Kimber Brown’s life wasn’t always looking good. Before enrolling in the top-ranked Nursing Program in Virginia here at Rappahannock Community College, she learned a bunch of life lessons which created in her a resolve to reach hew new life goals.
“I am a 9th-grade dropout,” she admits.
“I thought a dead-end job was more important than my education and I was incredibly wrong.”
Eight years and two children later, she says, “I knew something in my life needed to change, and I wanted to better myself for my children’s sake. With that decision, I sought out to receive my General Education Diploma (GED) at RCC.”
The efforts of this Middlesex County resident certainly paid off as she received her GED in 2017 and began looking toward the future.
“I was ready to take the next step and pursue my dream career as a registered nurse.”
Though she’d reached success with her GED, life wasn’t lending any relief to Brown. Between financial stress, family struggle and loss, and emotional strain, she has had her fair share of angst in tackling her goals.
RCC came like a miracle to her, and soon she found help through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employment Advancement Program.
“Through this program I have been able to accomplish many things, such as receive my GED, complete the work readiness training, customer service certification, resume and cover letter building, and the Certified Nursing Assistant course.”
Along with help from TANF, Brown has pushed along in her education with assistance from financial aid, state grants, and encouragement from the Office of Career and Transition Services, Power-Up Program, and RCC’s Workforce department.
“I do not know what I would have done without them,” she says of her instructors and RCC staff. “They helped me with any and everything they could, [even] child care.”
Thanks to her diligent and persistent work in her educational pursuits, she says, “I enrolled myself in the pre-nursing program where I manage my 4.0 GPA and will apply to the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program next spring.”
Now an A student in the Nursing Program, she shows gratitude for what RCC has done for her.
“Because of the guidance of caring and motivating people, I have been able to accomplish so much. They have encouraged me and supported me throughout my journey and continue to do so.”
While she hasn’t finished her goals yet, she’s proud of how far she’s come. “It is most definitely hard work, [but now] my children have a positive role model to look up to. They’re proud to tell people I’m going to be a nurse, and that is the best feeling in the world.”
The future looks bright to Brown, as she sets her goals to “settle down at an OBGYN office … as an obstetric nurse.” Thanks to the emotional and financial support she’s found through RCC and her instructors, she’s made bounds from where she was at 14-years-old.
“This has been an amazing journey, and I am so grateful that I get to experience this and to have such wonderful and caring people helping me through to be successful and reach my goals. I strongly feel that if I can accomplish so much with all the hardships that I’ve faced … then anyone can do it.”
Now she stands as a pillar of encouragement, pushing new students on.
“I would highly recommend this program to anyone that wants to better themselves and have a brighter future ahead of them. The only thing holding you back is you!” — Mary Ashley Wood