Name: Nitya Olesia Rajni Sharma
College: Waldron College of Health and Human Services
Grad Year: Spring 2017
Hometown: Winchester, Va.
1. Why did you decide to attend Radford University?
In fifth grade, in a daring attempt to prove my bravery, I fell off the jungle gym and broke my arm. Little did I know that one simple accident would solidify my utmost desire to be a part of a healthcare team. While in the emergency room, I was in awe as the nurses and doctors rushed around treating patients. However, it was the nurse’s warm smile and kind demeanor that sold nursing for me. In high school, I stumbled upon Radford University quite accidently and I immediately fell in love. I was drawn not only to the beautiful campus but also to the excellent reputation the nursing school has. After my first day of classes, I knew I picked the perfect place to call home for the next four years. There is no doubt in my mind that I was always meant to be a Radford University Highlander.
2. How have you financed your education? Have you encountered any challenges along the way?
I have been supporting myself since I was 16 years old. I was concerned that my financial status would prevent me from enrolling in Radford University and following my dreams. I was beyond thankful to learn of the many avenues that Radford University provides to aid students like me on their path to higher education. With the support of alumni and donors, I was able to receive enough financial aid and scholarship support to pay for my four-year education. Additionally, I was able to secure a work-study job that allowed me to pay for daily living expenses while balancing a full class schedule. I would not be graduating in May with my hard earned Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing without the support of generous alumni and donors.
3. What do you appreciate most about your Radford University education?
I appreciate that the instructors focus on me as an individual instead of another face in a crowded lecture room. After my first day in nursing school, I questioned whether I was truly able to accomplish my dream of becoming a nurse, but my negative thoughts began to subside once I realized how encouraging and supportive the nursing faculty was. My instructors have equipped me with the knowledge and skills to enter the healthcare field as a competent and confident new nurse.
4. What are your career ambitions?
Since the beginning of my high school years, I have been fascinated by how the heart and blood vessels work. I hope to work in the cardiovascular operating room and obtain my first assistance license so that I may aid surgeons during cardiovascular procedures. In the future, I hope to continue my education by pursuing my Doctorate in Nursing. Additionally, I would love to become a nursing instructor to help prepare the next generation of nurses, just as my clinical and class faculty have at Radford University.
5. Why do you think donor support is important?
Without donor support, students like me will always dream of obtaining a higher education but will never manage to achieve it. Donor support lifts a heavy financial burden off many students’ shoulders, allowing them to earn a degree and empowering them to become something more than they could ever imagine. Although it may not always be outwardly seen, I can tell you firsthand that donor support leaves an everlasting impression of gratitude in the recipient’s heart.
6. Do you have a message for donors and prospective donors?
To donors, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contributions to myself and other students at Radford University. With your aid, students will be able to go beyond themselves to accomplish what they could only dream of. To future donors, I hope you will join us on our journey of self-discovery and career attainment. With your gracious support, today’s Highlanders will be able to call themselves “alumni,” go on to fulfill their potential, and become functional leaders within their communities and society as a whole.