A soldier, health care worker and student, 20-year-old Hannah Olson is going above and beyond during the pandemic in service to her country. It’s why Sanford Health is surprising her, and other servicemembers, with its Military and Veteran Scholarship.
“I had just rolled out of bed. I’ll be honest,” Olson said.
During Olson’s virtual “Fundamentals of Nutrition” class this November at the University of North Dakota, Sanford Health Director of Veteran and Military Services Paul Weckman jumped on the call to share some great news.
“It was super exciting. A good start to my Friday,” Olson said.
Olson, along with four other recipients pursuing degrees at different universities, is getting a $5,000 scholarship from Sanford Health.
“It was just awesome to be able to provide something like that that was so needed for this individual,” Weckman said.
Serving on several fronts
When Olson isn’t drilling as a licensed practical nurse with her Army Reserve unit in St. Paul, Minnesota, she’s either working at the Sanford Bemidji Walk-in Clinic or taking classes in Grand Forks to be a nurse.
“When COVID struck, my bosses over at Sanford, they were like, ‘We’ll work around if you get mobilized.’ It was just really great. I just really appreciate Sanford and the family that they’ve given me over at the walk-in clinic,” Olson said.
Her family at home is the inspiration for joining the military. She’s extremely proud to be serving.
“The experiences that I’ve had, they’ve made me a million times stronger physically and mentally,” Olson said. “I’m also following in footsteps of my father, my uncle, my grandpa. Bunch of other people in my family that have served.”
Taking care of service members
Taking care of people is Olson’s passion. With this scholarship money, Sanford Health is hoping to do what it can to take care of her and say thank you.
“I’m going to use it for my tuition this next semester,” Olson said.
The scholarship is part of the health system’s efforts to serve veterans and military members through patient care, employment opportunities and community outreach.
“Leadership takes supporting our veterans and active duty military very seriously because it’s the right thing to do,” Weckman said.
The Military and Veteran Scholarship is an annual award for veterans, Guard/Reserve members or active duty military service members. Each person must show they have demonstrated leadership and commitment in their communities.
The next call for applications will take place in the summer of 2021. Applicants must be full-time students pursuing a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree from an accredited U.S.-based institution of higher education. They must also have at least one full year of education remaining.
Sanford Health 2020 Military and Veteran Scholarship Winners
Tanner Redlin, USD Sanford School of Medicine
Ryan Norris, University of North Dakota
Hannah Olson, University of North Dakota
Jeff Barnable, South Dakota State University
Cole Renner, University of Mary
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