From JPS to Memphis – Another JPS Graduate Making Us Proud!

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This summer we will feature some 2014 – 2015 school year highlights as well as some of the exciting things that Jenison Public Schools are doing throughout the summer!  Please join us each week to discover something new and celebrate a fantastic and exciting school year!

Jamie Bowman graduated from Jenison High School in 2003 and has since gone on to work as an Emergency Room nurse in Memphis, TN where she was recently honored with The Daisy Award by her hospital.

IMG_1435After graduation, Jamie attended GVSU on a swimming scholarship, graduating in 2007 with her Bachelors of Nursing.  She worked for eight months at St Mary’s ICU before moving to Memphis.  She was drawn to the city over the course of one weekend after helping a friend move.  “Memphis is rough around the edges and we need good people here. I quickly found a group of them and jumped in feet first! I’ve also been very involved in youth and neighborhood ministry outside of my nursing gig.”

One of the ways she became involved in the city was by attending conferences and fundraisers in support of friends who are involved in combating the sex trafficking trade.  Because of this, Jamie knew how to spot a victim of sex trafficking when she was brought into the ER.  “Police were called to the scene of a possible overdose and found this 20-something year old girl lying outside in the rain at a gas station. They assumed she was just a drug abuser so they called EMS to bring her to us, where we usually test them, get them sober and discharge them. But there was immediately something different with this girl. I’d never seen someone with a Native American ethnicity in Memphis and the way she was cowering while I helped her out of wet clothing into dry stuff was alarming. I started asking casual questions and more red flags were raised. It took a couple hours for me to piece together that she was a victim, kept drugged for months and trafficked from New Mexico by two acquaintances from her local community college. She’d lost three months of her life at the hands of these men.  I alerted the police and an investigation went from there.”

Jamie says she became a nurse to help people and because of her work with this patient, her hospital nominated her for The Daisy Award which is given through a national foundation intended to honor nurses.  She was given the award during a particularly painful time in her life [two major losses in her immediately family] and she says it was a special honor because The Daisy Award is not typically given to ER nurses because their interactions with patients are so brief.  “It was a sweet thing to feel encouraged at such a rough time.”

She has recently been promoted to ER Clinical Resource Nurse which means that outside of her regular duties she’ll also be “educating coworkers and new nurses on ER related medicine, procedures, and equipment which are constantly changing.”  Jamie is also in the midst of planning a medical trip to South Sudan.

When she reflects on her education in Jenison she is very grateful for the opportunities it has provided to her.  “I didn’t realize the standard of education at Jenison is SO much higher than [Memphis].  The community rallies around JPS schools, teachers, and students and that is CRITICAL in making successful grads. I took it for granted. People here pay upwards of $20,000 to send kindergartners to a private school as our public schools struggle to provide good education.  I’m thankful to have had teachers who cared about my education, pushed me and taught me how to be a good teacher before I ever knew someday I’d be in charge of educating 200 staff in one of the biggest ER’s in Memphis.

Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished, Jamie!  We proud to call you one of ours!

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