Beta Beta (Dallas) Chapter member Wendy Lewis of Dallas, Texas, USA, is passionate about serving others in both her personal and professional life. She’s spent over 20 years working in the restaurant and bar industry but realized she wanted more professionally after the birth of her daughter. “It was important for me to stay in the service industry because I am passionate about serving others,” said Wendy. “Choosing nursing as a career was a natural path as it would allow me to serve and help care for those who cannot care for themselves.”
Wendy applied to nursing school and was able to begin on the path toward her exciting, new career. Her way wasn’t smooth, though, and Wendy found herself facing the financial difficulties that plague many returning students, especially those changing their careers. “Transitioning back to a full-time student has been difficult financially,” she says. “I am raising my 13-year-old daughter and am providing care for my mother, who has dementia. Even with financial aid, there are times when I feel financially insecure.”
She found the support and guidance to make it through, though, when her program director at Texas Woman’s University mentioned Sigma. “[She] encouraged me to join Sigma because it’s an organization for nurses specifically focused on promoting nursing excellence to help advance global health and can provide networking opportunities for nurses who share the same passions and goals about global health.” But the membership dues required put more strain on an already tense financial situation.
Luckily, Wendy found out about Sigma’s Edith Anderson Membership Subsidy, a grant that allows Sigma members who face economic insecurity to join Sigma. “The Edith Anderson Membership Subsidy allowed me to become a member of Sigma without worrying that I would put myself and my family at increased financial risk,” she says. “I realize the funds for this subsidy are available because of donations to the Sigma Foundation for Nursing’s Leadership Fund, and I am forever grateful for the donations that gave me this opportunity to join.”
Today, Wendy is well on her way of recreating herself and cultivating her path. She’s currently interning in the trauma/burn intensive care unit and loves the endless learning opportunities presented to her. “Every day I have clinicals or attend class, I feel incredibly honored and excited to have the opportunity to increase my knowledge,” she says. “I will continue to have passion throughout my career for learning because I truly feel it’s a lifetime process. You are never too old to learn something new!”
To learn more about empowering nurses like Wendy, please visit SigmaNursing.org/Foundation.