The Paul Giannetti Attorney at Law 2015 Caregiver Scholarship was awarded to Amy Smith, a young woman whose commitment to providing quality care and nursing has led her to attend North Dakota State University’s nursing program. According to Amy, her desire to be a nurse and her appreciation for care giving began at an early age, but it was her work as an adult caregiver that validated and reinforced her childhood dreams.
Amy’s inspiring career began at the Fourth Corporation group home, an organization committed to caring for the mental and physical challenges of adults with disabilities. The life lessons Amy learned were not of the variety picked up through reading a textbook.
Amy learned the truth of the old maxim which states that “patience is a virtue” as clients dressed themselves independent of her assistance. While it was tempting for Amy to step in and take over, she understood that patients improved in meaningful ways when they were not overly coddled in ways that violate their independent autonomy.
Patience is one of many lessons she learned from the disabled adults she assisted, reinforcing the fact that some of life’s greatest lessons are not provided by intellectual geniuses alone. Amy cited individuals with down syndrome as an example of the valuable lessons individuals with disabilities can teach us about life. These individuals under her care were constantly loving and positive during difficult personal moments, focusing on life’s beautiful little moments that elude too many of us over the course of our busy lives.
Amy has appreciated these lessons and the challenges that inevitably come with her line of work. Amy has consistently strived to cultivate an environment that fosters and values the achievement of every individual under her care, boosting their self-esteem and sense of self-worth in the process.
Amy took these skills and transferred them towards her next service opportunity, where she worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at a nursing home. It was here that Amy learned the value of treating others as she would want to be treated while she helped those who were incapable of helping themselves. Amy learned valuable time management skills that will no doubt assist her as she continues her educational career and lifelong commitment to service.
While her shifts were as lengthy as they were physically exhausting, Amy would go home and wake up the following morning with a rewarding sense of fulfillment after improving the lives and wellbeing of the people under her care and supervisions.
Amy ultimately took another CNA position at a rural hospital where she continued to learn crucial life lessons that will assist her during her career of serving others. At the rural hospital, only one CNA was needed, which meant Amy alone was responsible for the CNA care during her shifts. Naturally, this markedly improved her ability to react under pressure while also growing her leadership skills and capability for self-motivation.
The diverse needs and conditions of her patients led her to understand that, while the needs and conditions of patients vary widely, it is the little details that matter most. Simply entering a patient’s room with a positive attitude, a smile, and the mentality to improve the patient’s condition serves as Amy’s care arsenal since she understands that quality care starts with kindness.
Taking the time to spend a few extra moments with a patient can make or break their day, reminding them that they are appreciated and valued, rather than being another box to check before moving on to the next patient. Amy took this knowledge with her to the Creative Care for Reaching Independence (CCRI), where she worked on an individual level with disabled clients in order to provide personalized care for the needs of every individual.
Amy’s professional goals intersect with her desire to give back to her community, where she enthusiastically volunteered at the county fair and a local vacation Bible school. Amy’s volunteer experience has only served to sharpen her job skills since she volunteers with the desire to do good without expecting rewards or recognition in return.
However, our law firm would like to recognize Amy’s outstanding professional and personal achievements by awarding her with the Paul Giannetti Attorney at Law 2015 Caregiver Scholarship as our way of recognizing that her contributions are meaningful and exemplary in every sense of the word.
Congratulations Amy, and we wish you luck in your future academic, career and personal successes!