Skip to content

Nursing Superpower

J.K. Rose | December 11, 2023

Impact | Hormel Inspired Pathways

The Hormel Foods Inspired Pathways program helps a Montevideo teen pursue his childhood dream of becoming a nurse.

Through its Inspired Pathways program, Hormel Foods provides free community college and one-on-one college advising for all children of its team members.

Eli Storch decided he wanted to become a nurse in fifth grade when he was hospitalized to remove a large, painful cyst on his neck.

Facing surgery is a scary experience for any 10-year-old, but Eli says the affectionate care he received from the nursing staff comforted him — and made a lasting impression.

“Just seeing how the nurses helped me recover from that experience influenced me to want to do what they do,” Eli, now 19, says.

Hormel Inspired Pathways recipient Eli Storch

Hormel Inspired Pathways recipient Eli Storch

The Minnesota native is enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls. His schooling is paid in full by the Hormel Foods Inspired Pathways scholarship, which covers two years of community college tuition for the children of company employees.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls Common Area

Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls common area
Image provided by Minnesota West Community and Technical College

“I’m proud of Elijah for choosing this career,” says Eli’s mom, Pam Storch, a human resources technician at the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Montevideo, Minnesota. “He might get mad at me for saying this, but Elijah’s 6′6″, and I’ve always called him my gentle giant because he’s always had a heart for people. This was a good career choice for him.”

It’s a savvy career choice in other ways as well: nurses are in high demand across the country, and the job market for licensed practical nurses is projected to grow 5% between 2022 and 2032, which is faster than the average growth for all other occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If all goes as planned, Eli will continue his studies for a second year to become a registered nurse.

A Lot to Know

Eli’s fall semester has been a whirlwind. His classes include Principles and Practices of Nursing, which covers topics ranging from psychosocial health to “death and grieving,” and Pharmacology, which studies how drugs interact with the human body.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of meds that you need to know — what they do and what their adverse side effects are,” he says. “It’s a mile-long list.”

In a clinic that takes place at a local residential care facility, he’s learning to bathe and dress residents, change catheters, and finesse his bedside manner. In addition to his course load, Eli works 12-hour shifts as a nurse’s aide at Montevideo Hospital — the same place where he was hospitalized as a kid — flipping between night and day shifts, which, he admits, can be disorienting.

Nonetheless, Eli was delighted to learn recently that he possesses a nursing superpower: his height. When a nurse asked him to bring her a hoist so she could help a patient back into bed without straining her back, he stepped in to do the job himself. “I was like, ‘I can do it,’” Eli says with a laugh. “I just lifted him up and moved him. The nurses were all like, ‘oh, yeah, we need you here more often.’”

And being there is a good fit for Eli. “I just enjoy the whole process,” he says. “I get pleasure out of seeing people go from sick to healthy and able to walk out the door again.”