They may look dog-eared and abused but to Irene Sekle, old nursing textbooks offered hope for healing and a bright future for a nation.
Sekle left her home country of Liberia to pursue her childhood dream of nursing. She enrolled in the Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University of Charlotte, NC, but never lost sight of home. While a student, she invested her newfound skills and resourcefulness to help future nurses in the African nation.
Knowing how valuable textbooks – even old ones – are in Liberian schools, Sekle collected more than 400 of the books and shipped them to a Liberian nursing school at her own expense.
Each semester, Sekle collected old, unwanted nursing textbooks from instructors and the local hospital library to send to a nursing school in Liberia, where they’re desperately needed. The students were overjoyed to receive them. She paid more than $1,000 of her own money to ship the books, in order to place them into the hands of her fellow students in Africa.
Sekle was inspired to become a nurse after watching the popular American television medical drama Marcus Welby, MD. “I was amazed by the miracles being performed in the operating room, and I wanted to be a part of those miracles,” she said. “I am proud to say that I am following my dream, after so many years. I feel that God has called me to be a blessing to His people.”
For her profound commitment to the future of the nursing profession, Sekle was one of 10 honorees nationwide to win the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award in 2008.
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