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Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA) alum Emily Holcomb has been named the Outstanding Student Award recipient from Idaho State University’s School of Nursing.

The award comes as a surprise to Emily but allowed her to reminisce on her journey to academic success.

“I was surprised by the nomination, but I am honored that Idaho State University chose to extend the award to me,” Emily said. “When reflecting on the award, I am most reminded of the reason I was even able to get this far. My family has provided me with ample amounts of support, and I am very thankful to them.”

Emily’s parents enrolled her in IDVA after she completed fourth grade. Unsatisfied with the education Emily and her siblings were receiving from their local school district, they looked for a different option.

“After my mom did some extensive research on IDVA, she and my dad decided it would be the best option for my brother and sisters and I, so that we could receive a quality, well-rounded education,” Emily said. “IDVA provided a wide-variety of subjects including science, mathematics, art, music, literature and history; unfortunately some of these subjects were lacking in my previous brick-and-mortar public school.”

The variety of subjects IDVA provided Emily led her on her successful academic and career path. Being able to take chemistry her junior year of high school encouraged a love of science, which sparked her interest in nursing.

“The underlying pathophysiology and science of nursing is phenomenal, and the really great thing is that I get to take this love of science and apply it by helping people,” Emily said. “Nursing is a profession built around compassion, and this is why I love it so much.”

Emily is thankful for the unforgettable lessons she learned with IDVA. She is grateful that these lessons continued to ring true throughout her college and professional careers.

“IDVA taught me self-discipline in my studies,” Emily said. “IDVA challenged me to work harder and to start taking my education seriously. I had to learn to motivate myself to complete my assignments on time, and this has been extremely helpful in my college career and part-time and summer jobs. Self-motivation and self-discipline provide individuals with the tools needed to work hard and accomplish goals.”

Now on the verge of venturing onto her career path, Emily feels prepared with the knowledge and lessons she needs to succeed.

“I am thankful that IDVA taught me these lessons and more because as I get ready to transition into the role of a professional nurse, I realize that self-motivation and self-discipline will be invaluable in the coming months,” Emily said. “Nursing is not easy, and it will take time to feel comfortable in my new role, but these lessons learned should help me persevere and always do the best I can so that I can better care for my patients.”

Emily will graduate from Idaho State on May 6 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a GPA of 3.98. She is the first member of her family to earn a college degree, a feat she and her family are very proud of.

“I am proud to represent my family in this way,” Emily said. “I am excited to be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in the spring and am very thankful for the support my family has provided me with the past few years.”

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