Travys Willman

Why I am applying for this scholarship……

To whom it may concern:

I am writing today to express my interest in obtaining a scholarship to assist me on my path to becoming a Physician Assistant (PA). I have been working toward going back to school for my master’s degree for four years now. I have been privileged to be accepted as one of the 50 students at Wayne State University’s PA Studies program. The nature of this program makes it extremely difficult to work while attending, which is why I am looking for assistance in addition to loans. Graduate class hours run over $800 per credit and my first semester is 12 credits but will have me in class over 30 hours a week, not including homework and studies. This scholarship will assist me with course fees and tuition.

For the future, I hope to work as surgical PA. I find the operating room fascinating and look forward to helping patients prepare for surgery, be there to comfort them on the day of surgery and assist them post-surgery. I am also hoping that I will be able to learn more about the free clinics and workshops that PAs run. I think it would be a good thing to help educate my community on their health and ways to maintain both their physical and spiritual health. When I am confident in my skills, I want to look into running a course on the subject or possibly a health check-in station at ConVocation or other community gatherings. I know that they next two years will be filled with hard work and amazing experiences. I am looking forward to the challenge and I hope you will assist me as I work toward my goal.

What Being a Pagan Means to Me

I was given the opportunity to be a true seeker. My parents did not raise me with any specific religion, and I was able to choose my own path when I was ready. I have been to several different places of worship and followed my spirit to paganism. I started off with a more shamanistic path since access to Native American beliefs was readily available. Then I found others who practiced more European paths with different forms of paganism, druidism, and Wicca. I found my feet when I started on the Wiccan path. The structure, the beliefs, and the gods rang true to my heart and soul.

From this perspective, I believe that being a pagan means that a person understands, and worships based on the cycles of the nature world and the society that man has created. This does not mean that I am happy about all of the cement in the world, but that I accept that the world changes and we influence that change. Hunter gatherer societies worshiped the gods based on the season and the available food. Agricultural societies worshiped the gods based on the seasons and the harvest. I neither hunt nor farm, so I worship the gods based on the season and the needs of my mind and spirit.

In explanation of this, I choose deity to celebrate based on what is happening in my world. I choose to worship Hermes as I prepare for starting college again. I praise Hecate as my choices start coming closer. I look to Thoth as the stack of books on my desk gets larger. Not all of these celebrations and rituals relate to the world’s natural cycle, but they do belong to my personal cycle.

Now that I have made it sound like this is all about me, let me explain my other joy in being a pagan. I am a second-degree priestess and I love to share my love of the gods and the world around us. Showing others, the unseen beauty of the world around them is another way to celebrate the gods. I believe that as a member of priesthood it is my duty to help others understand their path and assist them on their journey. I do not limit this to just a pagan path or even a religious one. We are all interconnected with the life force that the gods bestowed upon us and therefore we should all help each other. We are one humankind community, and we need to work as one village to be able to live happily. If I can help one person on their path, I have succeeded.

Being a pagan is about worshiping the gods, helping our community, and teaching others that each path is sacred even if different then their own. With this understanding, I continue to talk to people around me. I attempt to show compassion and teach people to see the beauty in themselves and the world around them.

Know Your Numbers

What is the maintenance interval for an oil change on a car? What tire pressure is recommended for the vehicle? How often are the headlights or wiper blades checked? Now consider these questions: How often is a check-up recommended for an adult? What is the importance of regular blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checks? Is odd to know the answer to one or all of these question about your car, but not your body? Many of people will get the oil changed in their car before considering going to get a check-up at the doctor. Why is a car more important that our bodies?

A good first step to making health a priority is by knowing your health numbers. The important numbers that a person needs to know is their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body mass index (BMI). These basic numbers will help a person understand where they are at with their health and assist with making a care plan. That care plan with the help of a medical professional can be the key to living a longer and healthier life.

The importance of watching cholesterol levels is fairly well known. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease or stroke (“Cholesterol”). Therefore, cholesterol should be checked every 5 years after and more often if levels are elevated (“Do You Know”). Knowing your numbers is important to since high cholesterol has no symptoms (“Cholesterol”). Once a number is understood, a plan can be created to adjust diet and physical activity to bring numbers in line. In some cases, medication may be needed, which is a conversation with a health care provider to determine the best options for each individual.

Blood pressure can be taken at home, at the pharmacy, or in a clinic (“Do Your Patients”). High blood pressure is another one that usually has no symptoms, so a person will not know that they have high blood pressure unless it is measured (“Measure Your Blood”). Increased blood pressure can be indicative of cardiovascular issues and can cause issues with other organs, such as the kidneys (Patritto). Therefore, it is recommended to check your blood pressure at least once a year, but since your blood pressure can change at different times of day or with different activities, it is a good idea to take it more often and keep a log that can be discussed with your health care team (“Measure Your Blood”,” Do You Know”)

Blood sugar is a key determinant of diabetes (Patritto). Diabetes is highly prevalent in a society that “super sizes” our food. This disease can create a host of additional problems with people, including heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. By recognizing blood sugar issues, a person can make changes to diet and physical activity that can prevent further escalation of the disease. (“What Is Diabetes”)

Now, BMI is a classification of obesity (“Key Markers”). It uses a person height and weight to obtain a correlation to a direct body fat calculation (“About Adult”). A person can use online calculators to determine their BMI number. Numbers greater than 30 are considered obese. A person in the category of “obese” has a higher risk for all of the disease that have been mentioned and more, including a higher mortality rate (“About Adult”). By knowing this number, a person can recognize their risks and work toward mitigating those risks.

Using your numbers together and with the help of a health care professional, a plan of action can be made. If all numbers are in the normal range, the plan can be to continue what is being done. If the numbers need improvement, a plan to adjust activities and food choices can be discussed, as well as medications if necessary.

A partnership with a health care professional can increase a patient’s health and well-being. Even if there are no conditions or issues now, having a baseline can help to tell when things are starting to change (“4 Reasons”). Working with a health care professional to assist in having plans to correct problems when they are small is ideal (Taber et al.). Working with that professional to make a plan when problems have gotten out of hand is harder, but a lot better than trying to do it alone.

Many times, fear can keep people from seeking out assistance from health care professionals. Fear of bad news, fear of health care costs, and fear of feeling shame from the findings. (Taber et al.) Numbers can be scary. Fear of hearing that something is wrong is even worse than numbers. Knowing what is going on and having a plan of action is how a person can counteract the fear and make the numbers less scary. When issues are caught early, the necessary changes are typically smaller and easier to manage, which will in turn reduce the overall cost of health care (Taber et al.). When diseases are allowed to progress unchecked, the treatments become more drastic, involved, and costly.

Hopefully it is now evident why it is important to know your numbers. By taking an active role, a person can reduce their risk factors for diseases. An active role starts with knowing your numbers and progresses to a conversation with a health care provider about what those numbers mean. Greater patient involvement in their own care and medical visits help to improve overall health (Gotler et al.). So, know your numbers and be involved. It would be a shame to take better care of a car, than yourself.

Works Cited

“4 Reasons People Avoid Annual Physicals.” HealthBridge, 22 Oct. 2018, https:// www.healthbridgeinfo.com/post/4-reasons-people-avoid-annual-physicals.

“About Adult BMI.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Aug. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/ assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/.

“Cholesterol Information.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Sept. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/ cholesterol/.

“Do You Know Your Health Numbers? Kaiser ”, 26 July 2019, https:// soundhealthwellness.com/kp/news_articles/do-you-know-your-healthnumbers/.

“Do Your Patients Know Their 4 Essential Numbers?” Join Health Mart, 25 Jan. 2019, https://join.healthmart.com/clinical- performance/4- essential-numbers-forpatients/. Gotler, Robin, et al.

“Involving Patients in Medical Decisions: What Happens in RealWorld Practice?” Family Practice Management, 1 Sept. 2001, https:// www.aafp.org/fpm/2001/0900/p50.html.

“Measure Your Blood Pressure.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Sept. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/ bloodpressure/measure.htm. Patritto, Lucia.

“Knowing Your Numbers Is Important to Your Health.” MSU Extension, 9 Mar. 2021, https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/ knowing_your_numbers_is_important_to_your_health. Taber, Jennifer M, et al.

“Why Do People Avoid Medical Care? A Qualitative Study Using National Data.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, Springer US, Mar. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4351276/.

“What Is Diabetes?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Dec. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/ diabetes.html.


Michigan Pagan College Scholarship Fund is offering a $500.00 Scholarship for a rising high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate. All applicants must LIVE in Michigan. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older, have a current GPA of 2.5 or higher, be Pagan, and currently accepted in a full time course of study in any accredited two or four-year college or university. Applicants must provide their most recent school transcript to establish state of residency, and GPA requirements. In addition they must also state the reason for applying for this scholarship in 250 words or less and submit a 500 word essay about what being a Pagan means to them. There is a third essay a 3 Page typed, double-spaced, MLA formatted pages on the scholarly topic of your choosing. As always good luck to all those who apply. Michigan Pagan College Scholarship Fund