News_Ridener.jpg“Your health is your first wealth” is how the saying goes. And Community College of Denver (CCD) sophomore Jamie Ridener can’t wait to help make others wealthy.

As a teenager, Ridener once suffered from a congenital lymphatic disorder and spent weeks in a California hospital as a pediatric patient. But what could have been an excruciating ordeal of multiple surgeries, recurring symptoms and experimental treatments, was made bearable with the care of several extraordinary nurses who stayed by her side.

“The nurses were incredible,” Jamie says. “They worked alongside the doctors to get me through a really rough time in my life, and I’ll never forget how they inspired me to hang in there while I was in and out of the hospital. The doctors treated me, but the nurses healed me.”

Today Jamie is studying nursing through CCD’s Integrated Nursing Pathways Program, and has also been awarded the prestigious Kaiser Foundation Scholarship through the CCD Foundation.

“The Kaiser Foundation scholarship through the CCD Foundation helped my education the way all scholarships do – by relieving some of the monetary stress obtaining a higher education undoubtedly brings,” Jamie says. “Even a seemingly small scholarship goes a long way when you’re paying for textbooks and parking.”

She believes all students should pursue every scholarship they possibly can.

“Being an out-of-state student has not been the easiest on my finances, but I managed to make it all the way through my Associate’s degree program without taking out loans because of scholarships,” she explains. “It’s free money – why wouldn’t you want to go for it?”

CCD’s Integrated Nursing Pathways (INP) program is a partnership between several Colorado Community College System schools and the University of Colorado Denver’s (UCD) School of Nursing. Jamie has been accepted into this competitive admissions program at CCD and her journey will take her from her Associate of General Studies Degree (earned at CCD) straight into the UCD School of Nursing this summer

“It’s kicking my butt because it’s very rigorous, but it’s okay because I’m super passionate about nursing. I can’t wait to help others the way I’ve been helped.”