Senior nursing student, Jason Naki, ’20, has been selected for two College of Nursing scholarships that recognize him not only for his academic ability, but for his commitment to service and his drive to make a positive impact in the world.
“Being of service is one of my values,” says Naki, who currently serves as president of the Seattle University Student Nurses Association (SUSNA) and Mentorship Officer for his fellow class of ’20 transfer nursing students. “I endeavor to build connections among our nursing student community on campus.”
Naki decided to pursue a career in nursing after overcoming personal challenges. “I am no stranger to the hospital and use my experience as a patient in the ICU to inform my practice,” he said. “The RN who took care of me during that stay was pivotal in my restoration, because of her kindness, compassion and upbeat attitude.”
The dignity and respect Naki received from the RN who cared for him affected him deeply. He said, “I strive to be that positive impact in my current position as a Nursing Technician (CNA) at Harborview Medical Center. The harder I work, the better off my patient outcomes are.”
Naki’s Ridgway project, Healthy Happy Hour, aims to improve the health of Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) residents who are at high-risk of homelessness due to socioeconomic status, chronic illness, disability status and/or mental health challenges. One aspect of his project is to hold a quarterly healthy cooking class that includes demonstrations of how to prepare tasty, healthy and nutritious foods made from ingredients typically included in donation boxes from the nearby food bank.
Naki is clearly passionate about caring for people “heavily impacted by negative determinants of health, like homelessness, mental health challenges, substance use, and those who do not use English as their first language,” and said that after he graduates hopes to continue at Harborview in their Nurse Residency Program to continue being of service to the most underserved residents of King County.
“I strive to help and serve others,” Naki said, “I am proud to be an SU Redhawk, because living life guided by spiritual principles, like honesty, mindfulness, humility, integrity, and working toward making the world a little brighter is important to me.”
The Mary Buike Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of alumna, Mary Theresa (Range) Buike, BA '86, who advocated for increased awareness and early detection of Ovarian Cancer, which she passed away from in 2017. This scholarship is intended to encourage the important role that genuine, heartfelt compassion plays in positively impacting seriously ill (even terminal) patients and their family members, and to support the formation of nurses who will serve with empathy and kind-heartedness.
Established in May 1996, the Dr. Eileen Ridgway Endowed Nursing Scholarship aims to kindle and fuel leadership development by encouraging student development in community outreach, service and civic efforts. The selection committee is affiliated with Seattle U’s Alpha Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International honor society.