By Joanne Green Monday, 15 August 2022
“I like to work hard for the things I want.”
That’s one comment made by Makenna Mann when asked to describe herself and it seems that working hard has been a great strategy for Mann so far.
When she started studying nursing at Blue Ridge Community College, Mann was also working 50 hours a week to support herself. She said that was okay for the first semester but it be came overwhelming once the nursing courses became more advanced. She was awarded two years of scholarship support from the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program and that gave her a security blanket to continue her studies.
Mann went on to say, “Honestly, so many kids in this area come from super underprivileged households and the federal grants help a lot, but it’s truly programs like the Connestee Falls Scholarship Program that
help these kids and I’m one of those kids. It’s truly the reason kids are able to further their education — without the scholarship money, it wouldn’t be possible.”
She added: “This community is overwhelmed with kids who are trying to get ahead ... so it’s really nice that there are people to help.”
The scholarship also allowed Mann a little time to do volunteer work. She volunteers every Wednesday evening at Biltmore Church in the student ministry. “The scholarship allowed me to give back to my community. I enjoy being part of organizations that give back,” she said.
Mann has just completed the associate’s degree in nursing at Blue Ridge and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Western Carolina University.
She explained that the bachelor’s degree would make it easier for her to move ahead in a nursing career. She has contemplated getting more technical training in anesthesia in the future.
Mann’s path to nursing has been a bit circuitous. After graduating from Rosman High School in 2017, she was accepted at Appalachian State College. She intended to major in exercise science but found that course of study was not a good fit for her. In high school, she had worked in a long-term care facility and obtained a certificate as a certified nursing assistant so she began to think more about nursing.
She enjoys the complexity of nursing and the opportunity to learn. She explained, “it’s gratifying to see people progress and to take care of them.”
This summer while waiting for the fall semester to begin, she has been working in the intensive care unit at Pardee Hospital.
Her Blue Ridge studies provided a firm foundation in nursing basics and she is enjoying learning about more specialized care at Pardee.
Mann was born at Transylvania Hospital and grew up in Rosman with her parents, a younger brother and two older sisters. She enjoys playing with her older sister’s three children and said, “it’s great to be an aunt.”
She is very fond of the Rosman community, describing it as “insanely giving — people are so caring.” Makenna and her fiancée are planning a fall wedding. She imagines having children of her own in the future, although probably not right away.
In addition to her nursing studies, Mann enjoys photography and about a year ago started a photography business in her spare time. She enjoys photographing couples, families and newborns. She likes capturing memories of people and sending them pictures that they enjoy.
Mann works and plays hard, promising that continued success is in her future, whatever she pursues.
Additional information about contributing to the futures of deserving students like Mann can be found at www.cfscholarships.org or by sending an email to CFScholarship@ gmail.com.