Choosing Hope Over Hardships
“My scholarship meant the difference between finishing my program and dropping out. There’s no way to explain how much I appreciated that opportunity.”
Recipient of the James and Nancy Goode Nursing Scholarship and the Caddy Nursing Scholarship
Often it’s the hardest moments in life that determine who we become. For nursing graduate Tiffanie Correia, that couldn’t be more true.
When she was just 10, her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was this diagnosis, says Tiffanie, that led her to become a nurse. She and her little sister spent a lot of time in hospitals and clinics with nurses who not only took care of their mother, but played with and consoled the young girls.
Tiffanie’s family struggled financially during this time, and even experienced homelessness. Now, working as a registered nurse coordinator for East Linn County Health, Tiffanie often treats people who are overcoming hardships and barriers of their own – something she relates to with compassion and empathy.
Tiffanie’s road to becoming a nurse was difficult. Taking pre-nursing classes at LBCC, it took her two tries to get accepted into the program. But that was not the hardest part.
Tiffanie dove into her classes, studying hard and doing well. Then, at the beginning of her second year, another hardship struck when Tiffanie and her husband suddenly found themselves parenting their young niece and nephew, then ages three and one.
“My sister had made some poor choices, and one evening she dropped her children off at our house and didn’t come back,” said Tiffanie. “Those bad choices included drug use, and after a legal battle, we were granted custody and the children moved in.”
Life became very tough, very fast. Tiffanie’s work hours and income decreased, and the extra responsibilities took a toll on her studies. She wasn’t sure if she could continue her nursing program. Going to college had suddenly become a huge hardship.
“We really struggled to pay the bills and to keep our life together,” she said. “My instructors knew what was happening, and encouraged me to apply for scholarships through the LBCC Foundation so I could stay in the nursing program.”
Tiffanie was awarded the James and Nancy Goode Nursing scholarship, and the Caddy Nursing scholarship – providing much-needed support so she could stop worrying so much about finances and get back to her education.
“Having time to focus on my school work was invaluable,” says Tiffanie. “It meant the difference between finishing my program or dropping out. There’s no way to explain how much I appreciated that opportunity.”
Tiffanie received her associate’s degree in nursing in 2016, and has since earned her bachelor’s degree as well.
“Receiving the Foundation scholarships was like an affirmation that you’re good enough, and that other people believe in you. It’s such a great feeling to know that someone who has never met you believes in you so much, and that they are willing to give so you can succeed.”