Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Starr County Mom Making Nursing Dreams a Reality

Starr County native Crystal Mireles says she knows she is not alone; that there are many more college students just like her. But to talk to her is to know that is simply not true. Her drive and determination to make a better life for herself and her six-year-old son make her truly unique.

“I am a full time student, a single parent and I substitute teach to make money for us to live, and it’s really hard sometimes to manage it all,” she said. “I have help, but I have had to figure a lot out on my own. I am just one of many students in the same position that want to get ahead in life, but I am absolutely determined to make our lives better and the way to do that is education.”

Earning her high school diploma in 2004, Mireles decided to go back to school in 2006 and registered at South Texas College. She had to leave school for two years to earn money for school, but was able to return in 2008.

“I earned my associate’s in psychology in 2011, but after some soul searching, I decided that what I really want to do is become a nurse,” Mireles explained. “Right now I am still working to apply to the college’s Associate Degree Nursing Program for the spring 2012 semester.”
Part of that preparation is fulfilling the prerequisites and taking STC’s Introduction to Nursing class, which is being offered for the first time in fall 2011 at the college’s Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City.

“I am looking forward to taking that class here and seeing how the college develops its nursing program in Starr County,” she said. “I know STC is looking at expanding its offerings for its ADN Program here and that will be a big benefit to students like me.”

STC hopes to offer additional ADN Program courses through distance learning and video conference at the Starr County Campus in fall 2012. In the mean time, Mireles is charting her path to her ultimate goal.

“Once I become a nurse, my education will continue and I am going to earn my bachelor’s and master’s in the same field,” Mireles said. “My younger sister is right behind me in school and also plans to become a nurse. We dream of working in the same practice in Starr County one day and maybe opening our own business. I also really want to work with children in a family practice setting. As a parent, I believe that our county can use more skilled healthcare professionals to add to the quantity and quality of care available here.

“But until the day comes that I am living my dream, I am going to continue working hard to reach all my milestones,” she concluded. “Learning is a lifelong process and it’s not easy, but whenever I get discouraged, I think of my grandmother, Elivia Olivares, and it keeps me going. She started working when she was 12 years old and always worked so hard. She encouraged me to get educated to change my life. She is my inspiration and I look forward to continue making her proud.”

And what does she says to other students who are walking the path of the single parent, college student and part-time worker?

“The best part about being in college as a single mom is that with every class I take my son learns with me, making studying a family affair and our time together much more interesting,” she concluded. “He is very proud and already says he will go to college one day. I am ensuring his future will be brighter by showing him the way and that is very fulfilling as a mother. Just remember that anything is possible if you have the motivation and determination. We all make different choices and encounter obstacles along the way. It’s about how you choose to deal with them that makes all the difference.”

For additional information about STC’s Associate Degree Nursing Program call 956-872-3100.

Photo caption:
STC Starr County alum Crystal Mireles is preparing to apply to the college’s Associate Degree Nursing Program by taking a new class at the college’s Starr County Campus this fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment