NURSING A DREAM: MY CATALYST JOURNEY
Jeniffer Park

Built from the ground up, Singapore American School’s journey of success started with a culture of possibilities. Every day, students adapt a growth mindset as they explore, take risks, innovate, create, and pursue excellence. Known for an unmistakable culture of excellence, extraordinary care, and possibilities, SAS encourages among students a commitment to deep intellectual and personal exploration. 

From TRi Time to Catalyst projects, Quest, and even Advanced Topic courses, programs are designed to address real-world competencies and reflect the types of learning and work people do every day outside of the classroom. Students across all divisions produce meaningful projects as they exercise voice and choice, research and create, reflect upon their own ideas, and make decisions that impact project outcomes and their own learning experience. 

Catalyst was a golden opportunity for me because it provided the doors to experiences and encounters that not only guided me in my career path, but also provided life skills that I will cherish forever. During my first semester in Catalyst, I knew my project would be focused around nursing. Through discussions with my Catalyst teachers, I decided to find an internship to further my knowledge about the nursing field and job scope. After contacting several different doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, I landed a three-day internship at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where I was able to get hands-on experience with what the job entailed. Additionally, I felt a sense of community in the hospital, something I really appreciated. 

That internship then led to another opportunity for me: a summer job as a Health Care Assistant at Tan Tock Seng’s Neuro Medical Surgical ward. This experience showed me the brutal sides of nursing. The amount of work that one nurse had to finish in an eight-hour shift was sometimes close to impossible, and at times nurses didn’t get the respect they deserve. I also noticed that perceptions of nurses seemed drastically different between the US and Singapore. These perceptions inspired me to take another semester of Catalyst to write a research paper on perceptions of nursing around the world. Finding a mentor for this project was challenging, but after several phone calls and messages, I ended up connecting with the head of nursing research on the Singapore Nursing Board,  Ms. Ang Yih Shin. 

Conducting the survey and writing the research abstract was just the beginning of the process. I also wanted to publish my paper for public consumption. In order to make my vision happen, it was crucial that the paper I wrote had no statistical and grammatical errors. At the time, I didn’t know how to analyze statistics and through the support of my mentor, I not only learned this, but I also gained communication and networking skills. Learning to talk to different professionals who were not students or teachers forced me out of my comfort zone and taught me to be more organized and a better communicator. The long nights and calls with my mentor finally paid off when my research was accepted for presentation at the International Conference of Nursing 2019, which fortunately this year will be held in Singapore in June! I look forward to speaking in front of 200,000 healthcare professionals and sharing my research with the wider public. 

Most recently, I’ve been working towards getting my certified nursing assistant degree, which will allow me to dive even deeper into the field as I continue my studies at Ohio State University with a full scholarship. OSU has one of the best nursing programs in the US, and I’m sure my essay about my Catalyst experiences helped me gain admission there. The Catalyst program has shown me the effect of personalized learning and how students can impact adults and inspire schools to adopt a program that supports students and their interest. Catalyst has taught me life skills that other traditional classes couldn’t and the program itself was definitely a catalyst for my future. 

Jeniffer Park graduated from SAS in 2019 and will be continuing further studies at Ohio State University on a full scholarship.

  • catalyst
  • Class of 2019
  • graduation
  • high school
  • learning journey
  • personalized learning
  • Quest
  • tri-time

 

 

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