At first glance, Megan Kraus looks like a typical UC freshman walking the halls of the College of Nursing. But beyond her friendly demeanor and innocent smile lies a strength few possess at such a young age.
Megan has a heart condition called Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, or PSVT, which causes her to have a rapid heart rate and occasionally leads to seizures. She is currently on medication and has undergone corrective surgery. But Megan is used to beating the odds. Despite her condition, she has ran cross country and played volleyball, basketball and golf all through high school in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. She has a zeal for life and is now determined to help others too.
The field of nursing is a familiar one for Megan. “My mom is a nurse,” she says, “so if I was sick one day growing up, she would stick me in her office and I would just watch her during the day. I really paid attention to how she interacted with patients.”
Megan’s sister was also frequently in and out of the hospital with a rare leg infection. “The nurses who cared for her were really good not only to her, but to me too, making sure I was comfortable in the hospital and with the situation. Their care and concern made a real impact on my family.”
With all of these medical burdens and the financial strain on her parents, Megan has always known that she would be on her own to pay for college. But, ambitious as she is, she didn’t want to take out student loans. So she took a part-time job at a pizza shop and saved her money all through high school. “Because I saved up and because of my scholarship money, I now don’t have to worry about even going to work off-campus. I’m so glad I don’t have the stress a lot of my friends do.”
Megan is a proud recipient of the Founder’s Cincinnatus Scholarship which provides her $6,000 a year toward tuition, for a total of $24,000 over four years. “The Cincinnatus really helped me to not have to take out a single loan,” Megan says.
Upon graduation, Megan plans to gain two full years of floor nurse experience, then she will return to school for two more years in a nurse midwife program, with an ultimate goal of becoming a specialty obstetrics nurse. She will have earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and then will gain her master’s and a certificate, so she’ll be in school a total of seven years.
“These scholarships are helping to do so much more than just fund an education. I know that as I graduate from college I will never forget how much I appreciate being able to focus on doing well in school rather than stressing about my financial situation.”