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Eisenhart Scholar Finds Serving Community Prepares Her for Future Career in Nursing

A Nursing student posing in front of the fountain

“Nursing is about helping others, and volunteering is a way to help,” says Sarah Martin ’24. “It goes hand in hand.”

From mentoring younger students, to leading cooking groups in a retirement home, to showing students what their new city has to offer, Sarah Martin ’24 is persistent about finding ways to help others.

It’s what makes the sophomore Nursing major from Baltimore, MD, a perfect fit in York College of Pennsylvania’s Eisenhart Community Scholars program: someone who demonstrates “a commitment to common good and to the community” and “empathy toward diverse people and diverse situations.”

When applying for the program, Martin made a video of her service throughout a two-year process of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award as a first-year college student. She partnered with a local retirement home to lead six cooking groups, where she worked with residents to “make cooking engaging” through fun, basic recipes like apple streusel. During the project, she also led some other activities and crafts for the residents. “It was really fun to work with them,” she says.

Leading the next generation

Although Martin won’t officially start her scholar service project until next semester, she’s already jumping into volunteering. After reading the book Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley over the summer as part of the program, it made her look at service a little differently. “One of the biggest things about the program is thinking differently and outside of the box, trying to do something in a different way,” she says.

Having mentored younger girls throughout her Girl Scout career, she used that experience to benefit York College’s newest students. During September’s First Friday in downtown York, she led a group of first-year students on a fun tour of their new city. They walked the Rail Trail and Martin introduced them to several local spots, including Central Market and Marketview Arts.

Martin also serves as a good example to younger students because she wasn’t hesitant about getting involved at York College. Despite a challenging course load as a first-year Nursing major, she found time to join the College’s chapter of the Student Nursing Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP), in which she will serve as a legislative representative starting next spring. She’s also part of the nursing Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and took on a job as a desk attendant at the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center. “I work out a lot, so it was convenient to work there,” she says.    

She also joined the student-run YCP EMS in a ride-along role. The program, started this past spring, is completely managed by students and attends to emergencies on campus, assisting until a transport-capable unit can arrive.

Off campus, she volunteers with York’s Habitat for Humanity, where she has spent several Saturdays pouring concrete and moving lumber to help build housing complexes in downtown York.

Preparing for the future

There are so many different ways for a nurse to pursue his or her life’s work, and Martin is ready to experience them all through her studies at York College. She hasn’t chosen a particular area of nursing yet, and that’s why she looks forward to her time ahead. “I’m hoping to get a lot of various clinical experiences at York to find my passion,” she says. “I know York will help prepare me for different types of nursing.”

Martin sees the Eisenhart Community Scholars program as another great way to prepare her for her career. “Nursing is about helping others, and volunteering is a way to help. It goes hand in hand,” she says. “I can use all of the experience (from the program) as well as the experience I will gain from the York community to help me be a better nurse and understand patients.”

York College supports students as they work to turn career dreams into reality. Some 99% of new, full-time students receive financial assistance or scholarships. A variety of scholarships and grants are available, based on both merit and financial need.