“You go to elementary, middle, and high school with the same people and you are in the same building,” Foley explained. “Suddenly, you are going to this new place in a different city with a couple more thousand people than you are used to.”
Foley attended Cleveland High School and will be studying in the nursing program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She was one of 100 out of 900 freshman applicants to be accepted into the nursing program.
Although the girls have not interacted before, their lives bear a striking resemblance. For example, Caldwell will be attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to study in its nursing program.
“Originally I wanted to attend Ole Miss because I love their campus,” Caldwell explained. “When I found out that their nursing program is not on the main campus, I decided to look around and UTC had a great program.”
Added Caldwell, “UTC and UTK both have a great program.”
Caldwell is a recent graduate of Walker Valley High School. Some of her favorite memories of high school came from the hourlong lunches and great teachers.
“Originally I wanted to pursue medicine because my dad is a doctor, but then for a while I changed my mind. When I began taking medical classes with Ms. [Lorie] Harris and Ms. [Tonia] Schuman I learned a lot and was able to become a CNA,” Caldwell said. “As a certified nurse we could help out at the nursing home and I really enjoyed that. I love being around people.”
The similarities continued as Foley shared that she too enjoys service to others.
“That’s why I want to be a nurse, I want to make a difference. I want to be there when someone needs help,” Foley stated. “As a doctor you can still care for people, but nursing is more hands-on and personal. I enjoy taking care of people and making them feel better.”
Foley’s desire to become a nurse was sparked and maintained by Kellye Huff and Erin Hattabuagh at CHS. According to Foley, the teachers made the material real and interesting.
Both recipients were also a part of the Clinical Internship offered at their respective high schools through SkyRidge.
Of her time in the program Caldwell said, “I really, really liked it. I would like to work in the emergency room — it’s so fast-paced.”
Caldwell interned in both pediatrics and the E.R. while Foley interned in the E.R. and Labor and Delivery.
“At first it was really intimidating because you are the little person and you don’t know where your place is,” Foley recalled. “When they get to know you, then the medical team would let you do things like check vital signs. They would also explain what was going on.”
As members of their respective school Key Clubs, the girls were asked to complete 50-service hours over the course of the school year.
Foley, who was involved in six clubs, joined Key Club because of the chances to do service.
“I love being involved and I really enjoy helping. It was just another opportunity to serve the community and serve my school,” Foley said.
Caldwell explained some of her service hours came from volunteering at her church’s Sunday school class for 3-year-olds every other Sunday.
“They are really funny,” Caldwell said of the 3-year-olds. “You never know what they are going to say because they say whatever is on their minds.”
Most of Foley’s hours were gained by helping science teachers at CHS move into the new science wing.
“When I turned in my application as a Tennessee Scholar I had more than 100 hours,” Foley explained.
On Senior Awards night at CHS and WVHS, both Foley and Caldwell were presented with the Key Club Scholarship.
“I was really blessed and really surprised to receive the scholarship,” Foley said. “There were so many other people that were worthy of the award.”
Caldwell was just as surprised as Foley, and just as thankful.
Behind the Key Club Scholarship recipients is their high school careers. Before them are colleges experiences that will allow for new memories. First though, a summer full of fun in the sun and swimming — which coincidentally, they both named as a hobby.