Posted December 15, 2020
A Lorain County Community College nursing student is warming the hands of those in need through a glove donation drive aimed to spread caring and positivity this winter.
Alexis Costello, 25, from Amherst, collected gloves as part of a service learning project for her final semester as a student in LCCC’s associate degree nursing program. She will graduate this month and hopes to work as a registered nurse at a local hospital.
Costello collected more than 60 pairs of gloves through her Gloves with Love donation drive with donation boxes at LCCC in Elyria and Discount Drug Mart in Amherst. Costello has worked full-time at the drug store for the past eight years, including throughout nursing school.
“I chose the glove drive because I wanted to collect something useful, especially this time of year, for those in need in our communities,” Costello said.
To spread extra warmth this time of year, Costello specially packaged each pair of gloves in a small gift box and topped the gift with an inspirational note. The boxes will be donated to local organizations that can distribute the gloves to those who need them most, Costello said.
Reaching the finish line on her nursing degree is exciting, but not exactly where Costello pictured herself when she first started taking classes at LCCC. A 2014 graduate of Amherst Steele High School, Costello’s high GPA earned her a two-year scholarship to LCCC. She wasn’t sure what to study, so she took classes that interested her, mostly in the health sciences field. She continued to take courses here and there over the next few years while working full time at Discount Drug Mart. By 2017, she earned an associate degree in individualized studies, and in 2019, she decided it was time to commit to earning a degree in nursing.
“I knew I was a hands-on learner and wanted to make an impact in people’s lives. Nursing is most definitely both of those things,” she said. “I took a chance and fell in love with the patient care aspect and impact that nurses have in their patient’s lives.
Studying to become a registered nurse during a pandemic adds an extra layer to every part of life, but Costello worked diligently to overcome any challenges she faced. She also got active in the LCCC Student Nursing Association, serving as the president and vice president at different times over the past years, and was able to lean on the friendships she made with the other students in the program. She also learned a lot from her professors, she said, including Nanci Berman, DPN, RN, who was in the instructor for Costello’s Nursing Concepts Synthesis course.
The course is required for nursing students and includes a service learning project that must take place outside of class time. With COVID-19 restrictions changing the way students completed service learning, many chose to write a blog post to share their experiences as a nursing student during a pandemic, and also during 2020, the Year of the Nurse. Costello wrote a blog, which fulfilled her service learning requirements, but felt compelled to do more for her community, a decision that caused Berman to take notice.
“Alexis completed her assignment but wanted to give back to her community by taking on an additional assignment,” explained Berman. Berman granted permission for the extra project, Costello wrote up the specifics, and began collecting donations. The willingness to take on an extra project to benefit the community was an admirable choice, Berman said.
“Alexis embodies the leadership and compassion needed in these ever-changing times,” Berman said.
Entering a health care career in the midst of a pandemic is a serious task but Costello said she feels prepared by her studies at LCCC.
“I’m a little nervous, but excited to get into the field to help out wherever I can. I know that wherever I end up, there will be people there to guide me and help me learn along the way of these unprecedented times,” she said.
For more information about LCCC nursing programs, visit http://www.lorainccc.edu/nursing.