Emily Bandel of Laramie, a student in the University of Wyoming's Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, is the recipient of the Zonta Club of Laramie's "Woman of Promise” scholarship.

She was selected from more than 40 qualified candidates to receive the scholarship that evolved from Zonta International's mission, "Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide."

When Bandel graduated from high school, she received the highest tier of the Wyoming Hathaway scholarship based on her high grades and ACT score. But due to a diagnosis of large granular lymphocytic (LGL) leukemia, she had to cut back on her college credit hours as she underwent chemotherapy. During her treatment, she worked as a certified nursing assistant and continued college coursework.

She was in remission from her illness in January 2011, but was unable to graduate in four years -- the maximum time period allowed for Hathaway scholarship funding. The Zonta Club of Laramie's "Woman of Promise" scholarship assisted in paying for the additional year of nursing school needed to complete her B.S.N. degree.

Bandel says her experience throughout her cancer treatment motivated her to continue her education beyond the B.S.N. She says she would like to work toward a doctorate of nursing practice in pediatric oncology.

"While I was receiving cancer treatment," she says, "I had the opportunity to be cared for by wonderful nurse practitioners. The care that I received and the difference, and impact these individuals had on my life, provided me with the insight that I can also do that as a nurse practitioner.

“I am motivated, compassionate and driven. I have always had a love for health care, but my experiences have ignited a passion in me to strive toward the top," says Bandel.

Fighting tears, Bandel presented her story and personally thanked the Zonta Club of Laramie, explaining how much this scholarship meant to her in being able to continue her education.

Bandel served an internship with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., last summer. She will graduate with her B.S.N. in May.

This story provided by the University of Wyoming.