Melinda Batey, was one of our first year recipients of the Alexander John-Cade Pugh memorial scholarship. One of the few recipients to actually know Alex, Melinda shines as an example of his love for others, his creativity, and his servant’s heart. Her experience after receiving the scholarship has been an inspiring adventure.
My first degree choice when I graduated high school was photojournalism, but my story wouldn’t be right if it all worked out exactly like it was supposed to.
I spent a few years working toward a photojournalism degree and knowing that I did not feel certain about my future career, left school and moved back home to San Antonio.
I joined the American Red Cross at Fort Sam Houston, and with my skills, un-officially became a photographer for them. Little did I know, Fort Sam Houston is home to a Level 1 Trauma Center, and part of my job was to visit soldiers and their families in the hospital and burn unit. I began to feel a calling toward the medical field.
I spent the next few years studying to apply for nursing school, while working as a server at the Cheesecake Factory. During this time, I pushed myself to achieve my goals, including completing a 12-mile Tough Mudder obstacle course, hiked part of the Appalachian Trail, learned to box, bought myself a dream trip to the Bahamas, swam with sharks, and went skydiving.
I had the privilege of being selected to attend the UT Health Science Center San Antonio School of Nursing. My first semester, I was elected Class President and worked together with faculty and students to provide positive changes to the community. When Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast, my class provided disaster relief and medical care to the residents of Rockport.
Finally, after graduation, I accepted a job as a pediatric nurse working at University Hospital, a highly recognized Level 1 trauma center. I love my job, and I love the children that I care for. At home, my stress relief is still writing, which is the reason I was honored with this scholarship a decade ago.
Ten years goes by faster than you expect, and it is filled with struggle, happiness, loss, laughter, pain and blessings.
My favorite quote that ended up in the 2009 yearbook under my best friend’s name: Life is not a problem to be solved, but rather a mystery to be lived. – Soren Kierkeggard