(Franklin, VA) — Nothing, not even childbirth, could hinder Kendra Scott’s progress of paving a better road for her family.
The May 2020 honor graduate of the registered nursing program at Paul D. Camp Community College had her third child during her studies and returned to class the very next day after being released from the hospital.
“She was motivated to improve her and her family’s life, no matter what life threw at her,” said instructor Trudy Kuehn, known affectionately as Mrs. K by her students. “When she had her baby late in the third semester of her coursework, she was right back in classroom and clinical settings without missing a beat.”
Scott, a first generation student, noted she was scared and frustrated at the time. “I knew that I had to keep pushing toward my goal for a better life for my children,” she said.
She was serving as a full-time CNA, full-time mom to two children, and working in home healthcare when she realized there had to be a better way to make ends meet and still spend more time with her family.
She began researching the college online. “I was impressed with the information about the nursing program,” she recalled. “I put in applications for both the LPN and the RN programs, and by the grace of God, I was accepted into the RN program.”
Prior to this time, Scott thought it was impossible to fit college into her work and family schedules.
“I always wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl,” she said. “I was holding myself back because I didn’t believe I could do it with two kids and a small support system.”
Scott was going in to work an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift and attending classes afterward in the morning. Her kids, then 17 and 8, were in school during the day. After a couple of hours sleep following classes, she’d prepare dinner, pick them up from school and help them with their homework.
After her third child was born, her oldest helped her with the newborn, enabling Scott to study.
“I created a spot in my closet, so I could be alone to focus on studying and finishing the program with a bang,” she said.
The pandemic also added to the challenges, but brought the family even closer.
“My kids and I came together as one and made it work,” she said. “I got through every day by praying and by the love and support from my kids.” Scott was also very appreciative of her instructors, who she said believed in her and helped push her through the program successfully. “Especially Mrs. K for being my inspiration,” she added. “She and I had many mother-to-daughter conversations. She helped me believe in myself even more and I will be forever grateful to her.”
At Camp, Scott served as 2020 Registered Nursing Class President and member of the National Student Nurses’ Association. She was a member of the Omega Zeta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In addition, she was honored with the Dr. Candace Rogers Excellence in Leadership Award during a virtual pinning ceremony held to celebrate the students’ completion of the program.
The 33-year-old recently began her registered nursing duties at Bon Secours Southampton Memorial Hospital and later plans to further her education, possibly working toward her master’s degree in nursing. “I also would like to start a business helping young people get started in their nursing career as certified nursing assistant or patient care assistant, and provide them with resources if they choose to further their education, she said.”
Scott once told Kuehn that she had no choice but to succeed. Kuehn said, “She is truly an inspiration to young single parents everywhere and a testament to what hard work, dedication and a drive for improvement can accomplish. I am certain she will make amazing contributions to the profession of nursing.”
The new RN wanted to leave readers with the following words from self-development author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy: “Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.”
These are the words by which she lives.