Focus on the Foundation
The FVTC Foundation is helping Sulayman Jobe finish his long journey to a nursing degree.
Sulayman Jobe’s journey toward a nursing degree has been a long one. A native of Gambia, Africa, he came to the United States in 2002 at the age of 21. Today, thanks to financial assistance in the form of scholarships from the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation, he is well on the way to reaching his goal.
Jobe spent his first three years in the United States living with his uncle in New York City, where he worked in a clothing store. Three years later, he joined friends in Madison and earned certification as a nursing assistant while also working for a shipping company.
Like many students, Jobe needed to balance his desire to further his education with the need to support himself. When he moved to Appleton in the summer of 2007, he enrolled at Fox Valley Technical College, taking pre-requisite courses before starting the college’s two-year Nursing program.
He also began working at a local nursing home, but money was tight, so Jobe applied for a scholarship from the FVTC Foundation. He was awarded the scholarship and has since received two others, including the FVTC Benefit Golf Outing Scholarship.
Help at Hand
Established in 1976, the FVTC Foundation awarded nearly $580,000 to almost 900 FVTC students and high school seniors during the most recently completed academic year. FVTC Foundation scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, employer-valued skills, and strong academic performance.
Jobe possessed all three. He is a determined young man, driven by a strong desire to succeed. Growing up in Gambia surely had an impact. “Situations back home are not easy, and people see it as an opportunity to come to the United States to chase their dreams,” he says. “My parents are farmers. My father grows peanuts, and my mother does vegetable gardening and grows rice during the rainy season. They sell some of their produce for cash and keep some for sustenance. My family was delighted about me coming here.”
Jobe credits the scholarships he has received from the FVTC Foundation with allowing him to continue his studies in hopes of earning his nursing degree by 2012. “Without the scholarships, it would take me longer to finish the program,” he says.
Rebecca Polk-Pohlman, an FVTC Anatomy and Physiology instructor, has witnessed Jobe’s dedication and progress in the classroom. “You could tell he was attentive and really listening in class,” she says. “He had to work very hard to do as well as he did.”
When Jobe asked Polk-Pohlman to write a recommendation for an FVTC Foundation scholarship, she readily agreed. “The foundation scholarships make a huge difference for students who are trying to work and attend classes,” she says. “I highly recommended him. He is motivated and appreciates having a chance to get an education. A scholarship was a huge benefit for him.”
Jobe is grateful for the FVTC Foundation’s support, and he is anxious to earn his degree and pursue a career. “Nursing changes all the time,” he says. “I want to bring new insight to help others.”