As a first generation college student, wife, and mother of three, the college experience as a non-traditional student has been a tremendous challenge. As a pre-nursing student, I saw another classmate wearing a DreamWork Nursing Diversity shirt and asked what that was all about. From that point on, DreamWork became a support system to help me with tutoring in my classes, purchasing books, and providing a mentor allowing me to discuss anything that I needed to work through as I pushed on toward my goal.
It was through this program that I strengthened my application for nursing school, and I have just completed my first semester in the UTC School of Nursing program. DreamWork proved to be an invaluable resource in assisting me as I work toward my RN BSN degree!
For the past three years, I have been a member of the DREAMWork Nursing Diversity Program, here at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Each summer I attended their summer DREAMWork Nursing Program. This program has helped to expose me to nursing roles in a clinical setting, as well as in an academic setting. I have been able to experience the field of nursing through shadowing different Registered Nurses at different hospitals, and I see nursing as not a job, but a duty. Caring for others and making a difference in the lives of others everyday is a rewarding aspect to a career in nursing. I want to be a voice to help patients make the right decisions when dealing with their health; whether inside a hospital setting or throughout the community.
The DREAMWork Nursing Diversity Program has helped me more than words can ever explain; through the book loaner program, providing study aids and tutors, as well as a mentor to help guide and relieve the stress of getting into the School of Nursing (SON) as well as the stress of Nursing School and thereafter. I would be crazy to say Nursing School is not hard, but with the help of my mentor, and her encouraging words, and the program I have reached one stepping stone of my journey through SON.
My name is Jessica Silva and I am a first semester nursing student. I am originally from a little town called Lapwai, Idaho on the Nez Perce Reservation. I grew up there and moved away at 18. I was a youth leader in a teen ministry in Granite Falls, Washington for a year where I also participated in AmeriCorp as a reading tutor in an elementary and then went on to college. I met my husband at a small junior college in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho where I palyed basketball and he wrestled. We have been married for 2 years and my husband and I have 4 year old little boy who is the light of our world! I started in the Dreamwork program in spring 2008.
Through Dreamwork I have made some great friendships and have had some great opportunities. I was involved in the summer online course and recieved a wonderful stipend that came in very useful. I feel that Dreamwork has provided me with a support system. Being so far away from home it is nice to have that extra help. One person in particular always has her door open and is always willing to just sit and listen when I need it most.
Jessica is a wife, mother and a UTC BS Nursing Student.