On December 12, Terra State celebrated its graduating nursing class with a time-honored pinning ceremony. This emotional welcoming of our recent graduates into the nursing profession is special to both the participants and the College. While many colleges have done away with this tradition, we feel it is a meaningful way to honor our students’ hard work and perseverance. It is truly a moment worth celebrating!
This semester, there were 22 students who participated in the pinning ceremony. I had the honor of sharing in this event and was touched by the pride and support the families and friends of the students showed. From reading the Nightingale Pledge to the actual act of being pinned, this is a personal and moving tribute that many felt was the highlight of their year. The graduating class chose Kelli Williamson, MSN, RN, a member of the nursing faculty at Terra State, to be the keynote speaker and her words of wisdom and hope were both touching and inspiring.
I would like to share Kari George’s story with you and hope that you will pass this along to anyone that needs a helping hand in finding their life passion. Kari, born and raised in Kansas City, MO, now resides in Port Clinton. After high school, she earned an Associate of Fine Arts and worked in the airline business, married her husband Robert, and then started a family. Kari prided herself on being a stay-at-home mother to her two boys, Braeden and Gavin, for seven years.
Once the boys went to school, she started searching for a way to help others in her newly found free time. Through the help of her local church, Kari realized she was being called into the nursing profession with the goal of helping others in countries less fortunate than ours. This led to her comparing schools and eventually choosing Terra State to complete her education because “I was happy that I only needed seven courses to be eligible for their nursing program and I was impressed that Terra’s program was also an accredited program.”
Kari not only dedicated herself to her studies, she was active in the Terra State Student Nurse Association, most recently serving as its secretary. She let me know that she will definitely miss all the people she spent the past 4-5 years with including her nursing classmates, instructors, and the food service staff at Terra. When asked what piece of advice she has for future nursing students, Kari said, “Do the very best that you and only you can do, then get over the rest.”
Her future plans include working to gain experience while continuing her education in hopes of earning her bachelor’s degree. She is also pursuing licensure and other required experiences to work with Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Boarders) which will allow her to nurse in underdeveloped countries. I have no doubt Kari will achieve all of her goals!
Stories like this make me proud to be part of Terra State and the work we do to help people discover and realize their goals. This holiday season, look for the positive and reach for the stars. May you find your passion and make a difference in the world we all share!
All photos are credited to Shonna Cook, photographer. Thank you Shonna for allowing their usage. To see more about Shonna and her work, click here.