Meet Denise Smith: Our Stella H. Oaks Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Denise Smith is a student in our Practical Nursing Program at Bridgerland Technical College. She is also a recent recipient of the Stella H. Oaks Foundation Scholarship. We recently asked her to share her experience here at Bridgerland Technical College

“My name is Denise Smith. I’m a single mom of two wonderful girls. After my divorce I knew I needed to go back to school and felt like Practical Nursing would be a good fit for me. I worked 30 hours a week and took classes at USU, Bridgerland Technical College, and Weber State University over the course of two years. After my pre-requisites were completed I sent in my application to the Practical Nursing program at BTECH and crossed my fingers.

Last summer I heard back that I had been accepted into the Fall 2018 program! I was thrilled, nervous and incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to learn Practical Nursing through such a highly sought after program.

In the information packet they sent me, it urged strict focus on the program, meaning working may not be in my best interest. And they were right. This program has demanded more time and attention than I ever imagined it would. Working while taking classes, going to clinicals and caring for my daughters just wasn’t the smart option for me.

Obviously this left a large gap in income for my family. Even with the federal pell grant, things have been incredibly tight. A classmate told me that I should apply for a scholarship through Bridgerland Technical College. I’m not sure why I hadn’t explored the option in the beginning, but I decided to look into it.

I filled out the information, asked one of my instructors to write a letter of recommendation for me and turned it into the scholarship office. Within the week I heard back that I had been awarded a $1000 scholarship from the Stella H. Oaks Foundation. I felt such relief knowing that amount would take care of a big chunk of my tuition and book costs. I’m so grateful that Bridgerland Technical College offers to be intermediaries for those struggling to come up with the money to further their education. It has lifted such a weight from my shoulders and will allow me to focus even more on the vital information I need to learn in order to become a competent and compassionate nurse.”