When Kirsten was young, the sight of blood was enough to make her feel faint. So as she grew up, the idea of a future job in medicine was the furthest thing from her mind. But an opportunity presented itself to make a little cash by helping a family friend with dementia with everyday tasks, such as eating, drinking, bathing, and taking medication. That’s when her mind began to change.
“Seeing how she responded to me and seemed to progress when I was there helping her really motivated me,” said Kirsten. “I loved taking care of her and realized that I could turn that passion into a career opportunity.”
Growing up, Kirsten had always heard good things about Howard Community College. Her older sister, Kelsey, graduated from HCC in 2015, and Kirsten saw firsthand that starting at a community college could save her a lot of money. As soon as she stepped foot onto campus, she knew she had made the right decision.
“Doors opened for me to get involved and try new things,” said Kirsten. “I ran cross country and played on the lacrosse team. I got to study abroad, with financial support from HCC and the Rouse Scholars Program. My teachers inspired me and made me realize that I can shape my future the way I want, tying together my goal to provide nursing care with my love for travel, writing, and photojournalism.”
In addition to her studies and extracurricular activities, Kirsten enjoys surfing and longboarding with her dad, baking and writing song lyrics. A few of her songs have even been recorded and produced!
Following graduation from HCC in May 2017, Kirsten plans to pursue a bachelor degree in nursing, following in the footsteps of her mother who is a nurse at Howard County General Hospital. She knows her experience as a student at HCC has prepared her well for that transition.“I have learned that the classes I take are about so much more than the grade that will appear on my transcript,” said Kirsten. “Learning here has been about creating experiences, and finding out what my true interests and passions are. It’s been fun and rewarding.”