I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2004 with a BS in Family Studies with emphasis in Child Development. Along my journey I knew that I really wanted to become a Nurse but I was almost done with my degree and chose to keep going in the field of education.
This would be one of my first learning lessons as an adult: To follow your dreams!
It would have been so much easier switching my major when I was younger, no commitments, and had a good idea of what I really wanted to pursue….but didn’t happen that way. Now I’m pursuing my dream to become a Nurse at KVCC ….not as easy to balance being a wife, daughter, and mother of two very busy kids. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with a supportive loving husband and grandparents that are making my dreams become possible.
What an opportunity that I’ve been given! To be able to receive a scholarship from Pfizer to pay for my last year of school and on top of that getting a paid externship at Family Health Center is extremely humbling. I’m looking forward to the diversity that I will experience this summer. Growing up in a small community outside of Kalamazoo I would say that I was naïve to what was outside of my community. Since this opportunity that I’ve been given through the FHC I was wrong again. It was more eye opening moments when I drove down on Paterson St. , stepped foot into FHC, or worked with my first patient that I realized that there is a whole new population in Kalamazoo that I never knew existed….how could I have been that naïve??
You work on Paterson?
It’s amazing to me that when asked where I’m working this summer that when I say the Family Health Center on Paterson. It’s almost instant that eyes are bugged open and first comments are “Ohhh, that’s on the North side of Kalamazoo” or “it’s really dangerous there, do you feel safe?” Growing up that was what I was always told by people, just stay away from the North side.
At first I was a bit hesitant about going there because of the stereotypes that I was brought up on but I will say that I have felt completely comfortable when I have been there. I’m not going to lie that I haven’t seen a good share of struggling patients or disagreements outside of the building but it can happen anywhere.
A large majority of patients we see are struggling financially with no insurance, no jobs and little education so things are more frustrating for them. I’ve realized just a small conversation with patients that are heated can reverse a bad situation just by taking the time to listen. Most people are there to find out what’s wrong with them and are just happy that people are treating them like a human-being.