For Latisha Agnew, returning to school to obtain her practical nursing diploma at Forsyth Tech was an investment in money, time and her future.
With two of her three children still living at home, the single mom decided now was the time to go restart her education. “My daughter, 16, and my son, 13, were old enough for me to attend evening classes,” she says.
Beginning in July 2015, Latisha reduced her work hours at the Hospice of Iredell County from five days a week to four. The lower salary, plus the costs of attending Forsyth Tech and commuting from Statesville to the Stokes County campus, put a strain on the family budget.
But Latisha found that Forsyth Tech offers students generous financial assistance. “I was fortunate to qualify for three scholarships,” she explains. The Thomas E. Shown Scholarship in practical nursing paid for her tuition and books for an entire semester.
Hours spent on the road and in class took time away from her kids. Three nights a week she drove over an hour each way to the Stokes County campus.
“I was surprised my kids missed me so much,” Latisha recalls. “Our family became closer when we didn’t see each other as often. When I was home studying, I would go to their rooms and they were studying, too, and their grades improved. I didn’t realize they would see me as a role model,” she says.
Having earned her practical nursing diploma in July, she now intends to continue her education with Forsyth Tech’s LPN-ADN transition program to become a registered nurse while she works with elderly patients as an LPN.
Despite the difficulties, Latisha is full of encouragement for anyone hesitant about returning to school. “If you put your mind and your heart to it, good things come your way,” she says. “The people you expect to support you may not be there for you, but God will send others to give you support. You just have to be patient and take a leap of faith.”