Graduate, HuntsvilleTia

“I really wanted to work in oncology because I lost my mom to cancer.


My mom will always be my inspiration. She was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2013 and she passed in December of 2013, so it was kind of a quick process and it was unexpected. She had been sick previously, she’s been sick her whole life. In 2010 she actually had to get a liver transplant, so that was hard, seeing her go through that. I have two older sisters, and they helped. I had to step up in high school. My senior year I was class president, so with that burden plus the liver transplant that happened that same year — it was rough, but I got through it.

I started off in school after I graduated but I underestimated myself. That was my biggest challenge. Don’t ever underestimate yourself, and do what you want to do. Life is too short to come to a job and hate it. Even if you have to wait — life happens — do what you want to do.

My mom always told me that I should work in the medical field because I have the personality for it. After she passed, I enrolled in Virgina College and I was determined to finish because I knew that’s what she wanted. Two weeks after my externship, I was hired. I know it’s what I was meant to do.

“Don’t ever underestimate yourself, and do what you want to do. Life is too short to come to a job and hate it.”

I have some of the sweetest patients. They make it easier to come here. There’s a couple that have stolen my heart at this point. It’s a little sad sometimes, but I get through it. Seeing what my mother went through drove me to believe that I could help others get through situations like hers.

I had never worked in the medical field before now. I went from retail to having people’s lives in my hands. That’s probably the most challenging part. Working in retail was completely different. You ring people up, ring up their groceries, tell them to have a good day and that’s the end of it.

Here, I take home patients. Just their hearts, just thinking about them. I think about my patients all day every day.

A lot of people say they couldn’t do it if they had seen their mom go through it, but I think everybody’s different. It makes me feel like I can help other people just by seeing what she went through and going through it, too, with her. That’s my motivation. I just want to make her proud, that’s my main goal.”

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Are you a Virginia College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“I chose Business Administration because I wanted to fully understand owning and operating a business. I am very independent and very curious.”

Cronyn, Charleston Student

“I am motivated by the students. I am constantly reminded that everyone is reaching for something.”

Kelly, Pensacola Instructor

“I’m not a person that gives up easily on myself or others.”

Christine, Savannah Student

“I am scared to death to leave my classmates and teachers when I graduate because I love them and have become attached.”

Kelsey, Baton Rouge Student

“There was a time in my life when I was sickly. One day, my husband took me to get a makeover. The transformation was phenomenal. I want to make people feel the way I felt that day.”

Sable, Columbus Graduate

“I chose the field I am in because I have always wanted to help people who are sick feel better.”

Kennesha, Huntsville Graduate

“Before enrolling in school, I never really felt like I was doing what I should be doing.”

Bonnie, Florence Student

“The proudest moment in my life is that after I had my son, I returned to finish my schooling.”

Ryan, Charleston Student

“It’s never too late to go back and finish your degree!”

Almarina, Shreveport Graduate

“My husband passed away in February 2017. I chose the medical assistant field because of taking care of him and my elderly parents.”

Janet, Knoxville Student

“I worked as a hairstylist for over 30 years and a licensed cosmetology instructor for 23 years. I know that hard work pays off in the long run.”

Meshandra, Macon Instructor

“I kept telling myself I was going to do this but never did it. Last year, I put my foot down and told myself that I am going to finish school.”

Kerpernia, Mobile Student

“As a single mother, I wanted to show my son it wasn’t too late to get my degree! I finished knowing I could start a career and provide for him and give him the life I never had.”

Chelsea, Birmingham Graduate

“I didn't choose cosmetology, it chose me!”

Kumesia, Jacksonville Graduate

“Being a chef is a dream of mine. I don’t want to think about what could have been. I had to take the chance.”

Fred, Richmond Student

“Never let anyone stop you from becoming a greater person in life. No matter what, keep going!”

Allison, Columbus Student

“My motivation is my six-year-old daughter. To know that this little person is depending on me for everything makes me want to work that much harder and strive that much more for success.”

Lakesha, Savannah Student

“I am 53 and decided to start over in my career.”

Tammy, Augusta Student

“I wanted to do something with my life that would make both my children and my mother proud.”

Jasmine, Spartanburg Student

“I love everything about cosmetology — hair, makeup, nails, everything!”

Camell, Columbia Student

“I gave up partying late at night to study late at night. And all the hard work paid off.”

Yesica, ChattanoogaGraduate

“I wanted better for my children and to show them there’s always something to learn.”

Laura, Jacksonville Student

“I am the oldest of five kids. At a young age my mother got sick, and I had to step up to the plate.”

Lauren, Austin Student

“I want my son to know that you are never too old to accomplish any of your dreams and you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Jessica, Knoxville Student

“I’m a 37-year-old proud mother of three children and three stepchildren, a full-time student with a 4.0 GPA, and working full-time.”

Virginia, Lubbock Student

“Being in the military and seeing a lot of people sick, it gave me the motivation to do something challenging and be better.”

Jamar, Savannah Graduate

“I was 34, a single mother of three. I worked full-time and was a full-time student. My life was nonstop for two years. As time went on it became a lot easier and a lot more fun.”

LaTasha, Augusta Graduate

“I have completed eight years with two deployments in service to my country.”

Eric, Jackson Student

“I have been told by some family members that I do not have what it takes to become a nurse; they have motivated me to prove them wrong.”

Caitlin, Montgomery Student