Tenzing Sherpa is a 2018 Steamboat Spring High School graduate; however, she is not a typical Steamboat graduate. She is indigenous to a rural village in Nepal. She describes her native village as lacking in basic infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Access to public schools is limited or not available for children taking part in daily domestic chores. Tenzing’s parents immigrated to the United States in hopes of providing a brighter future for their two daughters. They have been part of the Steamboat community for seven years, her mother, working as a nanny and her father traveling frequently to Nepal to work as a Sherpa.
After graduating, Tenzing is now in CU Denver to complete her undergraduate program with a focus on medicine. She finds cardiology interesting and she is excited to learn more about emergency medicine.
Her family has made great sacrifices to enable Tenzing and her sister the opportunity to attend college. Her parents have relocated to Denver so that Tenzing and her sister can live with the family in order to cut costs on living expenses. Tenzing is the recipient of two scholarships via the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The Robert Welborn scholarship ($1500) and the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Scholarship ($250) will be renewable for all four years that she attends school.
The combination of scholarships and family housing assistance enables Tenzing to focus on her studies. Tenzing works summer jobs and saves money to help pay for school as well.
Tenzing hasn’t forgotten her roots in Nepal. She wishes not only to provide medical services to her community and help break the cycle of poverty. She plans to move back to Nepal with her family and help bring change to her native village. In addition to providing medical expertise, she wants to be an inspiration to women. “Women in Nepal have very low expectations,” she explains. They are expected to work but, as Tenzing says, “In lesser job positions.” She hopes to be a leader for women in the workplace in addition to making medical improvements for her native community.