2017 Scholarship Recipient

Katherine Atkins

2017 All-Star Scholarship Recipient

Tell me your age, where you’re going to school, and what you’re majoring in?

I am now 19 years old. I am going to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. My intended major is nursing.

How did you find out about the All-Star Scholarship?

I found out about this scholarship from one of my high school teachers. He helped me out with a few scholarships. He told me to go online and dig deep to try to find scholarships that revolve around adoption, and it paid off. I found the UMPS CARE scholarship and am glad I did!

Can you talk a bit about what this scholarship means to you and your education?

This scholarship means that I am able to go to college this year. And I will be able to go for the next four years. It’s a big deal! For my education, it means that I do have a chance to go forth and try to become a nurse, it’s a really big for me that I’m able to get an education past high school.

Why did you choose to go to the Appalachian State? Did you look at different schools?

I chose Appalachian State for its location. I looked at Chapel Hill and NC State, but app state is close to home and has so many outdoorsy things, which I love. Another big reason [I chose Appalachian State is the], the nursing program is very competitive but it has one of the highest passing rates, so if you do get in to the nursing program, there is a huge chance that you become a nurse. I also like that the town is relatively close, so I can walk downtown. I like how outdoorsy you can be around here. I recently got into mountain biking, which I now love!

Has it lived up to your expectations?

It has. It’s a cold location, which I knew and it is one of the reasons why I chose it. The biking, the hiking I’ve been able to do it all. The school has a lot of different clubs which is overwhelming with all my classes, I haven’t been able to do as much I want but plan to get more involved this semester. I plan to join SNAAP, which is a nursing club on campus. If you have your CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) you can go and volunteer for community work and join SNAAP.

Has it been difficult?

It has been difficult at times. Being completely independent and being way from home have been a challenge. …. having to learn ​about how to cook, think wisely for myself. I need to be self sufficient, getting to classes, getting up on time, which I was before, but now there is no one to fall back on. That’s the most difficult thing.

What has been the highlight of your first semester?

Spending time with friends, being able to find myself a little more as I am outdoors, going mountain biking. Just being supported by friends and family during this transition.

Tell me about your family….How old were you when you were adopted?

My family is awesome. We have a much better relationship since I went to college. It makes me realize how grateful I am to have a family. I was adopted by my aunt and uncle when I was 15 year old. I wasn’t that close with them growing up because we didn’t live in the same area, but I did love them as aunt and uncle. I lived with my grandparents for a while, and we moved a lot. I did not know my aunt and uncle would be my guardians until later, so the whole experience has been a transition.

Now that I have been away, I am extremely thankful for the family I do have. We have a great relationship and I have a greater sense of appreciation.

Do you have any siblings?

I have a little sister who is 17 years old. My aunt and uncle have 3 little ones, Ruby (3), Abby (10) and Logan (7). I recently started connecting with her more which has been great. It was difficult being adopted at an older age, there was a lot of transitions.

Do you feel that being adopted gives you a different perspective on life than your peers?

I do believe it has given me a different perspective on life. I’ve been through different things that some of my peers have not had to go through. Everyone has a different life, I understand that, but I see that [my peers] aren’t as appreciative of their parents…. having their biological parents comfort them. It’s something I envy. I realize I am living a different life. Sometime they take for granted the simplest acts of kindness from their parents.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your experience at school?

I am very thankful for every little thing that has ever happened in my life because it has brought me to where I am right now. It has made me realize how I need to be thankful for every single day.

My advice to others, don’t give up. Even where there are rough days, rough hours, there will always be something better that happens. Something good will happen. Push through it, stay motivated and keep going.

What is your plan to accomplish during school?

I plan to have the best grades I can and to get into the nursing program. I hope to be active in the community and the nursing club. I also want join the mountain bike club and stay involved in what the community has to offer!

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I want to have a stable life. I want to be full of joy and happiness and to have a secure job as a nurse, and hopefully own a home. I would love to have a house and hopefully be married and start my life. Right now, I think I want to be a heart nurse in the cardiovascular department.