Meet Jamie Cruz-Sandoval, 2022 Bronze Scholarship and Michael A. Hiskey Nursing Scholarship winner. She is majoring in Nursing at the University of New Mexico.
“I come from two Native American communities, and in Indian country in general, there are a lot of health disparities. Being awarded this scholarship allows me to continue furthering my education and earn a degree, allowing me to return and serve my communities as well as others.”
Jamie, a graduate of the Santa Fe Indian School, is from San Felipe and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblos. In addition to being on the honor roll and receiving the Core Value Award of Respect, Jamie also played varsity volleyball and mentored kids at Mentoring Kids Works New Mexico.
As one of her instructors wrote about her: “Jamie’s work has shown her to be a person who sees herself as part of an interconnected family, community, and tribe where her role as family and community member and caregiver shows a maturity that has developed over a long period of time.”
Fun Fact! As a first-year college student, Jamie participated in the UNM Undergraduate Health Sciences Enrichment Program (UHSEP), where she gained exposure to various health care professions and earned certifications in CPR, First Aid, and Mental Health First Aid.
Her interest in healthcare was inspired by her family. Within her family there are a Registered Nurse, Patient Care Tech, Physical Therapist, and Dental Assistant.
“Nothing compares to healthcare,” Jamie said. “Not only do I want to pass, but I want to be able to understand and retain what I learn. Having a strong understanding in this field is necessary because someone’s life is in your hands.”
Jamie also wants to address the inequities and disparities she’s seen firsthand growing up in two Native American communities.
“I strongly feel that there aren’t enough Native American healthcare workers in women’s health within IHS or any other Native American health service,” Jamie wrote in her scholarship application. “Being able to come back to help Native American communities would allow me to have some connection to my patients. I’d have similar morals, faith, and belief. I can communicate to them in our language.”
One of her instructors described Jamie as a “future leader” saying she “has the presence, conscientiousness, and fortitude to get any job done, but especially in medicine.”
“I strive to go as far as earning a Master of Science in Nursing and become a perinatal nurse at the nurse practitioner level. The ability to create life is just amazing. I love interacting and taking care of babies and kids. I’d say that I am pretty good at it.”