As a senior at Taft High School, I began taking dual enrollment classes through Wright College with plans to attend college in fall 2015. Initially, I wanted to attend a four-year university but decided against it for financial reasons. Thankfully my counselor at Taft provided me with information regarding the Chicago Star Scholarship, an opportunity that would allow me to earn an associate degree at Wright College completely free of debt.

My ultimate career goal was to become a registered nurse. During my first semester, I met with my Star advisor and started taking the core science classes. The professors were knowledgeable, professional, and attentive. I instantly formed strong relationships with my professors, especially Dr. Doris Espiritu and Dr. Mira Kolodkin, who would be vital mentors during the pursuit of my career.

While being a full-time student, I was able to work part time in the Tutoring Center where I tutored students in Anatomy and Physiology I & II courses. The Star Scholarship provided me with tremendous benefits, including free books, the ability to save money for nursing school, and opportunities to develop a competitive resume that prepared me to apply to the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois Chicago.

In spring 2017, I was admitted to UIC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, one of the high-ranking nursing programs in the country. During this time, I volunteered at Resurrection Medical Center, and soon after earning my BSN degree and passing my NCLEX exam, I was hired as a nurse at Resurrection.

Not long into my career, the Covid-19 pandemic began, and I had to make difficult financial and living decisions. My family and I moved to Columbia, South Carolina, and I started working in the emergency department at a local hospital. Subsequently, I became a travel nurse. I love the exposure, personal growth, and professional development I am able to achieve as a traveling nurse. In addition, I work part time in the operating room at a level one trauma center in Columbia.

Thanks to Wright College faculty, staff, the Star Scholarship, and most importantly my family, I achieved my academic and professional goals.