Even with juggling kids and work, Camille C. made it work. She works at the VA clinic in primary care as a primary care nurse. Camille worked in food services for over 20 years, and when the recession hit in 2008, she decided to go back to school to become a nurse. Camille has an associate degree in allied health management, which she obtained from Delaware County Community College. She moved back to Philadelphia in 2010 to live with her mother so she could attend nursing school—something that was always wanted to do and accomplish by becoming a nurse. Not just for herself, but for her children as well.

Camille used her associate degree to run a dietary department in a long-term care community in Bryn Mawr, PA for over 10 years. It was through this that she gained insight into running a department and gained the background in management. Camille always wanted a bachelor’s degree and strived to finish it this past year through JEVS EduConnect, a program that provides success coaches to guide individuals toward degrees with our partner universities.

Camille’s niece, Karen Clarke, one of the EduConnect coaches, referred her to JEVS and helped her return to school. Karen supported Camille and motivated her to finish her work. “With a little push that Karen gave me, I was motivated to accomplish my degree work,” she said.

“There were times where I wasn’t giving up, but there was a time when I needed that boost. She gave that to me and gave me pointers that there was somethings I didn’t understand.”

“I also did it for my children, because I want my them to see that it’s not too late. It’s never too late to learn and improve yourself.”

Camille appreciated her niece’s guidance and different perspectives with her projects; she used Karen’s insight to ultimately finish her degree. Camille also gained the ability to assist other students in the JEVS EduConnect program as well. When Camille would meet Karen in the office in Philadelphia, she enjoyed meeting with Karen and the academic environment JEVS provided with other peers. Camille would help her peers.

Soon after January of 2020, Camille had to transfer to Delaware from Georgia and work from home. This became convenient because she had more time to get her projects done. It was through the pandemic that Camille could sit down and commit to completing these projects. She kept her dream at the forefront of the challenges brought by COVID. She wanted to get that bachelor’s!

Indeed, she did! Camille finished her B.A. in May this year along with her son, who graduated from high school. Both resiliently pushed through during a pandemic and will continue with their schooling, while working. Despite how difficult it was to stay motivated, Camille preserved through school for herself and her family.

Camille’s self-actualization and determination are driving forces that will continue to move her forward and her life-long motivating quote she always uses to inspire herself is- “Always an asset, never a liability”.  Camille plans to return to school in September this year, building on her recent B.A. degree to pursue her B.S. in nursing.

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