Jae Kook Lim ’16BSN says the education he received through UCF’s College of Nursing gave him the confidence and skills he needed to move cross-country to Los Angeles and start his dream career.
But still, UCF is always on his mind.
“I stay in touch with some of my professors and with Dean Sole,” Lim says. “Just knowing that I can reach out to them, and that I will always have their support means a lot.”
Lim was born in Panama and lived abroad for several years until his family moved to Fort Lauderdale. His older sister is also a nurse; and after Lim got into the BSN program at UCF, his younger sister decided to become one too.
Lim applied to multiple colleges, but ultimately chose UCF. At freshman orientation, he realized that he had made the right choice.
“I remember thinking that I could see myself being really happy here,” Lim recalls. “Sure enough, I got involved with a lot of organizations during my time here, and it was the best four years of my life.”
Lim said he was so impressed by orientation that he ended up working for the team for one year as a freshman. One of the reasons that he chose UCF was because it’s one of the most affordable options in higher education; still, Lim said he had to scramble from time to time for rent and food.
There were simply not enough hours in the day for him to work and to maintain his increasingly demanding studies.
He began researching scholarship options, and said the faculty was also very good about promoting available scholarships. Students are encouraged to register for A2O, UCF’s scholarship portal that automatically matches students with the scholarships for which they qualify.
Lim received three different scholarships during his undergraduate education. The funding made a huge difference in the quality of his life, and gave him some breathing room, he said.
“It was perfect timing,” Lim says, because his father had been out of work, and “the stress was beginning to take its toll on him.”
When Lim got the scholarships, “it gave me a chance to live another almost full year comfortably, to get all the food I needed, and pay for gas.”
It’s why he gives back to the same scholarship funds that helped him out in his time of need.
So far, Lim has supported the ReAnna Greene Memorial Endowed Nursing Scholarship, the Dr. Linda Arlene and Elizabeth Marie Howe Memorial Scholarship, the Barbara Fowler Hoff Endowed Nursing Scholarship, the College of Nursing Dean’s Account, and the Joyce DeGennaro Memorial Endowed Nursing Scholarship.
“I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now without the UCF College of Nursing,” Lim says. “We had a very advanced, interactive experience in the sim lab (STIM Center) that prepared me very well for clinical rotations at AdventHealth, Orlando Health and Dr. Phillips.”
But the absolute best part of nursing school, Kim says, was the dedication of the faculty to ensure he was well-prepared for his career in healthcare.
“A lot of people say that you learn how to be a nurse once you become a nurse,” Lim says. “But you need to have a very strong nursing foundation upon which you can rely. When I first came to LA, I noticed that I already had an advantage that my colleagues may not have had, thanks to the education I received from the UCF College of Nursing. Through my support of nursing scholarships, I know that it is going to help other students like it helped me. I’m happy and honored to be able to give back. I will always be a Knight Nurse and am proud to be one.”