Hawk’s Eye View: Evonne Meyreles ’21

 

Evonne Meyreles with fellow nursing classmates in the lab

Evonne Meyreles ’21 (pictured above, kneeling bottom right) set her sights on a career in health care at a young age, after participating in several fundraisers for breast cancer and children’s cancer research. After graduating from UNCW’s School of Nursing in May, she’s hoping to further support those causes by working on a pediatric oncology unit at a hospital or clinic – and, someday, for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In this Hawk’s Eye View, Evonne shares how her experiences in the clinic and in student leadership have prepared her for her next steps.

Being that bridge between the students and the dean to make our college better has meant a whole lot to me. It’s also made me more comfortable with leadership.

— Evonne Meyreles '21

What brought you to UNCW?

As a child, our vacations were always in Oak Island, so we were in this area a lot over the summers. The beach has always been my home away from home, so touring UNCW was a no-brainer. I came to campus one day and did a self-guided tour and as soon as I got on campus, I felt this overwhelming peace. I didn’t even apply to any other colleges. UNCW has always been my goal and my dream.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

When I lived on campus, I lived in the (Seahawk) Landing. My favorite part was being able to hang up my hammock on those trees and people-watch or read a book or do some homework.

Who were the UNCW faculty or staff members who made a big impact on you?

Our assistant dean, Sheri Shaw, and I have had a great relationship. She’s pushed me to do things completely out of my comfort zone. Three years ago if you’d asked me to do this interview, I’d have chickened out. Now, when she sends me these opportunities to put myself out there and market myself, I do it. I’d also say Emily DiGiuseppe – she was my first lab instructor in nursing school, and she’s in the field of pediatric oncology. She helped me through some of my struggles in the first semester of the nursing program and overall has been a great mentor.

How has your role on the Dean’s Student Leadership Advisory Council affected your UNCW experience?

It’s given me a voice to not only advocate for myself but for my classmates in nursing and my college as a whole. As both the nursing representative for one year and then the chair, I connected with all the coordinators and representatives in the college, and I would take what they had to say to the dean. Being that bridge between the students and the dean to make our college better has meant a whole lot to me. It’s also made me more comfortable with leadership, and to not be afraid to speak up. I’ll take those skills with me into the workplace when I’m a team leader or nurse manager.

What has it been like to work on the front lines at Novant Brunswick Medical Center during the pandemic?

I was hired in January, when they were hitting surge protocols because of COVID and asked if nursing students could help. A lot of our clinical experiences in the past two years were cut because of COVID, so it was wonderful to be in a hospital environment to see the different roles of the CNAs (certified nursing assistants), RNs (registered nurses), respiratory therapists and physicians, and to absorb so much by watching them.

Why is it important for donors to continue supporting students like you at UNCW through scholarships and applied learning opportunities?

I can only speak to how a nursing student would use those funds, but for us, our workload is really heavy, and it’s hard to keep a part-time job to pay the bills. There are things outside of tuition that we are responsible for, such as scrubs, CPR certifications, NCLEX exam prep and also the exam itself. Things like that are what (philanthropic) funds would be an amazing help with.

Increasing support for scholarships and applied learning opportunities is a top priority of Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW. Learn how you can get involved or make a gift today.

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