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Nursing major dedicates time to helping mothers

  • A photo of Jamie Platt
  • Platt's award from MiCC included $200, which she donated to String of Pearls, an organization that sends packages to families who receive a fatal prenatal diagnosis.
  • Platt with Grand Valley student Nikhil Watsa, who was one of 37 students in Michigan selected to receive a Commitment to Service Award.

Posted on April 04, 2017

The list of organizations Jamie Platt belongs to is extensive, but the list of reasons why she volunteers is short: to help new mothers.  

The mother of three and nursing major was one of six students in the state selected to receive the Michigan Campus Compact's Outstanding Community Impact Award. She was recognized March 23 at a reception in Lansing. 

"It was so humbling to be in a room filled with people who are trying to better the world and their community," said Platt, a senior from Byron Center. 

Platt was nominated by Jessica Taylor, a student in her nursing cohort. In her submission, Taylor said Platt "spends countless hours volunteering and inspiring others, all the while raising three children."

Platt volunteers for community organizations that focus on helping mothers, including Moms Bloom, La Leche League and Babywearing International of Grand Rapids. She leads a group of more than 350 nursing students as president of Grand Valley's Student Nurses Association, and serves as community health and breakthrough-to-nursing director for the Michigan Nursing Students Association. Grand Valley's SNA chapter was recently selected to receive the NSA's Stellar School Award; only 31 nursing schools in the nation have received the award. 

Platt said a strong support system, which includes her parents, siblings and friends, has been immensely helpful as she balances course work, community involvement and her children, who are ages 13, 4 and 2. 

"I hope that through my involvement, especially with volunteering, my older son will see that there's so much you can do for your community. There's always a need to help out," she said.

Platt was accepted into Grand Valley's nursing program after being a medical assistant for nearly 10 years. She said she decided to pursue a bachelor's degree to advance her clinical skills and leadership opportunities. When Platt graduates in December she hopes to become a labor and delivery nurse and lactation consultant. 

"When I took my son in for his 1-year wellness exam, the pediatrician gave me incorrect advice about breastfeeding. She told me that I had to stop nursing him during the night and the reasons she gave as to why were incorrect. It was during that time I knew I wanted to become a breastfeeding advocate," she said. 

In addition to her volunteer work, Platt is on a Grand Valley team that is working with the Kent County Health Department to analyze a grant-funded mentorship program for African American mothers who breastfeed. 

Platt's award from MiCC included $200, which she donated to String of Pearls, an organization that sends packages to families who receive a fatal prenatal diagnosis. Items include a recording of the baby's heartbeat and prints of the baby's hands and feet.