Gannon University Nursing Student Among Five Pennsylvania TRIO Scholarship Winners
Posted: August 7, 2017
Gannon University's rigorous undergraduate nursing program
demands a lot of its students in terms of time and commitment.
Imagine the sacrifices a single mother of a young child would have
to make to succeed.
Shiotta Boyd doesn't have to imagine them; she lives them every
day. What's more, she has used her life's challenges as a
springboard to her success. And she's been rewarded. Boyd, a
full-time mother and a full- time, nontraditional student is one of
five Pennsylvania residents who will be awarded a scholarship by
the Pennsylvania Association of TRIO Programs. The award ceremony
will take place in October.
Boyd moved to Erie from her native Meadville when she was 12.
"It was a big change. Erie was a big city to me, and I hung around
the wrong crowd, but I was always into school," she said. "I'm a
big academic nerd, you might say."
When Boyd's son arrived when she was 16, she had a decision to
make. "I had to sacrifice my social life so I could succeed in
school, and I had to choose a local college because of my son." She
received a scholarship through the Archbishop Gannon Scholars
Program for students in the Erie Public Schools that have the
academic credentials to be admitted to Gannon University, but do
not have the financial ability to attend. Under the program,
federal and state grant funds are the only resources a student
would need to cover their tuition cost at Gannon University.
Boyd took full advantage of the opportunity. "She's very
impressive," said Crista Gray, director of Student Support Services
located in Gannon's Student Success Center. "She's an impressive
student by any measure, but especially when you consider that she's
a mom, a full-time student and she works."
Impressive, indeed. Boyd, was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau
International, the Honor Society of Nursing, which accepts only the
top 30 percent of students in the discipline.
Aiding her success as a student was the assistance provided by
the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program, a federally funded
program designed to help students maximize their skills and to
assist them in working more effectively toward graduation. In
collaboration with other offices at Gannon University, SSS offers
academic, financial, career and personal guidance. Through the use
of professional advisors, peer tutors and peer mentors SSS
participants receive services such as individual tutoring, study
skills workshops, guidance with course selection, financial
literacy and career advising.
Boyd's career path is certain. "Growing up, I wanted to be a
teacher, but my mom is an LPN and wanted me to pursue a career in a
health field," she said. Born prematurely, Boyd's son was in the
neonatal intensive care unit for a week. The experience helped her
to appreciate her mother's wisdom.
"Going into my senior year, it's taken a lot of dedication. If
it wasn't for my family support, I probably couldn't do this," she
said. "And without the scholarship I couldn't have been able to
succeed. There have been times where I had to decide whether to buy
the book or take care of my special needs child. Not a lot of
people know how hard it is to be a single parent, so being
recognized like this is so important."