Lakshmi Palomares-Erickson is this year's lone recipient of the Weyburn Police Association's $500 bursary for her pursuit in medical services at the University of Saskatchewan.
The WPA awards up to two bursaries each year, one for those pursuing work in emergency services, and the other for aspiring criminology students. However, this year, there were no applicants for the latter.
Palomares-Erickson told Discover Weyburn that she had not planned far enough ahead to qualify for some of the other scholarships and bursaries, but this worked out for her, and it includes a funny story.
"I was driving around one night with my boyfriend and one of my best friends, and I got pulled over for my tail light not working, so then I had to go to the police station and show them that they were fixed," she explained.
She said she learned about the bursary after one of the officers had asked her about her post-secondary plans, and she told her she was going to school for nursing.
Constable Kalin Wiebe presented her with the bursary earlier this week, which is when they both realized he had also been the officer who had pulled her over that night for her broken tail light.
Palomares-Erickson will be moving to Saskatoon this weekend to live at the U of S residence.
"I wanted to be a neurosurgeon for a long time, and I'll give that to Grey's Anatomy," she shared. "I realized halfway through Grade 12 that I didn't want to do as many years of school to be a surgeon, but, at the same time, if I get my Nursing degree and I want to go back to school, I can."
She said she has always wanted to work in a field where she could help people.
"I really enjoy talking to people and getting to know people. I think the only bad thing for me would be that I would get too attached to the patients, but I think I'd learn over the years to not," she noted. "I had a pretty rough childhood, when I was little, when I lived in Mexico, so I knew that I wanted a career to help someone, like a social worker or something like that, but I felt like nursing was the thing for me."
She shared why she hopes to eventually go into pediatric nursing.
"I love kids. I work at a daycare [Sunrise Early Learning Centre], and I have three little siblings. Well, four including one that lives in Mexico, and they're all under the age of 12. So, I am the big sister, and I always kind of have been, so I was also a Nanny every other weekend for a while, and I'm just so used to being around kids," she said.
She said the kids at the daycare just love her, too.
"Thank you to the Police for giving me this bursary, it'll definitely help a lot," she expressed.
Her advice to future grads is to look into these financial opportunities for help with their education and to save up - just in case.
"It's always a better call to start saving up earlier, and to start working toward your future, even if you don't know what you want to do with it."
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