ASPSF recipient Alana Sterling perseveres to become a registered nurse

Alana Sterling has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a registered nurse.

Alana Sterling is a single mother of two amazing girls. Alana, originally from Jamaica, lives in Conway with her two school-age daughters. Her path with Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund has been a long journey of success and accomplishment, and her hard work has led her to full-time employment as a registered nurse for the state of Arkansas.

Alana’s journey with ASPSF began in 2014. At the time, she had a full-time job as a certified nursing assistant but knew she could do more. That spring, she started school to become a licensed practical nurse. When Alana first applied for an ASPSF scholarship, she wrote, “I have desired to return to school for 11 years. My dream is to become a nurse so I can provide quality and caring health care to those in need as well as becoming a role model and better provider for my children.”

She continued taking classes full-time while working full-time — even during the summer terms. In October 2016, Alana realized that to complete her coursework and graduate in December, she would need to cut back her hours at work. This was not an option for her employer, so she quit her job to finish her education. Without an income, things were very tight for her and her daughters. She persevered and received assistance through United Way’s Charity Tracker program. During that time, Alana received support from ASPSF in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

On December 6, 2016, she graduated from the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton on the dean’s list with her certificate in practical nursing. A few weeks later, she sat for her licensing exam and then started her new, full-time job as a licensed practical nurse on January 16, 2017. Alana worked for two years before returning to school — and ASPSF — in the fall of 2019 to work toward her registered nurse license and bachelor’s degree.  

Alana then began working for Conway Human Development Center. When COVID-19 hit, she worked eight hours a day in the two buildings that housed COVID patients for the center every day during 2020 and 2021. Before the vaccine was developed, she had to wear full professional protection garments at her job. After work, she had to enter her home and disrobe in an isolated room close to the washing machine before showering, redressing, and finally greeting her children for the evening.

This year, in 2022, Alana became employed with the Arkansas Department of Human Services as a registered nurse in February. Alana has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a registered nurse and is now successfully employed with a state organization that provides an excellent salary and health benefits for her and her family. This exciting opportunity allows her to grow her career and financially plan for the future.  

We’re so proud of you, Alana! We know you’ll do amazing things as a registered nurse working for the state. For information about Arkansas Single Parents Scholarship Fund scholarships, volunteer opportunities, and ways to give, visit

Alana Sterling lives in Conway and has two daughters. 

Note: The headline of this blog post has been corrected to show that Alana Sterling is still a recipient. She has two more semesters before she earns her bachelor's degree in nursing. 

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