My SEA Journey: Preparing for a Career in Nursing at Shoreline Community College

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I am from The Gambia, the smallest country in Africa.  I lived there with my mother, four brothers and a sister.  I went to schools called Serakunda and Ndows, but I did not graduate high school.  I had to stop schooling because there was not enough money for my education.  Also, I had to help out at home with my brothers and sister because my mother is a single parent and I am the oldest.

A man who knew me offered to help me come to the U.S.  He said I was a “very respectful person” and he believed I could make a difference if I got an education.   Coming to America was a blessing but it was really hard too.  My family is very close and it was hard leaving and not being able to talk to them.  I arrived in the U.S. in April, 2011, and was all alone.  I met a girl in Seattle who let me stay with her at her school for six months.

I started GED classes at Shoreline Community College and that is where I heard about Seattle Education Access.  There I met Polly, my advocate, who is a beautiful person and has a good heart.  She told me what they could do to help me with my education.  She helped me get a tutor for my classes, and SEA paid for my GED tests.  I was amazed because I never dreamed I would have the chance or the funds to continue school.  I started to think of becoming a nurse because I love helping people.  Also, my country is a developing country and I could see the difference good health care makes in this country.  SEA helped me get financial aid for my Nursing Assistant program.   My nursing program was the best experience of my life!  It taught me a lot ― not only in class, but also working with elderly people in the nursing home.  I learned to appreciate life and all I have as it may not always be there.

When I finish my nursing prerequisites, I want to apply to a university to get my BSN.  I hope someday to work with children.  Many people have helped me.  I want to thank my mother for being a superwoman.  I love her for all she did for us.  I am grateful to my friend Kate for all her help and to my SEA tutors: Susan for math and Kristin for nursing skills ― and everyone else who helped me with one thing or another.  I am grateful and I know SEA will be there to help with my nursing degree.

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