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In Her Own Words: Jazmiera's Student Advocacy Day Speech

Jazmiera virtually delivers speech

On Tuesday, February 15, 2022 hundreds of community college students from across Maryland virtually gathered to meet with state legislators and share their experiences as community college students. These students shared key messages about community college values by sharing their personal stories and reminded legislators of the importance of affordable, accessible higher education. Jazmiera was selected to represent HCC and deliver a speech during the kick off event. Here is her speech, in her own words:

On April 12th of 2020, I sat at the bedside of my two year old little boy waiting for the doctors and nurses to let me know when his heart had completely stopped. For almost twenty four hours I sat and observed the atmosphere in that room, until finally seeing the flat line appear on the monitor. It all started the moment when my son was transported from the emergency room to the intensive care unit at the number one children’s hospital in the state of New Jersey. I watched as the nurses, CNAs, EMTs, and doctors all worked so hard to save my little boy’s life.

Although everyone besides me had already known that my son was lifeless, every individual that came in contact with my son treated him as if he still had life within his body. As my motherly instincts began to kick in, I finally realized that I wasn’t taking my baby boy home with me. 24 hours had gone by and all I could think about was how one day very soon, I would be those nurses and doctors that did all that they could to try and save my son’s life. This was a fire that had been set in me, that I haven’t let burn out since. In remembrance of my child, I  am determined to save another child’s life someday by pursuing the positions of a nurse and then a doctor.

Fast forward to November 29th of 2021 and you will find my name listed as a Certified Nursing Assistant under the Maryland’s Board of Nursing website. Howard Community College had planned to host a CNA program in the Fall of 2021. Although I had missed the deadline, I reached out to make sure that someone would help me with enrolling next semester. Instantly, I was informed that an accelerated program had opened up and I was invited to take a seat in the class if I would like to.

Although the invitation was extended, there was one thing holding me back. I looked at the requirements and I had them all except the $1,535 necessary to hold my spot. I was devastated and realized that here I was again, wanting to make a difference in the world but being held back by the lack of financial stability to be able to do so. What I didn’t do was give up and I reached as far as I needed to and fought until I was offered a scholarship that covered $1,200 of my courses cost.

Howard Community College may have seen their scholarship as just another one but, for me this was the start of my dreams coming true in honor of my baby boy. Getting into nursing school is a dream of mine but, financially I get discouraged very often. When discouragement grasps a hold of me, I tend to fight back but I can’t do it on my own. Now, I’ve landed a job as a PCA at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital because I dream of getting into the UMSON program and I can receive financial assistance by being employed there, but this still won’t be enough. As you see I am determined to do whatever it takes to live out my son’s legacy but financially; I cannot do this on my own and I am sure that I am just one of many living during this time of a pandemic and a serious increase in tuition rates.

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