Scholarship Recipient for Business & Professional Women
My name is Alissa Ricci and I am currently in semester five of the MANE BSN program. I would like to formally accept the generous scholarship from the Business and Professional Women Foundation. I am sincerely honored to have been selected as the recipient of the Winter 2020 Business and Professional Women scholarship. I am a strong believer in the empowerment of women in the workplace. I have been blessed to have numerous strong females impact my life and inspire me to be my best self.
My story starts off in Arizona. I was born and raised in Arizona. I have a brother, sister, mother and father. Growing up I had to overcome many difficulties. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in ninth grade. Although I was very young, I was as much of a caregiver as I could be for her at that time. During all my school years, I was very dedicated to my studies. After high school I went on to Scottsdale Community College and then to Arizona State University (ASU) to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Business Management. When I went to college the first time, I went back and forth between nursing school and business school. Unfortunately, nursing school was not chosen because ASU had a two-year waitlist for the nursing program. I truly enjoyed the small school atmosphere, which is why I chose to attend Ridgewater College.
After graduating from ASU, I moved to Minnesota. I was drawn to Minnesota as a child when we visited my grandparents in Atwater. After moving to Minnesota, I met my soulmate Anthony. He owned and operated his family hog farm in Blomkest. Anthony has been a true inspiration in my life. Living on a farm taught me what hard work truly means. I thought I knew what hard work was, since I worked close to fulltime while going to high school and college full-time, but I was wrong. All those things prepared me for what I never thought I would experience, especially at twenty-nine. My soul mate was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma in May 2015. In June of 2016 we found out it metastasized. The things we overcame together was mind-blowing. Removal of his eye, Chemo, radiation, clinical trials, insurance, taking care of a hog farm all while working my full-time job. Unfortunately, I had to experience the hardest decision so far in my life of putting my loved one, in his thirties, on hospice. He passed away December 2017.
Through this, Anthony’s spirt was never shattered. He showed me how to not worry about things that are out of your control, and to live for a reason. I have a calling that is bigger than me, to help people in their time of need while dealing with cancer. We were so fortunate to have the best oncology nurses locally in Willmar, MN. That says a lot because we traveled to the U of M oncology and Mayo Clinic since his cancer is very rare. I see the bigger picture and take my education very seriously. I am so passionate and dedicated to becoming an oncology nurse. Yes, working in oncology will be hard but I know the impact you can have.
I truly believe that I have two options. I can say why me, or I can take the lemons this world has given me and try to make lemonade. Anthony once told me, Circumstances and situations are not created equal nor should it be. Pain and struggle are powerful things. Great inspiration and ideas come from being pushed. It is up to the individual to turn an unfair situation into a fair one for the betterment of themselves or possible those who follow.
It means a lot to receive the Winter 2020 Business and Professional Women scholarship. I truly believe my calling in life is to have an impact on patients. Thank you so much for the generosity, I hope one day I will be able to pay it forward. This scholarship allows me to dedicate more of myself to my end goal of becoming an Oncology Nurse.