The 2021 VIM & VIGR Nursing Scholarship was open to students currently enrolled in an accredited 2+ year program to pursue a career in nursing. We received so many amazing applications exemplifying hope, heart, and determination in their pursuit of a career of giving back to those in need.
“Our legwear has been worn and loved by healthcare professionals for years, so it is our honor to give back & support those who are providing care for our communities. This is our first year sponsoring this scholarship and we had so many amazing applicants - it was really difficult choosing only two winners.” - Michelle Huie, Founder & CEO of VIM & VIGR.
The recipients of this year’s scholarships are very deserving and inspiring. It is our pleasure to introduce and congratulate Wendy Gomendi Nichols and Madd Heartley as the recipients of the 2021 VIM & VIGR Nursing Scholarship.
Wendy Gomendi Nichols
Wendy is a practicing obstetrics nurse, teacher at Montana State in their undergraduate nursing program, and mom of three. Two years ago Wendy made the decision to go back to school to pursue her Doctorate Family Nurse Practitioner (DFNP) degree.
“Although I take great pride in my work as a BSN, I am disheartened by the inequities in healthcare many Montanans encounter. Patients often have to wait weeks to access mental health providers. A wait that too frequently results in a crisis for the individual and family. I read article after article warning against nurse burn-out and impending nursing shortages, which has driven me to increase my own education, provide patient-centered care, and contribute to the education of future nurses...I am excited to pursue my goal of achieving my DFNP and to serve my community as both a nurse educator and primary care provider.” - Wendy Gomendi Nichols
Adding a rigorous academic program, while maintaining her other two jobs and being a mom is beyond inspiring. We cannot wait to see all the incredible things that Wendy will no doubt bring to her community.
Madd is a student at UNC-Chapel Hill and first completed her major in American Studies before continuing on to UNC-Chapel Hill's nursing program. This major helped her to develop a better understanding of the diversity, history, and cultural makeup of the world around her, which will undoubtedly enhance the level of care and empathy she will bring to her patients and the vulnerable communities she hopes to serve.
“As a nurse, I will do my best to advocate for health equity and equality for vulnerable patient populations. I would love to spend some time working in communities that are traditionally underserved in terms of healthcare. Advocating for people who face adversities in healthcare is something I’m deeply passionate about. Through personal education, active listening, and a “person-first” mindset I believe that I will be able to incorporate social justice into my career as a nurse.” - Madd Heartley
Madd is an exemplary student at one of the toughest schools in the country and has volunteered her time at Our Voice, a non-profit organization that supports survivors of rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
Madd’s academic achievements alongside her determination and commitment to social justice in the health care system are very impressive. We cannot wait to see the impact she makes in the world.