Friday, October 23, 2020 - by Don Foley, Cleveland State Community College
A young mother herself, Cleveland State Community College Nursing student Alyssa Fox would love nothing more than to earn a career where she helps those starting families of their own. “I love, love, love kids and babies,” said Ms. Fox. It’s that passion and her early success that has earned her Sam H. Odom Scholarship from the Sam H. Odom Foundation Trust and the Tennessee Board of Regents this week.
Ms. Fox was named the Cleveland State recipient of the Sam H. Odom Scholarship for 2020-21. The 19-year-old Bradley County resident will receive $1,000 for the Fall 2020 semester, as well as a chance to stretch out the award and earn another $1,000 for the Spring 2021 semester.
“Alyssa is a driven and conscientious student,” said Dr. Victoria Bryan, dean of the Honors College at Cleveland State. “I’m beyond thrilled to see her being honored in this way! She is truly deserving.” A student in Cleveland State’s Nursing Program and Honors College, Ms. Fox plans to graduate with her Associated in Applied Science in Nursing, also known as a Registered Nursing degree, in 2022.
The Sam H. Odom scholarship was established in 2015 to provide scholarship funds to students who are enrolled in a Tennessee community college, pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. One student per college may earn the honor each academic year to help them finish their education and make their way into the nursing workforce.
"After I graduate, I really want to work in Labor and Delivery, the Nursery, or maybe even Pediatrics,” said Ms. Fox. “I was first in a high school healthcare pathway while a student at Bradley Central High School. The clinicals I’ve taken part in all along the way really have helped play a part in steering my career choice. However, it was my mother’s battle with cancer that showed me I truly had to be in the healthcare field.”
Alyssa was 11 years old when doctor’s diagnosed her mother with Stage 3b Ovarian Cancer. “It was so tough to see her go through that,” shared Ms. Fox. “However, it always made me feel better to help her with anything she needed, big or small. I just knew then how much I loved caring for people.”
Moving to Southeast Tennessee from Florida when she was only seven years old, Ms. Fox learned just how much life can change for a family. “Now a young mother myself, I want the best life for my family and I intend to do that by focusing on nursing school and earning my degree as a Registered Nurse. I know that this is God’s purpose for my life. It may be tough now, but I am so grateful to have opportunities like this scholarship to help me achieve a college degree for my babies.” Ms. Fox, her daughter, and her fiancé, Hunter, will see even more changes as their young family grows by one near the beginning of 2021.