“Money isn’t the Motive” – Applied Learning student Lono Grace shares

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Student Lono Grace helping at the Kaʻu Licensed Practical Nursing lab. Picture provided by Luzviminda Miguel.

Money isn’t the Motive

October 8, 2014

Written by Amber Manini

In the art of nursing you learn all of the organs, body parts, and how each function working together to keep us alive. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to work in the health field. For some of us it is for the money whereas for others it is for the eagerness to help those around us. Throughout our schooling on our way to becoming medical professionals, students have the opportunity to learn not only from their teachers but, from their peers and, through the community around them. Through these experiences students will one day become the doctors and nurses that take care of us when we can’t take care of ourselves.

Hawaii Community College Licensed Practical Nursing student, Lono Grace, is a part of the Kaʻu Cohort of student nurses. Grace, a resident of the rural Kaʻu community sees first hand the effects of the geographically isolated and medically underserved population. Lono is a student who volunteers with both the Kaʻu Rural Health Community Association as well as Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi in Naʻalehu. She currently assists with the following; In the Kaʻu Rural Health Community Association, Board of Director, Treasurer, Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Member of the Special Events Committee, and Member of the Outreach Promotional Volunteer group. Grace is a tutor for the Kaʻu Rural Health Academy and the Co-Chair for the Better Choices, Better Health Support Group.

Student Lono Grace helping at the Kaʻu Licensed Practical Nursing lab. Picture provided by Luzviminda Miguel.

“I took the initiative to promote HawCC PN program in Ka’u to members in my community to give them a positive outlook on life.  When the Ka’u Sugar Plantation closed, many people lost their jobs and faced financial hardship.  The only jobs readily available in the community are picking macadamia nuts, coffee or ranching.  I will continue to promote the numerous programs available through Ka’u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. to the people in the community to give them the opportunity to make a difference in their lives and work smarter, not harder.  I feel honored and privileged in assisting the people in the community to go back to school, further their education and create a better life,” said Grace.

Grace says she enrolled herself into the Hawaii Community College Practical Nursing Program to help the Kaʻu community as well as better herself. Upon her completion of the Hawaii Community College Practical Nursing Program she plans to continue her education here at UH Hilo achieving her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree. As a student, Grace sees volunteering as a way to give back to her community that had once given to her. “I want the people in my community to receive the same education and quality of care that is afforded to more prominent communities.  I chose to further my education and become a licensed practical nurse to benefit my community and other communities,” said Grace.

Grace is not only the type of student that has an impact on the community and her peers around her but her positive outlook also has affected her instructors as well. “She is very helpful to others. She just helps or lends a hand in any way she can, and I do not have to ask her,” said Luzviminda Miguel one of Grace’s professors. “I believe in giving back to the community and sharing the knowledge and talent that we all have. If talent and knowledge are not shared to help others or used to put a smile on someone’s face; then, they don’t mean anything and they are wasted. Giving your time to others when you can is a noble thing to do. The good actions we have can come full circle and when you need it, it will be there,” said Miguel.

The art of nursing is not one that can simply be learned from a text book. It takes dedication, time and heart. Through volunteering experiences such as the ones Grace takes part in, students are able to help the community around them while obtaining valuable first hand experience in their job field of interest. Let the eagerness and the love of helping others overpower any material object.

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