(844) 845-4219 » Scholarship Winner: Nursing Her Way To Financial Health Scholarship Winner: Nursing Her Way To Financial Health



Next month, Elizabeth Parrish leaves her home outside Birmingham, Alabama, and heads to college at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. When she does, she’ll have $500 extra from the Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants.

“I would love to study as many things as possible while at Louisville,” she says, “including international health, French, Spanish, and global studies.”  She doesn’t want to be a diplomat or a translator. She wants to be a nurse. And not just any nurse.

“I want to use my nursing career to provide aid to foreign countries, and I am specifically interested in working in Africa through a nonprofit like Doctors without Borders,” Elizabeth says.

Not only that, she wants to work in one of the most gut-wrenching disciplines, called “palliative care.” That’s treating patients who are dying. Think of hospice, which Elizabeth cites as a place she’d like to work one day.

How did Elizabeth settle on this noble but difficult career path? Neither of her parents work in the medical field, and she’s an only child. It seems to have begun when she volunteered at her local hospital…

I was placed in their palliative care unit, and that’s what started my passion for it. However, nine months ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and immediately began to deteriorate. She was put on hospice, but they would only visit three times a week for some reason. I would go over and change her wound dressing, set up her nutritional feeding, and run errands for her and my grandfather.

For Elizabeth, this experience was a revelation. She realized many aspiring health care professionals focus on the young instead of the old.

I think a lot of people think about pediatrics because they want to make a difference in the beginning of someone’s life,” she says. “They forget that the end is just as important.”

Of course, nursing school away from home isn’t cheap, and volunteering in a hospital isn’t lucrative. So Elizabeth has “applied to as many scholarships as I am eligible for.” So far, that’s 15 and counting.

Sadly, “out of all the scholarships I’ve applied for, this is the only one (so far) that I have won! It definitely lifted my spirits, as I was beginning to get a little discouraged.”

That seems like the only thing that discourages her.

Elizabeth calls herself “a penny pincher” and plans to stretch’s $500 as far as she can.

“I save every dollar I get,” she says. “For example, if my friends ask me to go laser tagging with them, I look up to see how much it costs first. There’s always a choice with money: spend it on this or that. I try to think: If I spend the $20 on going laser tagging, that could buy me two meals or almost a tank of gas.”

Elizabeth Parrish is wise and thrifty beyond her years. That’s why she has $500 more than she did yesterday.

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