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For the first 15 years of his career, Evan Williams spent time working several positions for different national supply stores. He held positions such as supply chain manager, global freight forwarding, and customs brokerage manager. He was also the national account field manager for Wonderful Companies Inc., trained over 4,000 employees for Walmart Inc. and redeveloped the produce program for Sam’s Club nationwide. These positions allowed Evan to experience living in places like San Diego and Mexico. Some jobs required him to travel around 350 days a year. Although this career path provided a steady income and led to some interesting experiences, it didn’t quite meet the “job satisfaction” standards for Evan. The work was challenging and interesting enough, but something was missing. It wasn’t until his last job ended and Evan came home to help with his grandmother who had been put on hospice, when he found out what that something was.

Evan had been exposed to healthcare work in his past and had spent a lot of time around doctors and nurses. One of his aunts even works as a nurse. He always admired how much hard work they put into the care and support they provide for people in need. The hospice nurses tending to his grandmother impressed Evan just as much as his compassion and attention to detail when visiting or caring for his grandma impressed them. One day while visiting, Evan and his grandma discussed his future plans. She suggested that Evan look into going to school to become a nurse. She mentioned how intrigued he was by anatomy, biology, and other science fields. She commented on how well he got along with her nurses and how much caregivers are appreciated. The spark was ignited, and after doing some research to see where employers in the field recommended for education, Evan officially enrolled into the College of Eastern Idaho’s (CEI) registered nursing program in the spring of 2018.

While attending the program at CEI, Evan not only found his new career, but his calling. “Working in the hospice realm of the healthcare field has allowed me to provide the support and compassion that people need most when their loved ones are passing on,” Evan states. Working for OneSource Home Health and Hospice since starting the program in 2018, exposed Evan to a plethora of patients and families. “I know how important my role is at this time in a person’s life. Working in this field can be very rewarding when you know you have provided the absolute best care and support that a person and their family deserves during this hard transition.”

Evan’s passion for making a difference is not exclusive to his patients. As a student at CEI, Evan looked for ways to make an impact on campus. Serving on student senate is one of the ways Evan saw he could make a difference. Since enrolling at CEI, Evan has served on the senate in a number of roles from mascot, to the healthcare senator position, to serving as Student Senate President for 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. He commented, “Serving on the senate has allowed me to advocate for underrepresented students. As a leader, I want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.”

Evan also explained that his role as Student Senate President allowed him to work closely with campus administration on new ideas, improvements, or other areas of concern. In March of 2020, when COVID-19 closed the campus and transitioned classes to online, Evan brought concerns of student mental health and academic support to college administration. He was very impressed how campus leadership responded. “I was in awe of how quick staff and faculty sprang into action and started calling every student enrolled for the semester”. “Knowing that they had listened, were taking action, and staying true to the student success mission was amazing, and I am proud to be a part of this campus!”

Evan also benefited from the scholarship program through the how CEI Foundation. Evan explained how being awarded a scholarship allowed him to work less hours, concentrate more on his school work and clinicals, as well as take time to be more engaged on campus. “It was fairly easy to apply, and resulted in an award I didn’t have to worry about paying back someday. Well worthwhile if you ask me!” he stated. Evan looks forward to completing his degree at the end of the fall 2020 semester and plans to continue working in this field for the rest of his life. Evan claims, “I couldn’t have come this far without the support of the CEI Foundation, staff, faculty, and my fellow classmates. I am very grateful for the College of Eastern Idaho and will always be in support of the campus.”