Stephanie Sanchez

Age: 35

Education: Highline College, Associate of Pre-Nursing, 2018

SU Major: Nursing, 2020

Service: Member, Victory Outreach Seattle, Youth Ministry, 2007–Present

Awards/Honors:

  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, 2015–2018

  • Graduation with Honors, Highline College, 2017

  • Xavier Scholar, Seattle University, 2018–2020

  • Messina Scholar, Seattle University

  • PEO Program for Continuing Education Grant, 2018

  • Mother of the year award, 2010–Present

Goals:

Through Seattle University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, I plan on obtaining the knowledge needed to provide excellent, attentive care not just to my patients but also to their families. Expanding knowledge in nursing by specializing in Oncology, specifically working with pediatrics. During the summer I would like to partner with non-profit organizations, such as Doctors without Borders, and serve communities that need medical attention. Eventually, I plan to obtain my master’s in nursing, with an emphasis in teaching, and would love to secure a job investing in the next generation of nurses.

Civility statement:

Civility, to me, means to respect and value others’ differences, appreciating the opportunity we have been given and embracing the culture and values of others. It also means working alongside others to obtain a common goal, a life full of joy, peace, and prosperity. A scripture that resonates with my soul concerning civility in biblical terms is Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your interests but each of you to the interest of the others.” Having this mindset allows me to view others’ perspective in a higher light than my own philosophy. If we allow ourselves to listen rather than speak, we will experience the beauty of diversity and all that comes with it and foster an attitude that treats others with respect, regardless of race, sexual orientation and cultural beliefs. Imagine a place where people can walk in complete confidence and security knowing that who they are is accepted, wanted and needed. If we create an atmosphere that embraces individuality and exhibits equality, then we can truly experience freedom and unity.

Autobiography:

I am the product of teenage parents; in a small city in Puerto Rico, my parents married at the tender age of fifteen. Seeking new opportunities, they decided to move our growing family to California. Shortly after I was born my parents discovered that they had conceived their third child, and that is when the fighting began. Attempting to figure out how at the age of eighteen could they manage to raise three children. Unfortunately, for a reason unknown my brother passed away at birth. The travesty of losing their only son caused my parents to separate which left my sister and me without our father. Thankfully, my grandparents stepped in and helped my mother with her transition into life as a single parent. In my early childhood life seemed normal, my grandparents were pastors, so, for the most part, I spent most of my youth at church. When I was twelve years old, my grandmother unexpectedly passed away on Christmas Eve. It was then that my faith in God was shaken, and no longer did I desire to serve a God that was portrayed as loving and caring, yet all I had experienced growing up was loss and pain. Determined to find my place in this world outside of the values and belief I had been taught as a child, I began pursuing a career in the medical field and obtaining a college degree.

With few role models working in healthcare, I sought out opportunities to enter into the field and enrolled at Riverside College where I obtained my EMT license. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” His philosophy brought to life some of what I experienced working in Los Angeles as an EMT at AMR, an ambulance company. With the ability to respond to the cry for help after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, I was honored to volunteer through AMR and worked with the U.S Coast Guard. Over those two weeks, I assisted with recovery, search and rescue of residents and patient care at shelters. After Katrina a righteous hunger arose within me, frustrated that as an EMT I was only capable of providing limited care. I decided I needed to expand my medical knowledge, and the desire to become a Nurse began.

Due to untreated post-traumatic stress from Katrina and my childhood, I discovered I needed support I could not find in Los Angeles; therefore I decided to relocate to Seattle, Washington. This move allowed me to focus on myself and studies. I started attending Victory Outreach Church of Seattle and discovered who Christ really was. I fell in love with Jesus and the ministry. Little by little I began to heal from the hurt and disappointments I had experienced growing up. For the first time in my life I felt separate, whole and unique. It was there that I met my husband and was blessed with the opportunity to start our beautiful family. For the past eleven years, I have been an active member of our church leadership, organizing community events and building healthy faith-based relationships with at-risk youth throughout the inner city. Serving my community was a fulfilling experience, and it strengthened my desire to become a Nurse.

Taking a step of faith and trusting God, I started my academic studies at Highline College in 2015 at the age of thirty-three. With every quarter that passed, confidence in my abilities grew, and I excelled in my coursework. As a family, we learned how to overcome many obstacles that appeared. While obtaining my education, I experienced a medical shortcoming that caused me to lose my voice, and I was scheduled to undergo surgery. Restoring my voice was vital, and planning both operations around my class was difficult. Determined to finish what I started, I never stopped going to school although I experienced discouragement and thought about quitting. I knew that was not an option and decided to utilize every setback as motivation to complete every quarter with great success.

I’m excited to embark on my next journey at Seattle University. This is something I would have never, in my wildest dreams, believed I could have accomplished. As a first-generation college student, I take pride in knowing that as a family we were able to defy all odds. At a young age, my mother instilled within me the importance of being a good Samaritan and a hard worker, but unfortunately, becoming a college student and obtaining a degree was never a priority. Receiving this opportunity as an Alfie Scholar has solidified for my family that hard work pays off and has proven that difficulties in life do not define one’s future. As a Latina mother of three, I want my life to inspire and motivate my children to attempt the impossible regardless of age or setbacks they may face throughout life. I started this journey full of insecurities and fear of failure and now stand before you empowered and ambitious to reach for the stars.

Advice:

You are not the product of your past. Your failure or disappointments don't define your worth and your valve. Use all the pain from your past as motivation to better your future. No matter what comes your way, establish in your mind that you are strong enough to overcome. Nothing worth obtaining comes easily, put in the hours and you will reap the harvest. Build a community of positive people in your life, and be humble enough to ask for help when needed. It truly takes a village, so utilize all your resources. Celebrate your success, and embrace and learn from your mistakes. If you experience disappointment or failure along the way, learn from it and move on. Most importantly enjoy the process.

What it means to be an Alfie:

Being an Alfie to me means obtaining the knowledge and exposure needed to foster civility in my profession and personal life. As an Alfie I inherent a new community of friends that will help through out my Seattle University journey; although we are all so different, we share a deep inner desire to make a difference. Being selected as an Alfie Scholar affirms the calling that was placed upon my life many years ago and will equip me to become a better leader.