Golden LEAF Scholarship Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Silver

Golden LEAF Scholarship Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Silver

Name: Ashley Silver
High School Attended: Rocky Mount High School
Home County: Nash County
College(s) Attended/ Years Attended: Winston-Salem State University (2013-2017)/ East Carolina University (2019-current)
Major(s): Nursing/ Master of Science in Nursing– Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
County Now Living In: Pitt County
Employer: Travel Nurse Agency
Title: Registered Nurse II
Years Working for Current Employer: Previously worked at Vidant Medical Center for 3 years (Nephrology & Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit)/ New position as a travel nurse

What are some of your major accomplishments during college? I enjoyed serving in numerous campus organizations during my undergraduate career at Winston-Salem State University, such as the Student Nurses Organization, Epsilon Tau Sigma National Allied Health Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Gospel Choir, TRiO, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.- Rho Chapter. I also conducted several seminars on HIV/STI education. I am currently obtaining my Master of Science in Nursing in Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist at East Carolina University. I have been awarded the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship and Black Nurses Rock Greater Charlotte Chapter Scholarship and have been able to completely pay for my master’s degree through scholarship programs.

What would you tell someone interested in applying for the Golden LEAF Scholarship about being a recipient? Being a Golden LEAF scholar taught me to appreciate rural Eastern North Carolina. Rural ENC is rich in culture, history, and agriculture arenas that must be kept going for generations to come. The Golden LEAF scholarship allowed me to further my education in hopes of working in my field of interest post-graduation. I’m glad to say if it was not for Golden LEAF, I would have not considered the importance of working in rural ENC.

What helped you decide to live/ work in a rural area? Growing up, I dreamed of working at Vidant Medical Center as a Registered Nurse. As a little kid, adults always ask what do you want to be when you grow up? My response every time was a nurse at the hospital in Greenville. I kept hold of my dream and could not see myself anywhere else to start my nursing journey.

What kind of leadership roles are you serving in currently? My leadership roles at Vidant Medical Center were charge nurse, clinical coach, preceptor, pain champion, and Aspiring Nurse Leader. I have recently decided to venture into the travel nurse world and I am completely excited!

What would you like to share about your personal or professional philosophies? The first scripture my mother taught me was “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” I always wondered why my mom taught me that scripture first. When I asked her she said “Ashley there will be times in your life when you doubt your plan and decisions, but if you trust God you will never go wrong. That it is why I taught you that scripture first.”

What did you learn during your experience with the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program? I learned the importance of diversity and inclusion in all professional arenas. Rural ENC has so many experiences to offer, and it’s up to Golden LEAF Scholar Alumni to continue the vibrant legacy of rural ENC.

What internship experiences did you have through the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program? I was fortunate enough to participate in the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. My internship experiences were at the Polley Clinic Dermatology and Nash County Health Department in Rocky Mount. I gained mentors, health advocacy experience, and clinical skills at each facility.

Did your experiences with the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program help shape your decision to live/ work in rural areas?  My experiences with the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program 100% shaped my decision to work in rural areas after graduation. I saw firsthand the importance of health literacy/education in Nash County. I felt the skills and experiences I acquired since the age 15 would help me give back to my community. Golden LEAF confirmed the need for me to use my blessings, experiences, and opportunities to help others.

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