If you won a scholarship, would you give half of it away?
When nursing student Emma Jones discovered she was having her first placement in a hospital’s palliative care ward, she was understandably nervous. Emma hadn’t worked with one terminally ill person before, let alone a whole ward. But the positive presence and support of fellow student Ty Simpson made her feel at ease. So much so, that Emma wanted to share something with him – her ACU scholarship.
“It’s a bit wild, I didn’t think a year ago that if I got a scholarship that I would share it with someone,” Emma said. “But after my experience with Ty on placement, we just had the most memorable time together in that he encouraged me to be the best version of myself. He was always positive, always happy, he showed me what it was like to have a positive mindset while you’re nursing, and I owe a lot about what I value in nursing, to that placement with him.”
Emma received the Mary Curran Scholarship, which is awarded to an ACU nursing student at the North Sydney Campus who is undertaking a placement in a local hospital. The scholarship’s namesake, Mary Curran, established the award in 2014 after spending time at the Royal North Shore Hospital, where she received excellent care from ACU nursing students. The students even brought Mary’s beloved cat, Cicero, into the ward to visit while she was recovering from a serious heart infection.
Mary’s generosity resonated with Emma, who applied for the scholarship despite having some reservations about her eligibility.
“When I received the email encouraging me to apply I really didn’t put too much thought to it, because I thought oh gee, to win scholarships you have to be a high distinction average, doing all these crazy things, super involved with the uni,” Emma said.
“I just thought, of course I try hard at uni and I do my best, but I work and I have other commitments, would I even be a strong candidate?”
Emma’s passion for nursing and her desire to study overseas shone through in her application. She was already in the process of applying to study a Core Curriculum unit at the Rome Campus before she applied for the scholarship, and the money helped make her trip a reality.
“I studied Italian for the HSC, and it had always been a dream of mine to go to Italy, and experience it first hand,” Emma said. “We were able to do some volunteering while we were there, and also got to travel and see the sights. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t happy to be there.”
Emma wrote a letter to Mary afterwards, detailing the amazing time she had overseas and on her placement with Ty. Emma explained the reasons why she shared her scholarship and why she thought Mary would appreciate the gesture. Emma wrote:
‘When I read your story about being so ill and the love and generosity that the ACU students showed you, I could immediately relate that appreciation to how the patients in palliative care thought about Ty. I now recognise that studying and the art of health care is a team effort and, for some, we are graced with the most beautiful people that nurture that journey.’
Like Emma, you may be eligible for an ACU scholarship. The closing date for many of the 2018 ACU scholarships is fast approaching. View the full range of scholarships on offer through our scholarships browser.