Summer Solheim Fritz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in May 2021. She is now studying at the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Georgetown University. While at UNC, she was an Honors Carolina student, Honors Nursing student, and on the Dean's List. Summer hopes to work in military hospitals as a family nurse practitioner and has been on the front lines treating patients with COVID-19 since Summer 2020. For her Senior Honors Thesis, she conducted research on Nurses’ Perspectives of Bright Light Therapy as an Intervention for Patients on Isolation Precaution with COVID-19.
On July 27th, 2007, Summer’s father, Army COL Kent Solheim, was serving in Iraq when he was shot four times, causing him to subsequently lose his right leg. After his injury, he was able to secure a waiver that allowed him to keep working, and he is now in his 27th year of service.
Summer was eight years old when her father was injured, and says that some of her most vivid childhood memories are of being with her father at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where she would stop everything and pay attention to the doctors as they would come, go, and heal her father. She became drawn to the fact that medicine could heal the human body and it is what inspired her choice to study nursing. She says, “My dream career is to work in military hospitals to serve those who have made invaluable sacrifices for the freedoms we enjoy every day.”
Regarding her scholarship, Summer says, “I truly cannot articulate how this scholarship has alleviated incredible amounts of stress. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you working with me and going out of your way to help me pay for my education. I am so thankful for you and all that NGS has done for me. I would not be where I am today without the support of NGS.”
NGS would also like to thank the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund in supporting Summer and helping her reach her dreams.