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Two WNCC Students Earn $1,500 Surgical Technology Scholarship From Regional West Foundation

March 08, 2018
Kristy Kreman, of Chadron, and Brettni Mills, of Alliance, each earned a $1,500 scholarship from the Regional West Foundation.
Mills and Kreman, both Surgical Technology students at Western Nebraska Community College were recipients of the James Massey, M.D. Surgical Tech Scholarship.
"Having just a job specific scholarship is super amazing," Mills said. "It's kind of like (Dr. Massey) took a chance on me. It was as if he said, 'I see potential in her.' That's the first thing I thought of."
"As a single parent and non-traditional student, Dr. Massey's generosity has not only help me financially but has given me the confidence to continue my education and pursue my dream, a career in medicine," Kreman said.
This is the first year the scholarship has been awarded, and there are plans for it to continue next year, as well. Those eligible for the scholarship must be a full-time student in the WNCC Surgical Technology Program with a grade point average of at least 3.0.
"The Regional West Foundation, Regional West Health Services and Dr. Massey have given the WNCC Surgical Technology students a wonderful gift," said Marcene Elwell, WNCC Surgical Technology Program Director. "I am so grateful for their past, current and future support of the Surgical Technology Program and students. Dr. Massey and the RWHS organization have played an integral role in the success of this program and we could not do it without their support."
"Regional West Foundation is proud to make an investment in WNCC students by facilitating the James Massey, M.D. Surgical Tech Scholarship," said Julie Marshall, director of development of the Regional West Foundation. "This investment translates into a strong and vibrant future for western Nebraska."
Hear more from the both Kreman and Mills below.
Kristy Kreman:
It has not exactly been an easy path for Kreman.
The single mom with two kids in the house makes the trip from Chadron to Scottsbluff multiple times a week. Kreman lives, and owns a house, in Chadron, but commutes for class at WNCC, and for work at Regional West Medical Center.
"There's been some tough moments," Kreman said.
Yet Kreman understands the hours on the road and challenge of balancing kids, work and schooling will be worth it soon when she is able to see out a lifelong dream of working in medicine.
Receiving the James Massey, M.D. Surgical Tech Scholarship provided Kreman with a much-needed boost to persevere, she said.
"It's huge not just financially, but it kind of means someone else believes in me," Kreman said. "It gives me that little extra boost of confidence that I can do this, I can keep going."
Brettni Mills:
When Brettni Mills graduated from Alliance High School, she wasn't quite sure what she wanted to study - dental hygiene or surgical technology.
Now, there is no doubt.
Once Mills began her clinical experience with the WNCC Surgical Technology Program this last semester, she knew she had found her passion.
"It just hit me like, 'This is it. This is what you need to do,'" Mills said. "It was that magical moment."
That moment was reaffirmed when she received the James Massey, M.D. Surgical Tech Scholarship, she said. Mills, who has no medical background, was motivated by being selected for the scholarship, she said.
"It kind of gave me more of a boost to get going and start getting to it," Mills said.
Upon graduation from the program, Mills aspires to be a surgical technologist somewhere in the Midwest.