Each year Mount Mercy selects one incoming freshman to receive the Holland Scholarship, a full-ride tuition scholarship awarded based on merit and participation in Scholarship Invitational. Four years ago, Taylor Helms was that student.
“I believe that my hard work for my good grades in high school as well as volunteering and being active both in my high school community and the community that I lived in helped me be chosen for the scholarship,” Helms said.
Helms will be graduating in two weeks with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology. She will be enrolling in the University of Iowa’s doctorate of physical therapy program in July.
“My dream job would honestly be a physical therapist working with school children, and going in and not only teaching them not only ways to stretch and keep their bodies healthy and learn new exercises they can do, but also teaching them about nutrition; starting them at a young age and continuing that throughout their life,” Helms said.
Over the years, Helms has been an active member of Mount Mercy’s track and cross country teams. She has been a Student Ambassador through the admissions office, a member of the science club, a participant in Cedar Rapids Dance Marathon and held various work-study positions on campus.
Helms said that of her favorite memories about being a biology major was being able to take part in a “scary, but thrilling” brain dissection alongside her professor, Scott Stoger, who had experience as a surgeon. She said she will miss that close relationship with the professors on campus.
“They really care about our grades and our well-being and how we’re doing,” said Helms. “It’s easy to get one-on-one help with them, and going to a bigger school, I’m not sure if I’m going to get that quite as much.”
In addition to her professors, Helms said she will miss her roommates and all of the friends she has made as a resident in student housing.
“I really enjoy thinking back about all of the memories with my friends and roommates and staying up until all hours of the night and just being random and watching TV and procrastinating on homework sometimes,” she said.
Helms said that Mount Mercy has helped her broaden her horizons and develop her critical thinking skills. Socially it has helped her branch out, talk to people and make new friends in addition to her education.
“I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t come here,” she said.
This Student Profile was written by Cassie Paulson, Staff Writer, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the May 6, 2013, issue.