Spencer Cho never thought he would end up as a nursing student at West Coast University, let alone thrive as a student leader at the Los Angeles campus.
"I didn't grow up knowing that I wanted to be a nurse," he said. "I grew up with the impression that I would follow my father and do business like he does."
But that all changed during the Recession, when an aunt and uncle moved in with his family to save money.
"My aunt has been an RN for over 30 years and it wasn't until she lived with my family that I became aware of all that a nurse does," he said. "The stories she shared definitely intrigued me and I decided to pursue LVN first, to test the waters. Once classes began, I knew that I had made the right decision."
Cho is a student in the Licensed Vocational Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (LVN to BSN) program. He is the President of the California Nursing Students' Association (CNSA) chapter at WCU-LA and he was recently honored with two scholarships because of his CNSA involvement.
The first scholarship for $2,500 is the Critical Care Training Center (CCTC) Interactive Scholarship. To win this scholarship, Cho wrote an essay about how Google's new product, the Google Glass® is poised to revolutionize healthcare and become a valuable tool for nursing students in simulation labs. He submitted the essay to CCTC and it was one of five selected for a scholarship award.
"Spencer is certainly a worthy student for his recent recognition," said Dr. Roseanne Silberling, Dean of Nursing at WCU-LA. "He is very personable, always willing to help out, and quite articulate. He championed a proposal to have senior nursing students provide skills lab tutoring."
The other award Cho received is the Dignity Health Scholarship for $1,000 based on another essay about the importance of following the American Nursing Association (ANA) Code of Ethics.
"California is home to a diverse multicultural background of natives and immigrants, and nurses are placed at the forefront of providing culturally competent care," he wrote in the essay. "Nurses in California are faced with challenges not seen elsewhere in the country; 43 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home, but the need for health care is universal regardless of age, race, religion, or socioeconomic background."
"I would like to personally congratulate Spencer for earning these scholarships, and thank him for representing West Coast University as a student leader in CNSA. He sets a wonderful example for fellow students through his leadership both on and off campus," said Dr. Barry Ryan, University President.
Cho says he is honored to be selected for these scholarships and credits the support from family and friends for his success at WCU. He will complete the LVN-BSN program next year.