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From Here to Opportunity

The UW helped McKenzie Capouch explore the world and use what she learned to help her home town.

June 15, 2017
McKenzie Capouch, nursing grad student

With her small-town roots and big-campus dreams, McKenzie Capouch ’17 is not unlike many UW–Madison students. For her, home is Ettrick, Wisconsin: population 1,300. That is roughly a hundred more people than students in Witte Hall, the residence hall where Capouch spent her freshman year.

“I moved in on my own, and I was a little bit scared,” she recalls.

But Capouch quickly warmed to Madison, and she makes a point to take in as much as she can. She also took the chance to study abroad in Sri Lanka — her first time outside of this country. “It was eye opening,” she says. “It helped me realize that my perspective is not necessarily always correct.”

“I feel like I’ve always known it’s what I wanted.”
McKenzie Capouch ’17

Now a graduate, Capouch says that nothing she has encountered along the way has changed her mind about why she came to UW–Madison in the first place: nursing school.

“I feel like I’ve always known it’s what I wanted,” she says.

Fortunately, Capouch applied for and received enough financial aid to keep her going. She says her financial aid — including a Gwen P. Shapiro Rural Wisconsin Nursing Scholarship — will enable her to keep her options open now that she’s graduated. Without student loans weighing her down or forcing her to pursue only the most high-paying positions, Capouch feels she can explore new ground or return to Ettrick.

“I’ve come to love Madison, and I’d also love to take the benefit of my education back home,” she says. “I’m passionate about nursing, and the UW has really prepared me for anything.”

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