Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Ashtyn Jany, daughter of Jeremy and Kelly Jany of Chester, IL is the winner of this year’s Healthcare Pathfinder Scholarship awarded by the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Ashtyn graduated from Chester High School this year and will be attending Southwestern Illinois College’s Nursing Program this fall. At the beginning of the Healthcare Pathfinders Program, Ashtyn stated her interest in becoming a Registered Nurse or “definitely something in the medical field.” She applied for the Pathfinder’s Program, looking forward to the opportunity to explore different options in the healthcare field. Ashtyn is also a member of Memorial Hospital’s Volunteer Program and Medical Explorer Program. The Chester Exploring chapter is in its charter year and Ashtyn was active at the meetings and had the opportunity to see what each department does first hand. In her Pathfinder application essay, she expressed that, “I feel like the Pathfinders program will help me to decide for sure the career path I want to take.”
Due to the COVID pandemic that swept the nation during late winter and early spring of this year. The Pathfinders’ time were cut short but many were able to complete their job shadowing hours with various departments over their winter/holiday breaks. Students in the program spend time observing the Diagnostic Imaging, Cardio-Pulmonary, Laboratory, and Nursing Departments as well as the Provider Practice. Ashtyn stated that she was “extremely grateful for the amazing opportunity that the Pathfinders Program granted [her] this school year.” With the news of the acceptance into the Fall 2020 Nursing Program at SWIC she feels confident and prepared to start her career. In her closing essay for the program, Ashtyn wrote, “I plan on working at Chester Memorial as a Registered Nurse and continuing on to SIUE to obtain my BSN, and then eventually become a FNP. This program gave me real life experiences that I could not have had reading in a textbook or sitting in a classroom.”
Ashtyn was one of seven students to participate in the 2019-2020 Medical Pathfinder’s Program conducted by Memorial Hospital. Additional students included Mabry Miles, Avery Runge, Brianna Surman and Mallary Vasquez, all from Chester High School, Alexandria Hinnerichs from Steeleville High School, and Victoria Frederking from Trico High School. Each student spent a total of 6 hours, job shadowing medical professionals. Students spent time with doctors, nurses, sitting in on general surgeries and patient evaluations. “I learned how seriously talented and skilled one has to be to pursue and excel in a career like theirs,” stated Brianna. During their 6 hours, the students were evaluated by the staff they worked with and were asked to write an essay to summarize their experiences upon their completion. All seven students were very professional during their time at Memorial and walked away with a better understanding of what it really takes to be a healthcare professional, even if that time was cut short due to COVID.
The Healthcare Pathfinder Program is offered every year to Seniors of area High Schools. Out of the students, one is chosen based on evaluations from the departments and their application and summary essays, to receive a scholarship to help them pursue their career.