Even in the middle of a pandemic, we are humbled by the amount of submissions we received this year from students of all ages, backgrounds, and career goals. This summer we received more than 1,000 scholarship submissions from students eager to change the world in these uncertain times.

It was not an easy task to narrow it down to one finalist, but we are happy to announce the winner of Creative Safety Supply’s 2020 Fall Scholarship is Amanda Goucher of Issaquah, Washington. Amanda has been serving her community as an Emergency Department Technician for five years, and is pursuing a degree in Social Sciences to better help her patients.

When Washington was hit hard with COVID-19 cases in March, Amanda decided to come up with a streamline testing kit to better help the emergency room she serves. She constructed testing kits per CDC guidelines and even created tests with alternative supplies for back up. Amanda is still working on the front lines of the pandemic and is now enrolled in full time classes too, dedicated to becoming the best public servant she can be. 

We are happy to share Amanda’s winning scholarship essays below:

Part 1: Career Path 

Over the course of the last 5 years, I have served my community by working in the Emergency Department as an Emergency Department Technician. Ever since I was a young girl, I have had a passion for helping others. Whether it was tying the shoes of my classmates in pre-school or rending first aid (applying band aids) to my friends in kindergarten, it has always been within my heart to take care of and nurture those around me. The last 5 years in the ER has taught me that I want to further serve my community by pursuing a career as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic. I chose this path knowing it would challenge me and push me daily to become a stronger version of myself while also providing me the opportunity to provide and give back to the local community. I intend to use my degree in Social Sciences to better relate and understand what my patients have been through and experienced that may be contributing to their emergent calls for aid. In addition to having a better understanding, I hope to be able to provide support to these individuals and their unique needs driven by my passions and knowledge gained studying social sciences. While having a Bachelor’s degree is not a requirement to Fire Fighting in Washington State, I believe having this education will give me the opportunity to become the best public servant that I can be. As an individual, I strive for constant growth and evolution for my own personal goals as well as to benefit those around me. I am committed to my community and committed to continuing to grow as a public servant and advocate for my patients and those who I encounter both in my professional career as well as outside of it.

Part 2: Creative Thinking

Creative thinking and problem solving are two skills that I use daily in both my profession life and personal life. When COVID hit Washington State this year in early March, I made a goal for myself to devote myself to coming up with a streamline testing kit to make the testing process easier on my coworkers and make patient testing more efficient. My goal is always to be the best teammate and asset to the ER that I can be. In taking on this task, I constructed a testing kit per the CDC guidelines that made the process far less complicated on my teammates in the ER. With all the initial stress of the pandemic, the constant policy changes, and the medias involvement, I was happy to develop a kit for my team to have readily available, easy to understand, and execute to offer some order in a time filled with disorder and unknowns. It took creative thinking to put together a kit of different specimen collection supplies, the paperwork required for the Department of Health for documentations, as well as the up to date instructions on testing guidelines and processing steps. My problem solving skills came into play shortly after our supplies for the newly assembled kits ran low due to the sheer volume of tests we were running. The feedback I had received from my colleagues reassured me that what I had developed was a huge help to the department and they voiced their desire for the kits to be continued to be made. It was now up to me to find solutions to our shortage in supplies to be able to maintain the stock of kits for efficiency and staff ease. Paying close attention to CDC guidelines, I was able to provide my supervisors with alternative supplies for testing as a back up plan. Over the next several weeks, hundreds of kits were utilized and I am proud to say I played a part in helping my team through this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to question a lot of things in their everyday lives, me included. After watching a handful of my patients in their 30’s struggle on a ventilator, battling COVID-19 or holding the hands of some of my elderly patients while they pass away alone due to isolation precautions that prevented their loved ones from being there, I was reminded just how precious and fragile life is. With that reminder, I made the goal of going back to school to further my knowledge and better myself for life is fragile and I may not always have the chance to. So here I am, working full time on the front lines of a pandemic and enrolled full time in classes to expand my knowledge and become a better public servant.

 

As the winner of Creative Safety Supply’s 2020 Fall Scholarship, Amanda will receive $1,000 toward her continuing education. We couldn’t possibly be happier to assist her efforts to improve the world.

We would also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who applied for this scholarship and invite anyone who did not win to apply for our future scholarships. Our next deadline is December 15, 2020. You can learn more on our scholarship page.

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