#1StudentNWI: Merrillville halls are on their way to being filled

#1StudentNWI: Merrillville halls are on their way to being filled

What’s recently happened 

Merrillville celebrated its first National Night Out as community members came together on August 2, 2022. The event was held at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center and promoted a friendly environment for the community to meet members of law enforcement. The event was tailgate-style with games, music, and bounce houses for children as a fun way to enjoy the summer festivities. 

As the summer concludes, Merrillville Community School Corporation (MCSC) is swiftly preparing for the school year. For students attending MCSC for the 2022-2023 school year, Verification of Information (VIO) forms were sent on August 1, 2022. VIO forms are correct and verify any information regarding the student that may need to be updated from the prior school year.

MCSC also had changes involving free and reduced lunch after the 2021-2022 school year. Lunch prices will now return after the change in pricing from COVID-19. Parents and guardians are able to fill out the free/reduced lunch forms for the 2022-2023 and will be notified if their household qualifies. 

Merrillville High School (MHS) had freshman orientation for the incoming class of ‘26. Orientation was August 9-10 from 5-6 p.m. Chromebooks were given to students who attended orientation, but they will also be handed out on the first day if students were unable to pick theirs up. 

What’s coming up:

MHS students attending for the 2022-2023 school year will receive their schedule around August 14, 2022. Schedule adjustments will happen until the first day of school on August 17. If students have not received their schedule, locker number, or homeroom by August 17, 2022, they need to notify their guidance counselor and get the issues fixed. 

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors should expect to get their Chromebooks on August 18 and 19, along with their I.D. photos taken. All information will also be on each student’s Skyward. 

On August 12, 2022, seniors have the option to paint their parking spots for the upcoming school year. Seniors have to pay $15, but that includes paint, food, and the parking spot. The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking passes need to be obtained by going to the Services Office with proof of registration, proof of insurance, and a valid driver's license.

MCSC is hosting an immunization night on September 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MHS. Registration is available on the MHS website for students interested. The MCSC vaccination deadline is September 19, 2022. 

Community Member Spotlight

Debra Givens has taken on the saying ‘never give up’ and held it near to her heart. Givens has handled many avenues in the healthcare field. While it may not have been her initial path, she grew successful in it and worked at several healthcare companies.

“I believe the success of my career was built from the strong foundation that I received from my mentors that took me by the hand and poured into me,” Givens said. “ I was blessed to have had the instructions, directives, constructive criticisms, and corrections that I needed to catapult me into who I am today. There were characteristics that couldn’t be taught but were innately in me. I often refer to them as gifts: the gift of compassion, the gift of caring, the gift of humility, the gift of serving others, the gift of generosity…These are added contributing factors that have led to the success that I have experienced in my career.”

During the pandemic, Givens decided to publish a book to share her story and inspire others because they are capable of more than they may think.

“My book titled “Why Not You” is a journey of some of my life experiences, circumstances, situations, and opportunities that allowed me to see myself differently than where I was,” Givens said. “It gives insight on how my career path chose me and I didn’t choose it. It clearly explained how the path that started was a disappointment that grew into a life, developed into a love, and ended as being my passion.”

She hopes this book helps others realize their potential. 

“My book will impact others in multiple ways,” Givens said. “It will cause one to never underestimate how sometimes the interruption in what you initially thought or planned can impact positive outcomes that you never saw coming. It will cause one to have a ‘never give up’ spirit to meet the goals or dreams they have. In other words, having the ‘Just Do It’ mindset. It also allows one to reflect on life lessons that have been beneficial in their life’s journey in order to reach their potential and hold on to what they believe is success.”

Givens feels that healthcare is more than a job it's a passion that requires love. 

“Check your heart and evaluate your compassion and caring meter,” Givens said. “Health-care is just that, taking the health of an individual who needs what you have in order to assist them to a healthier place by way of the care, patience, and compassion you provide. The industry has changed greatly, but the one thing that will never change is that people don’t care how much you know; they want to know how much you care.”

Givens shares final advice and the ways she is helping the next generation of nurses

“I believe it’s important to always be in a mindset to give back in whatever way that’s beneficial to the next individual who is inspiring to be where you are,” Givens said. “I have had the awesome opportunity to invest in others by awarding scholarships to senior students who have chosen to further their education in the healthcare industry.”

“I have also assisted multiple inspiring nurses to pass their NCLEX exam,” Givens continued. “I continue to work with students to pass their exams, mentor several who are completing courses, and have had the awesome privilege to train others while actively working in the profession. I’m thankful for so many things but ultimately how God chose me to assist others in the most vulnerable way in their time of need.”

To contact Givens about help on the NCLEX exam or other guidance through nursing contact: Dgivensrn@gmail.com