Each year at our Green Ribbon Gala, Lori's Hands' business partners present scholarships to two students who win our annual essay contest. This year, Shannon Murphy and Kyla Cerce were those students. We are thrilled to share Kyla's essay with you today. Please check out our April 10th post to read Shannon's essay. Thank you to this year's scholarship sponsors: Oasis Senior Advisors Delaware & GRALC Global Regulatory Affairs Labeling and Compliance Services.
My name is Kyla Cerce and I am currently a senior at the University of Delaware. This Spring I will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Behavior Science with minors in Public Health and Disability Studies. I have satisfied the pre-requisites required to attend Physician Assistant School, and thanks to Lori’s Hands I have completed the patient care hours required for most graduate schools. My experience with Lori’s Hands goes well above and beyond fulfilling required patient hours. The experience I have had thus far has been invaluable in giving me a deeper understanding of people living with a chronic illness. Lori’s Hands has both exposed and given me the gift of establishing several new, inspiring and meaningful relationships with individuals who I have laughed with and learned so much from.
Currently I visit nine different clients on a weekly basis who each have an incredible story to share. I have one particular client whom I immediately felt a warm connection with upon entering their home. This client has a passion for painting and art and produced beautiful landscapes just like my grandfather who passed away 11 years ago. After sorting, pricing, and taking pictures of these paintings we had a lengthy conversation about art and my grandfather which we both mutually enjoyed. Aside from appreciating art together, I feel a sense of satisfaction when she always comments that “what we accomplish in two short hours would usually take days to do by myself.” I also visit an elderly gentleman who loves to stay active and take walks. Due to the fact he needs assistance to continue his walking routine, Lori’s Hands has enabled him to not only remain active but also provide him with a form of companionship. This gentleman has Alzheimer’s which is a disease close to my heart. My grandmother suffered from this disease and I truly believe Lori’s Hands would have been a wonderful experience for her. Although this gentleman is appreciative of the time I have given him, I actually feel he has given me the valuable experience to stop and see the good in very small things.
I have learned how precious time is and how meaningful it is to offer your time to someone. Reaching out and offering support by alleviating everyday tasks is monumental to someone living with a chronic illness. Aging can be difficult and like many things in life having support from a caring person can be instrumental in living a happy life. Little things mean a lot, and sometimes something as simple as a friendly conversation can put a smile on their face (and mine). I feel so satisfied after I visit one of my clients and just seeing my client’s face light up when I walk in makes me know I am exactly where I should be! I love what Lori’s Hands has created in establishing an organization to help people with chronic illnesses live happy and productive lives and I can honestly say it has both inspired and enlightened me. I felt particularly proud one day wearing my Lori’s Hands shirt while entering a store in the Newark Shopping Center. A woman shopping with her family went out of her way to stop me and said, “I am so grateful for Lori’s Hands and just wanted to thank you for all that you do.” I have become more aware and empathetic to those living with chronic illnesses. Thank you, Lori’s Hands, for granting me this generous scholarship and for giving me the opportunity to enrich my life and also the lives of others.