Over the summer, single mother of three and Boise State University nursing student Angela Tracy gets her daughters outside as much as she can. They hike and go paddleboarding on the river. “We take full advantage,” she said, but during the school year, things are different. On top of parenting and classes, she also works in oncology at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center.
“It’s really busy, and I’m fortunate to have a family that’s able to help with transportation of kids to and from school, and childcare needs,” she said. “Because it is a lot.”
For many single parents in her situation, studying to become a registered nurse would be a nearly impossible financial stretch, but Tracy is the recipient of the Crim Family Memorial Nursing Scholarship, which pays for two years of her education. She can tuck her children into bed at night knowing that an enormous student loan debt won’t stand in the way of building a better life for them.
“The Crim scholarship has meant to me that I’m able to pay for school without being too concerned, and it means that I’m not accruing an astronomical amount of debt,” she said. “When I am finished, I’ll be able to start a career and really support my family, and I didn’t think that was going to be possible. This makes everything feel more possible,” she said.
This will be Tracy’s second degree from Boise State. The first was in vocal performance, and for a time after graduating she taught singing lessons. When she started her family, however, she knew she would have to do more to ensure a bright future for them. Moving from voice lessons to nursing wasn’t a complete reset for her, and some skills carried over to her new career path.
“There’s a lot of teaching involved in nursing, and there was a natural transition between teaching voice and going into nursing,” she said. “The performance aspect was helpful, as well. I’m really comfortable being around people and talking with people.”
When she graduates in May of 2022, Tracy plans to continue working in oncology at St. Luke’s. As a fully credentialed nurse, she’ll be able to care for patients on a different level, and push herself mentally and
emotionally to provide for others as they go through a vulnerable period of their lives.
Tracy chose a hard road. She pursued a rigorous area of study and a difficult career that will be rewarding for
her and beneficial to her family. Along the way, she formed a bond with the people who made that possible.
“I had the opportunity to meet the Crims,” she said. “The career I’m going into is close to them. For them to see who they were giving scholarship funding to and what that funding was going to, actually made it a bit more special.”