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ASPIRE Program Provides Window to Nursing Career

Originally published in Cleveland Central Catholic's Connection Magazine - Fall 2018 (pages 12-13)

The Cleveland Clinic, in collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College, launched the ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program for high school juniors interested in pursuing a career in nursing and healthcare. ASPIRE provides students with career information and critical skill sets to support their matriculation through higher education, nursing school and beyond. The program was conceived by Lorie and Nick Howley and is funded by The Howley Foundation.

Launched in February 2017, there were 77 local high school juniors who applied. Students were vetted based on their GPA, a short essay, recommendations and an interview. In the end, 25 students made the cut last year, including several CCC graduates from the class of 2018: Ayanna Lewis, TaNazia Hoover and Jamon Carter. This year, CCC students Edwin Santos, Nyamweru Adronic and Selena Jackson were selected to participate in ASPIRE.

Community College to complete their RN degree. Cleveland Central Catholic’s Selena Jackson ’19 was one of the lucky participants invited back for a second year. According to an article published by the Cleveland Clinic Online, there is a looming nurse shortage, and young students often do not have the opportunity to check out the nursing profession to decide whether it’s the right path for them. That is why the Cleveland Clinic’s Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute of Nursing Excellence, in collaboration with the Howley Foundation, founded the ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program. “It’s a win-win pipeline program – through it, high school students who are interested in nursing receive training and education, and then return to
the system to complete schooling,” says Ebony Drummer, MSN, RN, Associate Dean of Nursing at Tri-C.

Benefits of participating in this program include the potential to become a Cleveland Clinic caregiver as PCNA after high school graduation, an opportunity to complete Tri-C’s nursing program on a full scholarship, and subsequent matriculation with ASPIRE scholars throughout Tri-C’s nursing program, according to Daria Sheafe, MSN, RN, ASPIRE Program Coordinator.

“All 50 scholars who participated in the ASPIRE program decided to pursue a career in healthcare,” Sheafe reports. “We focus on a nursing career. With that being said, 42 of the past 50 scholars are pursuing nursing. The CCC students are very well versed on how to interview, i.e. firm handshake, introducing themselves, eye contact. They represent themselves and the school well.”

“Selena Jackson ’19 is very outgoing, personable and engaged – as are all of the students from CCC,” adds the Cleveland Clinic ASPIRE Coordinator. “Selena makes extra effort to reach out to the introverted scholars and is empathetic, which is a great quality for a nurse.”

Congratulations to all the CCC students who successfully participated in this outstanding ASPIRE program last year and to those students selected to participate this year. The Administrative staff and faculty of Cleveland Central Catholic would like to thank the Howley family and the Cleveland Clinic for offering this tremendous opportunity to our students.