Stronger Together

Amanda Matias What was your dream when you were younger? For as long as Amanda Matias ’20 can remember, she has dreamed of becoming a nurse. “When I was in elementary school, I was always finding an excuse to go to the nurse's office. I loved watching her take care of people coming in,” she says. So when it came time to start applying for college, it was never a question of what to study, but instead where. “There was a sense of family at Regis that I didn't get anywhere else,” she recalls. “It felt like I already belonged, and I knew right away that Regis is where I was meant to be.”

“I am extremely proud of my parents. They worked so hard when I was a child to encourage me to succeed and to make sure I knew college would be an option for me,” says the first-generation college student. All the hard work paid off. Amanda earned herself the Sister Thérèse Higgins CSJ Scholarship, a merit scholarship awarded to high-achieving students who maintain at least a 3.2 GPA.

Amanda credits her Regis community—faculty, fellow nursing students, and friends—with helping her on her journey. She thinks back to freshman year when she met Arlin Cimen ’19, a fellow student at the time who would become a mentor. “I consider myself lucky to have a mentor like Arlin,” says Amanda. “She excelled in her nursing classes and was a student leader—someone I could really look up to.”

Amanda cites “one-on-one guidance” and “unconditional support” as traits of her professors. The great support from the Regis community motivated her to give back. Her sophomore year, Amanda traveled to New Orleans with the St. Bernard Project to help build homes for families that were displaced after Hurricane Katrina. “The people in New Orleans experienced such loss and hardship after the storm, but they were still filled with spirit and joy for life,” she recalls. “It was eye-opening and inspiring, and I now try to look on the bright side of every situation.” Amanda had the opportunity to return one year later. “Being able to see the house that I helped build and the family enjoying it was amazing,” she says. “I saw how I personally had made an impact and allowed these families to have a home to grow up in and make memories.”

After graduation, Amanda plans to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) and work as a registered nurse. As she thinks about graduating, she describes the feeling as “surreal.” Amanda notes, “It seems like just yesterday I was a little girl looking up to the school nurse. Now I’m about to graduate and will be able to provide support and help others just like so many have done for me.”