SOW: Molly Kerkman january 19, 2009
Molly Kerkman heard the crash before she saw it.
Her sister was learning to ride a dirt bike in the family yard when she tried to turn the bike but couldn’t. The girl crashed into a trailer, and the handlebars of the dirt bike smashed into her
“I helped her as much as I could,” Kerkman said. “There were a lot of people there though.”
Kerkman said the collision bruised her sister’s chest enough to warrant taking her to the hospital, and lingering colon complications as a result of the crash kept her sister there.
That’s when Kerkman said she knew she wanted to be a nurse.
“It got me more excited to help people,” the 17-year-old Grand Junction High School senior said. “Being in the hospital and watching everyone work made me want to be a nurse.”
The accident happened during Kerkman’s junior year, and since then, she has delved into nursing as much as she can.
Kerkman is enrolled in the medical preparation program at Western Colorado Community College, which will make her a certified nursing assistant upon completion.
“We’re just getting to the hands-on part,” Kerkman said. “It’s really fun.”
In February, Kerkman said, the class will begin clinical rotations in area nursing homes before the students are allowed to explore their interests in specialized nursing.
For Kerkman, that is either prenatal nursing or neonatal nursing, and she would like to study at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs because of the school’s good nursing program.
“I’m not sure which one yet,” she said. “I just like babies.”
Kerkman is also involved with Grand Junction High’s chapter of the Health Occupation Students of America group, which is a national group for students interested in health careers.
The group is raising money to finance a trip to a health competition this spring, Kerkman said, that will test competitors’ nursing abilities with tasks such as bed making.
“It’s basically different things associated with being a nurse,” she said.
Kerkman said the group kept busy over the fall semester collecting teddy bears to distribute to several groups including children at St. Mary’s Hospital and local foster children.
Teddy bears were even sent to children in Afghanistan, Kerkman said.
“I don’t even know how many there were,” Kerkman said. “Bags and bags full, at least.”
Kerkman’s French teacher, Jodee Cronk, said Kerkman always offered extra help to lower-level French students when she mentored a French class for a year.
“She even taught the class whenever the teacher was absent,” Cronk said. “Molly was an excellent role model.”
Parents: Robin and Marvin
Preferred college: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Where she sees herself in five years: nursing
Favorite music: Sugarland
Favorite TV show: Dancing with the Stars
Personal hero: her parents
Why?: “They taught me everything I know,” she said. “They go through a lot, and they set good
examples for my sister and I.”
I’m most proud of: my decision to be a nurse so I can help people