Crissy Jimenez’s path to nursing began with a car accident in Mexico.

She was only 12, but it was the care she received in the hospital from her own nurses that inspired her to care for others and enroll in Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing.

With help from the Dave and Jo Wiant Endowed Scholarship, the senior nursing student has put her passion for service to good use at Illinois State. She’s a member of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) service sorority and serves on the Student Alumni Council, which helps organize Homecoming each year.

Here’s why Your Gift Matters, in her own words:

Why did you decide to major in nursing?

When I was 12 years old I was in a major car accident in Mexico and spent one week in a hospital there. While I was in the hospital I had lost hope and happiness. The only person who could make me smile and feel a little better was my nurse. She had an amazing way of brightening my day despite the circumstances. Ever since, I knew that I wanted to be that person for someone else.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

After graduation I would like continue my education with a nursing fellowship at Vanderbilt University, and then possibly work in an emergency room.

What would you say to those who made your scholarship possible?

I would like to once again express my gratitude to the Wiant family for their contribution to my education. They have not only generously given to students like myself but have also invested much of their time and efforts to support the Mennonite College of Nursing and Illinois State University as a whole. I am honored to have a family that has given so much to the University to help me achieve my dreams. They are a great example of what it truly means to be a Redbird through their endless dedication and pride in Illinois State University.

Read more stories about the impact of giving on our students.