Dr. Joseph Naim and the Soma Weight Loss team are excited to announce the winner of the Soma Weight Loss Health & Wellness Scholarship for Fall 2018. Rachel Feeley, a 26 year-old nursing student at Columbus State University, is the deserving recipient of the $1,000 award. The scholarship will go towards her tuition costs for school, where she is working towards an Associates of Applied Science in Nursing.
Rachel grew up in Columbus, Ohio and has always had a special interest in health and wellness. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was six years old and has used her experience of the disease to educate those around her. She began by volunteering for the Central Ohio Diabetes Association when she was 11 years old, working as a camp counselor almost every summer until she was 21.
“We helped show the kids that diabetes didn’t have to slow them down and they could still do the same things other kids did. We taught them how to better manage their diabetes, keep unhealthy weight off and to take control of their nutrition and life,” she explains.
“I know the importance of learning about your disease and what it takes to control diabetes instead of letting it control you. I am almost 20 years into type 1 diabetes. I live my life successfully and happily without any complications, something a lot of doctors in the 1990s didn’t believe was possible. I want to be a sign of hope for parents and kids. I want to help them reach a cure without any complications from this disease.”
Rachel has a degree in communications and was working at the local NBC station in Columbus, when she realized that her volunteer work with kids was more fulfilling. She had been working part-time as a coach and instructor for youth sports for almost 10 years.
“I loved it and enjoyed every minute of it. I realized that to be happy, I had to make my volunteer work into my career,” she says.
She felt that if she could teach just one child how to live a complication-free life, then the career change would be worth it.
After researching how to become a Certified Diabetes Educator, Rachel decided to become registered nurse and then dedicate her time to building up supervised diabetes education practice hours. After this she plans to take the CDE exam.
Currently, she works full-time at the Ohio Department of Health and goes to classes at night.
“Rachel is exactly the kind of person that the we need in health care — she’s driven, passionate and most importantly, she cares. We’re proud to be able to contribute to her journey with this scholarship,” says Dr. Naim.
The scholarship is one of two awards that are presented by Soma Weight Loss, one for spring and one for fall. Applications for 2019 are currently open. The deadline for applying for the first scholarship is March 31, 2019, and September 30, 2019 for the second scholarship.
About Soma Weight Loss
Soma Weight Loss is bariatric surgery clinic in Los Angeles. We offer a range of surgical and non-surgical weight loss procedures, as well as support for our patients. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Naim, please call 855-766-2411.