Nursing Graduate's Involvement, Impact Leads To Veritas Cup

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It was Sachie Ohara’s nature – and in her DNA – that she would pursue a career aimed at helping others.

Her grandmother is a retired nurse. Her mother is still a nurse. And her older sister, Priya Ohara ’21, graduated from Dominican after majoring in nursing, is also a nurse. So, it was Sachie’s destiny to be a nurse, yet when she first came to Dominican, she was looking for guidance.

“I was not very involved in high school at all. I didn’t even have any major friend groups in high school. Dancing was my main priority,” Sachie recalls. “My goal was to get involved at Dominican, but my freshman year I didn’t know what to do.”

That all changed when Sachie met Jennifer Labovich, her integrative coach. When Jennifer helped Sachie get a job as a student worker in the Student Success Center, Sachie gained an instant commitment to Dominican, as well as the structure and a schedule to keep her busy. Jennifer also encouraged Sachie to become a peer mentor and, from there, Sachie’s involvement evolved from shy freshman to super senior.

“I just started joining things and meeting people and it really helped me,” she says.

So much so that on May 13 during Commencement ceremonies at Dominican Sachie was named the recipient of the Veritas Cup, by tradition given annually to a graduating senior deemed “a friend of the class.” 

“Sachie’s self-knowledge and willingness to be open to receiving support and guidance were very real superpowers of hers, and there were concrete ways that my Student Success Center  and Integrative Coach colleagues and I could provide meaningful support,” Jennifer says. “It has been a gift to witness Sachie’s impressive growth and development since then, which is a sentiment I know I share with my SSC and IC colleagues ... Sachie has always been an open, thoughtful, delightful, and diligent person—she arrived at Dominican with each of those qualities intact—and it has been an absolute joy to witness her ongoing development and launch into adulthood.”

In her roles as a student assistant in the Student Success Center and Accessibility and Disability Services, Sachie has been instrumental in the creation of accessible materials for students with a variety of needs. She also helped to launch the SSC Instagram account.

In addition, Sachie joined the Honors program and ended up painting a mural in a top floor room in Edgehill Mansion with Occupational Therapy major Eileen Spahle, who has a minor in art. Sachie became a hike supervisor for Dominican Rec Sports. Through a Service-Learning class and partnership with Canal Alliance she taught English to adult immigrants in the evening. And through Alumni Relations, Sachie met with donors and presented her digital portfolio related to The Dominican Experience.

During the early days and months of the pandemic Sachie joined other nursing students to assist Marin County’s Department of Health and Human Services to screen patients for COVID-19.

“It was just an uncertain time for everyone. I was doing whatever I could to help,” Sachie says. “It was cool to be a frontline worker for the pandemic before I even got my degree. I was a student helping treat and screen people for COVID. It was a unique experience.”

Sachie and her friend Sam Hall, created a dance video for a song “Rescue” recorded by Lauren Daigle to submit to the Marin Youth Art and Film Showcase. Dancing may have been Sachie’s priority at Folsom High School, but once she started attending Dominican, the focus of her future shifted. 

“It reminded me of home,” Sachie says of Dominican’s tree-lined campus. “At first, I was hesitant to study nursing, but I ended up falling more in love with nursing as the program went on. So, I think I made the right choice.”

That choice was validated when Sachie started her clinical rotation at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. That provided her with an opportunity to observe and learn in labor and delivery where she witnessed her first birth.

“I had been excited about nursing and I was sure there was something out there for me. But when I did my labor and delivery clinicals I thought `I can totally see myself doing this. This is something that I’m so excited to start trying to pursue. I can’t wait to graduate so I can try to get a labor and delivery position.’”

Sachie thanks adjunct professor Benjamin Worji, her labor and delivery clinical instructor, and Patricia Harris, assistant professor of nursing in the School of Health and Natural Sciences, for their support. In fact, Sachie became the labor and delivery tutor at Dominican the past two years and was asked to deliver the class speech at the nursing students’ pinning ceremony. Sachie also was awarded the Nursing Leadership Award nominated by her peers and selected among the department. 

During her countdown to Commencement, Sachie even found time to resume an old hobby. When she was in fifth grade, she started making origami earrings for a school project when students were given fake money and assigned to come up with their own business plan. Sachie’s origami project actually grew into a side business for her, complete with her own Instagram page to promote and sell her origami creations. She gave origami earrings to faculty members as gifts this semester.

Sachie obviously has been impacted by faculty and friends on campus. Her supportive nature is contagious, and her volunteer spirit is far reaching. Her dream job is to work at Sutter Roseville where she did her preceptorship, yet her mission is accomplished at Dominican. She got involved.

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