Isabella Patterson will have great stories to tell about her freshman year at UNC-Wilmington. She can share her experiences pledging and joining a sorority, hanging with friends at the nearby beach, watching the sun set as she pondered her future and leaving for home midway during her second semester to shelter in place during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic.
Patterson grew up in Brevard; she is the third generation to do so. In 2019 she joined her mother and grandfather as Brevard High School [BHS] alumni.
Isabella presents as way beyond her young years, both in her approach to college life and her career plans. She chose UNC-Wilmington because it offered a nursing program that included the
two semesters as an opportunity to earn all prerequisites before working in earnest on her major.
She obtained certifi-cation in health sciences at BHS, which allowed her to have firsthand experience in the nursing field before leaving for college. Patterson also worked last summer at The Oaks and knew very quickly that nursing was the right choice for her.
She was thrilled recently to see an article in The Transylvania Times about volunteers bringing horses there.
"I still miss the residents so, so much," she said.She pledged Chi Omega sorority to meet people. No surprise she quickly made new friends.
"This summer I will be living with my new best friend," she said. "Our lease starts June 5 and we are both psyched."Not all the news that fall was good news. September also brought Hurricane Doria. Everyone was sent home immediately as a safety precaution.Students soon returned to campus and worked hard to catch up on coursework. Then, during spring break, COVID-19 came to the United States. Students had to rush back to campus, pack up and return home. Patterson is back in Brevard with a sunny attitude and great plans."I am thrilled to start a CNA job at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in the Orthopedic/Spine unit," she said. "It is a wonderful opportunity and close to campus."She will earn a minor in women's studies and hopes to stay on at UNC-Wilmington for an advanced degree. Her plan is to become a delivery nurse at Hanover while studying midwifery. Eventually she hopes to settle in Charleston."Our family vacationed in Folly Beach for many years, so Charleston is close to my heart. I love the people and the history," said Isabella. "And it doesn't hurt to be able to enjoy the beach well into November."
The Connestee Falls Scholarship made a big difference in Isabella's college experience."Textbooks are very expensive – about $1,000 per semester. The Connestee Falls Scholar-ship covered all of my books for my first year and part of my second year," she said. "I am very grateful for their help."