Karey Hornbaker, Raritan Valley Community College
Karey Hornbaker, a second-year nursing student at Raritan Valley Community College, has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities through her service to others. While serving as Vice President of the Student Nurses Association, Karey was involved in the Service Learning program through three nursing courses and various co-curricular activities. This experience offered Karey an opportunity to learn first-hand about important nursing issues, including health and wellness, emergency preparedness, domestic violence, elder care and childhood nutrition. Karey also learned about the value of contributing to the improvement of society by organizing and participating in blood drives, dental health screenings, emergency preparedness trainings, and various initiatives focused on the education and prevention of diseases. Her fund-raising events supported many national programs that included the No Kid Hungry Campaign, Doctors Without Borders, and National Council on Aging, as well as various projects for local domestic violence shelters, medical centers and New Jersey League for Nursing. These experiences also empowered her to take a leadership role helping other students to be part of the solution in solving community problems. Karey’s involvement in multiple outreach programs demonstrates how these experiences address significant social concerns and concomitantly how education can engage students as both learners and responsible citizens.
-Dr. Michael J. McDonough, President, Raritan Valley Community College
I participated in three service learning nursing courses and numerous co-curricular activities while I served as Vice-President of the Student Nurses Association. This allowed me to share my pre-professional nursing expertise—learned in the classroom—with many organizations, helping them to be more efficient in serving their clients. The community organizations and their clients also were introduced to RVCC college students, offering them a new view and understanding of our nursing skills and talents. As students we received encouragement and support from the community, while they looked to us for assistance in addressing issues related to health and wellness, domestic violence, elder care and childhood nutrition. Overall, my service learning and co-curricular activities were transformative. I improved my leadership and communication skills as well as developed a keen interest in advocating for important health issues in the community. I learned how to be more efficient and productive by working collaboratively with group projects and assisting in fundraising. My teamwork skills also were strengthened. These are experiences that I will never forget and will continue to pursue as a Registered Nurse upon graduation from Raritan Valley Community College.