“I am determined to accomplish a life dedicated to the service and well-being of others.”
Wilmington, North Carolina
E.A. Laney High School
Dedicated to service
Marianne Congema plans to become a nurse and dreams of opening medical offices in developing nations for people who can't access or afford the health care they need.
Congema is one of 20 incoming EC Scholars, ECU's most prestigious undergraduate award program. The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive an Honors College scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of $62,000. She also has been accepted into the early assurance program in nursing.
"Being an EC Scholar will provide me with the knowledge, connections, networks and experience to turn my goals into a reality," Congema said.
She said she chose nursing because of her "eagerness and desire to make a positive impact in the lives of people all over the world. I want to inspire people to never give up and always strive to be the best version of themselves."
Congema, 18, is already helping others as a certified nursing assistant and elder sitter - one of four jobs she holds in her hometown of Wilmington. She is a shift leader at Brrrberry Frozen Yogurt Bar, a Kids' Care employee at Gold's Gym and a babysitter.
At E.A. Laney High School, Congema is the chapter president for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) after serving as vice president her junior year. She also serves as reporter for District 2. She was her high school's blood drive leader for 2016, and is active in the National Honor Society, Beta Club and Spirit Club. She also is dually enrolled at Cape Fear Community College.
She was thrilled to learn that ECU has an active HOSA chapter, where she hopes to get involved. She's also interested in exploring Greek life because her mother and sister were both in sororities.
Congema is interested in studying abroad in Guatemala since the ECU College of Nursing has taken students and faculty to provide health care and education to underserved regions of that country and Nicaragua for nearly a decade.
"I would love to study in any Spanish-speaking country," she said. "In today's society, bilingual nurses are in high demand and are of great importance. For me, being able to communicate in more than one language would provide me with the opportunity to make great connections with a wide array of patients."
When asked why she chose ECU, she shares a favorite quote: "It is in giving that we receive."
"This quote holds very true in my life as I feel much satisfaction and reward while giving of myself to others," Congema said. "I feel that ECU holds the same standards. Ever since my first tour at ECU, I have felt a sense of comfort and kindness from everyone on campus."
Congema would eventually like to earn a doctorate in nursing. "In the future, I hope to accomplish what every nurse hopes to accomplish - impeccable patient care. However, I am determined to go above and beyond my call of duty, to always put others before myself, as I have already been striving to do for my entire life. I am determined to accomplish a life dedicated to the service and well-being of others."
She is the daughter of Vincent and Karen Congema.