Fund Recipient Spotlight: 'I want to make my family in Kenya proud'

The Front-Line Responders Fund raised over $100,000 to provide financial support to Webster University students who are working in healthcare on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing their studies. In this series, student recipients of awards from the fund share their stories of balancing studies, family, work and more during the pandemic.

Annette Kasera, MSN studentSpotlight: Annette Kasera

Occupation: Operating Room Registered Nurse, Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Major: Master of Science, Nursing (MSN)

"I immigrated to the United States last year in May in pursuit of better opportunities, and I left my friends and family in Kenya," Kasera said. "The change has been challenging and rewarding, and I am glad I took the chance to move here. I want to make my family in Kenya proud of the work that I do and the self-development my master's degree will bring me.

Kasera described what life is like as a nurse during the panemic.

"The work I do is one that requires close physical contact with patients and families. When COVID happened, nurses have had to step behind so many extra layers of PPE to continue providing care to our patients. I feel that this has reduced the level of connection we have with our patients. They cannot see our facial expressions or non-verbal communication.

"While PPE is extremely important, I am interested in finding new, safe ways to connect with my patients and their families."

I am so grateful to Webster University for giving me a chance to be able to afford my higher education.

Kasera was happy to learn of the support provided by Webster donors.

“Receiving these funds has impacted my life positively!" she said. "I did not expect to receive any assistance, and it was a huge surprise ... I am so grateful to Webster University for giving me a chance to be able to afford my higher education. I am using the money to pay for my next semester tuition.”

About the Front-Line Responders Fund

The Front-Line Responders Fund was launched last June, to raise financial support for Webster’s students working in healthcare on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time over 300 nurses were working long shifts while still attending class virtually.

The crowdfunding initiative, led by Webster University Trustee and alumna Laura Herring B.A. '70 and her spouse, Mike Herring, surpassed its $100,000 goal for the Fund in just two months. Over 100 gifts came from donors in 18 U.S. states, in amounts ranging from $20 to $20,000.

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