We are so proud of graduate Jasmine Ruiz, who recently passed the NCLEX exam and has just been awarded a scholarship for the last two semesters at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston RN-BSN program where she is currently a senior. Jasmine was part of the first cohort of the Houston Methodist & Capital IDEA Employment Pipeline where she received mentorship, training, and observation at Houston Methodist in the Texas Medical Center in addition to the education she received at HCC Coleman. Houston Methodist, Capital IDEA Houston funder and partner, supports Black and Latina women training in allied health through its Social Equity Grant.
I’m so appreciative to Jasmine for taking the time to talk to me about her journey and how she made it through. Below is the condensed and edited version of our interview.
How did you hear about CIH?
The nursing advisor at HCC sent us a flyer about the program and an information session we could attend. I attended the meeting and then I got to know everybody like Melissa and Annica and I got along with them right off the bat. It was super informative, and a great presentation. I felt like I met the requirements and so I went through the process of applying. Now I refer my friends to the program!
What was it like when you first started going back to school?
During my prerequisites I was working full-time, and I was in school part-time, so it was taking me a lot longer. I have a 7-year-old, so it was very challenging having to work, go to school and find time to take care of my son. I had to really learn how to balance my time commitments. I was the first to go to college in my family and while I had their support, they didn't really understand the sacrifices that were needed.
I even went through a divorce because of my dedication to my education. I was spending so much time at school and working all the time and didn't really have time for that person. He wasn't very understanding; we were very young, so his priorities were different from mine, and we just kept clashing. I think it was the best decision I've ever made because after the divorce, my grades improved drastically.
With the support of Capital IDEA Houston, I was able to focus 100% on my schooling and got through the nursing program. They provided tuition, fees and everything else that was required. I'm grateful to have met such an incredible team and thankful to the donors as well. I hope I can one day give back to the community in the same way because it does make a difference.
What was the biggest support you received from the program?
I think the biggest support was the resources such as tutoring and peer-to-peer learning. They helped us connect with the students ahead of us. I got to speak to students that were in semesters 3 and 4. Those students gave me a lot of tips and resources that helped me pass my classes.
What would you say to someone who's thinking about going back to school?
I would just say go for it; life’s too short not to do it. Anything is possible if you have a good support system. Always surround yourself with people who are doers and stay away from negative people.
Like with me, I just did what I needed to do for my future and for my son and now, I'm a registered nurse. It's possible, you just have to get started and get away from all the bad stuff that doesn't serve you.
What motivated you to keep going?
I think what helped me was my son. Every time I had a moment where I felt exhausted or overwhelmed, I reminded myself that I have somebody that I am responsible for and must take care of.
Your surroundings make a big difference too. I would always work at the libraries, even coffee shops, any place where I felt like everybody was kind of on the same page doing the same work. That really helped to motivate me to sit there for long periods of times and just do my own work because everybody else was doing it too.
If you are ready to jump start your livelihood, join us at one of our upcoming virtual info sessions to find out how we’ve helped nearly a thousand students achieve self-sufficiency and get the training they needed with a sponsorship from Capital IDEA Houston: www.capitalideahouston.org/infosession