Katie Purdy, of Pell City, recently won The J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship, an award for students who are the first in their family to attend college. In addition to meeting that requirement, applicants much also have leadership experience, community service, and have had to overcome obstacles to achieve success. The scholarship is also based on financial need.

Purdy said it would have been very difficult for her to attend college without this award. She went on to say, “The burden of having to worry about how I was going to pay for school is now lifted off my shoulders. Before the scholarship, I was going to have to pay for school on my own because my family could not afford to send me. But now I am able to go to school without any financial worries.”

Purdy is pursuing a career in nursing, focusing on pediatric oncology. She elaborated on this choice by speaking of the recent death of a personal friend, Chris Mann, who passed away of cancer in April. She said, “Ever since Chris passed away, I have felt like this is what God is calling me to do. After graduation, I want to work in a Children’s hospital in the Pediatric Oncology Unit.”

But Purdy does not want to be simply a nurse. She believes there is more to the career than what is perceived and hopes to be the best at what she does.

Purdy said, “I do not want to be a nurse that goes into a patient’s room, gives them their meds and walks out. I want to get to know my patients and their families and help them through that difficult time.”

Purdy said she also hopes to travel to Kenya on a medical mission trip and educate children on how to stay healthy.

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