For a lot of new moms, dealing with the late nights and the demands of a newborn can be taxing enough, but for Princess, in her postpartum period, she decided she wanted to start her college journey by pursuing the certified nursing aide program at Mountain Gateway Community College.
Princess was a caregiver long before she had children of her own. She has been taking care of children since she was 12 and remembers how she’d volunteer with nursing homes when she was in middle school to help engage with and interact with senior residents – which is what drove her to the nurse aide program.
But, once Princess was enrolled in the program, she found out she was pregnant, and she became incredibly sick.
“I didn’t think I would be able to finish,” she said. “My teacher worked with me through a lot, she helped me stay focused. Anything I needed, she was there 110%. During clinicals, it was hard being pregnant and sick, but the people I worked with were very encouraging through the whole thing.”
Proving that moms can do anything, she completed the program and liked it so much, she didn’t want to stop. After the birth of her second child, she went into the phlebotomy technician program, which started in January 2023. Princess found out she was expecting again, but just like when she was in the nurse aide program, the faculty and staff supported her to the finish line.
“Altogether, the people you work with are very supportive, no matter what you’re going through, whatever you need, they’re there to support you. They’re absolutely amazing, especially the teachers,” she said. “Go through the FastForward program, I appreciate it so much – being accepted, it takes no time. If you pass the class, you don’t have to worry about tuition. It’s completely covered for you.”
Princess attributes the peaceful, calm environment of the community college, the support of her peersand the faculty and staff at Mountain Gateway with helping her reach success. Now that she’s made it this far, she doesn’t want to stop. She is looking ahead to the next healthcare credential that she can stack onto her previous ones.
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