ROCK SPRINGS — The Rocket Miner Newspaper and Western Wyoming Community College have awarded scholarships to three full-time students, Jessica Lang, Quriss Romero and Alyssa Boyer. They live in the service area of Sweetwater, Sublette, Lincoln, Uinta or Carbon counties. Each scholarship is worth one-third of a student’s full-time tuition.
“We had a remarkable application pool,” said Katie Beckermann, financial aid process assistant. “I am impressed with many of the students who have applied.
“The dedication these young ladies have demonstrated to their education and to their community now and in the future is inspiring. I believe that they have what it takes to tackle whatever stands before them.”
Jessica Lang manages a 59-unit apartment complex. She volunteers in multiple organizations and wants to be an elementary school teacher.
She is continuing her education in hopes of making a difference in the life of at least one child.
“I have witnessed firsthand many children who do not have a good home life,” Lang expressed. “They do not have a lot to look forward to or be excited about.
“For many children, the one place where they get to be worry free, where they get to socialize, where they get to feel any normalcy, is in school.”
According to Lang, she is going to dedicate her life to making sure that every child who comes into her classroom will know that they matter. While learning the curriculum, she wants her students to experience the kindness, normalcy, and gentleness they may not see anywhere else.
Lang is an official volunteer with Certified Emergency Management in Sweetwater County. This organization lends a hand during disasters, does emergency preparedness training and general community service.
She is involved in the development of the Sweetwater County Animal Response Team. The animal response team will assist animals during traumatic events, including vehicular accidents and natural disasters.
“I am incredibly passionate about animals so I am especially proud to be able to give back to Sweetwater County in this way.”
The Food Bank of the Rockies mobile food pantry is also one of her passions. She has been able to help organize and distribute food from the mobile food pantry on many occasions.
On Sundays, she volunteers in the nursery at her local church.
“I enjoy spending time with the children in the nursery,” she expressed. “It had a huge impact on my decision to pursue a career in teaching.”
She added, “I’ve always clicked with younger kids. I feel comfortable with them. I’m a child at heart.
“School should be a happy and safe place and I want to provide that.”
Lang was surprised to discover that she is one of the recipients of one of the scholarships.
“I’m really thrilled about this,” she said. “I’ve been working full-time but it’s still expensive to live!”
Quriss Romero is a single mother living in Rawlins. She works full-time at Western’s outreach at the Carbon County Higher Education Center.
Her daughter Kingsley is five years old.
Romero coaches 8th grade girls’ basketball and volleyball teams. She also coaches youth sports camps through the recreational center in Rawlins, she makes workout programs for youth and referees any games that she is not coaching.
She received her associate’s of health sciences degree at Sheridan College where she was also a member of the women’s basketball team from 2015-2017.
According to Romero, hard work, integrity, and discipline helped her get where she is today.
“It helped me to get to where I need to be,” said Romero. “I take my education and success personally.
“I want my daughter to grow up knowing she has a mom that works hard to accomplish her goals and doesn’t stop until she achieves them.”
Romero believes that continuing her education and reaching goals that she has set for herself is a great way to show her daughter “great life skills.”
Another goal Romero has is to empower other women who need that extra push to start their careers after having children young.
“I want to be an example of how hard work, dedication, and determination in whatever you do and how it can change the life of your child and more importantly yourself if you put your mind to it,” she shared. “Not only do I want to do this for my daughter, but I want to help others complete their goals and help them to get there by showing them it can be done through my back story.”
Alyssa Boyer is a twenty-two-year-old working mother who is also in nursing school. She is the stepmother of three children with the fourth child being nine months old.
Struggling with life in general and her own mental health, she made it her goal to get through school successfully.
With the help of Mustang Central, Boyer applied for college and started her long journey of prerequisites. From there, she applied to the nursing program.
Boyer’s main goal is to work in a labor and delivery unit.
“I love the special moment of birth, mothers bonding with their baby for the first time and babies in general,” Boyer shared. “Nursing is an amazing field filled with opportunities and I have wanted this since high school when I joined the health academy.”
Even if she doesn’t immediately start her career in the obstetrical unit department, she is willing to gain medical experience in other areas of nursing.
She is in the nursing program and often they are involved in giving vaccines or free blood pressure clinics. She has also participated in flu shot vaccinations and free COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Many of my experiences with the community are related to my program and us students building relationships for the future,” she mentioned.
Boyer said, “I like helping people too. In nursing, I’ll learn something new every day. I know that when I’ll get into it, I won’t know everything right away.”
The Colorado native believes “education is power.”
“Everyone should be educated,” she said. “Through education, students learn to be open-minded. They learn how to have intelligent conversations.
“You need to have the education to be successful.”
She pointed out that education has always meant freedom from undue hardships to her.
“This being my seventh semester, I plan to graduate this May with a career that is currently in high demand,” she said. “Working hard no matter how low I felt in life, I knew I could make life worth living.
“Now I have a beautiful family and at the end of the year I hope to be working my dream job in a labor and delivery unit.”
Editor’s Note: Rocket Miner and Western Wyoming Community College will partner to award scholarships to students every fall and spring semester. More information on fall scholarships will be available soon.