In word and deed, this exemplary nursing major demonstrates selfless service to his classmates and our community. Cadet Jesse Crook has devoted every spare moment outside of his duties to serving children and youth with special healthcare needs and families impacted by disasters or illness. He is passionate about every child having opportunities to flourish, which has engaged him in interventions that address literacy, health and recreation, social support in crises, and safe housing. As a principled leader he is a role model for other cadets who aspire toward meaningful and sustained community engagement.
My mom was a Librarian in a high-poverty school in Gastonia, NC. She would return from school and tell me that children were taking books from the library. One might think they were ‘stealing’ them, but it was much more riveting and unnerving than that. These children were taking books from the library because at home they had none to call their own. I wanted to change that, so for my Eagle Scout Project I built 21 Little Free Libraries in their communities. I remember seeing children run in joy to the boxes, knowing they would have free books to take home – their own books.This was my first of many encounters with children facing problems that I did not have. As I went into college, I began volunteering with organizations that support children with a parent affected by cancer, families in disaster environments, and children with chronic health conditions to give them what every child deserves – a normal life. As I work toward a career as a pediatric nurse, the bravery and perseverance of the young people I have tried to serve inspires me to live my own life as an engaged and grateful member of my community.