Feb 05, 2013

Graduate Values Family, Education & Giving

Columbia Resident Sarah Holman Wins Outstanding Student of the Year, Harold Love Community Service Award and Phi Theta Kappa Regional Award

It's been quite a month for Sarah Holman, the oldest of 11 children. Not only did she graduate from Columbia State Community College on May 12, but she was pinned at the school's nursing pinning ceremony the night before - and featured as a student speaker at the ceremony - after being showered with awards in the weeks prior.

Holman absolutely shined during her time at Columbia State, with the Jo L. Hutton Prize for the Outstanding Student of the Year coming her way at the Student Awards Ceremony in early May. That honor was preceded by the Harold Love Community Service Award which she claimed at a banquet in Nashville just a few weeks ago. Holman was one of five college students in the entire state to be recognized for their efforts giving back to the community. She also served as Phi Theta Kappa president this past year, and was recognized with the regional award for fourth place among state chapter PTK presidents.

Holman did all of this while excelling in Columbia State's nursing program. "The Columbia State Nursing Program has been such a vigorous, yet rewarding experience for me," she said. "It sets such a high standard - and continually demands more and more from you. You know you are getting the best training possible, and that you'll be a better nurse because of it."

Holman's father, Jeff, is a 2004 graduate of Columbia State's nursing program. He chose Columbia State because he was able to use his previously earned college credits to count as prerequisites, enabling him to finish in just two years. Her sister Hannah will also graduate from Columbia State next semester; and her brother Jonathan will start general medical courses at Columbia State in the fall. She even joked that all 10 of her siblings may end up attending Columbia State one day.

"I love Columbia State - it has such a warm, friendly atmosphere, with that inviting, small-town feel. I've gotten to know so many wonderful people here - it's really like my extended family!"

But the College isn't the only thing the 13-member Holman family has in common. Each summer they donate nine weeks of their time to help people with cognitive and physical disabilities, by doing mission work for their church.

"We all hop in our cars and drive up to Wisconsin to work with Inspiration Retreat Center's Summer Camps," said Holman. "Our church here in Columbia encouraged us to try it a few years ago, and we've gone back every summer. This year I'll be working as a camp nurse, prior to heading back and starting my bachelor's degree in nursing at Middle Tennessee State University."

So you see why she was a perfect fit for Phi Theta Kappa - even in her spare time, she's helping others. After starting as the vice president of service, she was elected president this past year. She participated in several community outreach projects, including helping the organization raise $1,000 for Blood: Water Mission, register 140 new voters, sponsor 13 children from the Angel Tree project, collect 2,800 food items for the Family Center and partner with other organizations such as the American Heart Association.

After pursuing her bachelor's at MTSU, she'll look to go on and get her master's (nurse practitioner) degree. "That will allow me to potentially run my own clinic and work on a more equal level with doctors."