PEG Supports 13 Burn Survivors Pursuing their Goals in 2017-2018

The Phoenix Education Grant scholarship program was established by Barbara Kammerer Quayle, a school teacher and burn survivor with a vision to give survivors the confidence and hope that further education would bring.

Allosource, one of the nation's largest nonprofit providers of skin, bone, and soft tissue allografts, pledged a $250,000 donation to the PEG program in 2013. Their gift has enabled many burn survivors to achieve their educational dreams, including the 13 burn survivor students who were granted scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year.

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John Andereson

Duke University School of Nursing

"As a future nurse, my goal is to work in a capacity where I can help develop strategies to improve the lives of our most vulnerable populations. From my injury and the burn community as a whole, I have learned wellness requires so much more than medical technology. Wellness requires a human touch. After obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I plan to work bedside in a hospital setting. As a patient, I received some of the best care imaginable. As health care quickly evolves, I hope to help mold it into a system that can give everyone the same experience I had. I am almost halfway done with the first step of my lofty goal; obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Nursing."

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Brianna Bolinger

Western Michigan University, Nursing Major

"This past spring semester, I participated on a 3-week study abroad program in South Africa. With my nursing aspirations, I felt the trip would broaden my healthcare perspectives. Dora Nqinza Public Hospital (located in Port Elizabeth, South Africa) is home to the only burn unit in the entire Eastern Cape. I had the opportunity to speak with the head of the unit. His description of the way patients would feel was exactly how I felt lying in my hospital bed 16 years ago – and I’ve never been able to put it into words until this trip. That is true patient advocacy, and that is what I hope to instill in myself as a nurse."

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Nicole Chi

University of San Francisco, Nursing Major

"Because of my experiences as a patient at Shriners Children’s Hospital, I have known I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. I had the kindest nurses, and I know I want to be that kind of nurse for others. I’m motivated to be the best student and nurse I can be. The more I learn and study, the better I can potentially save a life, and the care and empathy I provide can make all the difference in a patient’s experience. I have never been so motivated to learn and it’s very exciting to be able to study something I am so passionate about."

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Lauren Hecht

Wright State University

"I want to be able to make an impact in a person’s life, like the impact that was made in mine. My plans for the future a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Public Health. After that, I plan to attend medical school and work to become a physician. I have always wanted to work in the medical field and I’m very passionate about my career choice. I want to be able to help people in their time of need. The reward of helping people is what will drive me to reach my goal. I’m committed to the years and hard work that it takes to get to this position."

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Genesys Hernandez

Cerritos College

"I hope to become a psychologist. I myself have doubted the power of therapy, until I received the help myself. I didn’t believe that counseling could benefit me in any way, but I discovered it was one of the most helpful experiences after my accident. It taught me to accept my new reality and carry on with it, showing me I was strong enough and that everything happens for a reason. Getting burned changed my plans in many ways. It helped me see that there are all sorts of problems people face, sometimes so unexpected. Now I know I want to help people with those problems, how to face them, and how to overcome them."

Chelsea Hodge

Graduate Student, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy

"I vividly remember the way my physical therapist made me feel. Despite the agony and pain my body endured throughout recovery and despite the discomfort I underwent during each session, I fondly remember my physical therapist with a permeating warmth. Throughout primary and secondary school my fascination with the human body fueled my decision to pursue a career in physical therapy. As the profession continues to grow, I am excited at its potential to transform society. If we look to human movement as our foundation for health, we will be better able to contribute to our society as a whole."

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Mary Hoffman

Wayne College/The University of Akron

"Understanding people and their individual situations has long been a fascination of mine. I'm intrigued with the seemingly limitless capabilities and disabilities of the brain. My parents are both business-minded, and I think some of it has rubbed off me! My interests ran the gamut from healthcare and psychology to business. But then I discovered an increasingly growing
career: Industrial/Organizational Psychology. What
excites me is how science is combined with business. I never knew such a degree existed! I can't wait to reach my goal of having Industrial Organizational Psychology as my career."

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Melanie Lisinicchia

Indiana University at Bloomington

"My life aspirations include doing something that gives me purpose and helps others. I am confident that my goals would look very different if I had not experienced a burn injury. All of the people who have helped me heal physically and emotionally have inspired me to help others as a Genetic Counselor. I also hope to stay actively involved in the burn community and local community. Volunteering has been one of the most rewarding things I have done and I will continue to give back as a volunteer as much as possible."

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Jessica Meek

University of Delaware, Biological Sciences Major

"When I was younger, I went through countless hours of physical therapy to regain proper function and movement. My team of therapists and doctors were the sole reason I could heal and progress in my treatments. Rehabilitation is a major step that patients must cross, and it’s not a task to approach on your own. Becoming a physical therapist is my dream, and I want to specialize and work with pediatrics. Children have a tough time understanding the hows and whys of injuries, but they recognize the pain and the inability to experience life alongside their friends. I want to help them understand and guide them to the best outcome."

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Christina Min

Graduate Student, University of Michigan, School of Information and School of Social Work

"As an undergraduate, I gravitated towards the college radio station. As a burn survivor, I found it empowering to host my own show, and I wanted others to feel the same way. My experience took me to New York for an internship in the archives department of Democracy Now!, an independent news program. After my term finished, I served as an AmeriCorps member for a Hurricane Sandy recovery construction non-profit. At the core of my community service is my identity as a burn survivor. This year, I am headed to graduate school for a dual degree program in information sciences and social work, where I hope to learn skills that can better help my community."

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Amber Pardes

Graduate Student, Tufts University, Department of Occupational Therapy

"My Occupational Therapist at Shriner’s Hospital, had a profound effect on me. He gave me the opportunity to be a kid and explore my environment by participating in activities such as indoor rock climbing. He made me feel like myself again, showing me my potential to improve and that I was capable of anything. In college, I volunteered at a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities. I watched kids benefit and grow from occupational therapy, just as I had done as a child. I feel I’ve come full circle now. Looking back, I realize my burn and experiences at Shriner’s Hospital have shaped me into the woman I am today."

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Kelsay Parrott

Northwestern College

"I can change lives through my own stories, make the world a better place, and make people smile. The things I have endured can help someone else. There are so many people out there who need help. So many people suffer from life-changing events every single day and fall into a dark hole. I want to be a beacon for those people. I want to be a beacon of hope and light to those struggling in the darkness. To me, this will allow all the pain and suffering I have gone through to be worth it. That’s why I’m going into ministry and communications. I set my sights on being a motivational speaker with a ministry background."

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Haley Rosenthal

Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Musical Theatre Program

"My artistic goals are to educate, inspire, and raise awareness. While recovering in the burn unit, I found comfort in the performers that came to my room to lift my spirits and help me forget about being scared for a short time. When I recovered I wanted to do the same. Boston Conservatory at Berklee has an outreach program to hospitals that will allow me to directly give back to this community and other special groups. I feel I have a special connection with patients after what I’ve been through. Giving back has a whole new meaning now. Most importantly, my degree and profession will make me a visible survivor: raising awareness and empowering others to not give up."