where I dealt with the bed bound elderly on a day to day basis. I loved that part of my career because I have a soft spot for the elderly and it was easy to enjoy my job, since it didn’t really feel like one. Since then I have worked in areas such as phlebotomy, pediatrics, geriatrics, obgyn, surgical, orthopedic and therapy clinics, which has also given me a great deal of knowledge for where I want to end up in the future. All I want, and have ever wanted in life is to make people feel better and help however I can. I am committed to patients, and being there for them in their time of need. I experienced the nurses first hand who dealt with my sister. One that meant a lot to me was a nurse by the name of Tiffany Zook. She was there for my sister since she was first diagnosed with Leukemia and to this day (even though my sister passed away) she is still in mine and my family’s lives. She is the definition of the nurse I want to be one day. She was so personable, professional and caring, and she made patients and families feel so involved and made sure we understood everything that was going on.