Helen Shishino (seated) with Dean Linda Sarna and daughters Laurie Shishino (seated right) and Linda Shishino-Cruz
As a child, Helen Shishino ’55, MS ’60 was interned with other Japanese Americans during World War II. In high school, she read Sue Barton novels chronicling the career of a nurse, which caught her interest. Shishino considered several routes: her best friend entered a hospital training program; her brother’s military service suggested an army nurse; and a counselor recommended medical school. Instead, Shishino received a scholarship that enabled her to attend UCLA, where she earned one of twelve spots in the second nursing class and eventually her master’s degree. Professionally, she spent decades making a difference, from establishing policies at a new hospital to serving diverse communities at local health centers to helping children as a school nurse. And financial support made it all possible: “I wouldn’t have been able to attend college or become a nurse without the scholarship,” she says.
The Helen F. Shishino Centennial Scholars Undergraduate Scholarship was created in honor of Helen Shishino by an anonymous donor. It is awarded annually to exceptional baccalaureate nursing students who have demonstrated financial need and it is helping to educate the next generation of nurses and impacting a multitude of people touched by their care.