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Fatma Aweys' Story

“I was born in Kenya, but my parents are from Somalia. My immigration process went more quickly than theirs, so I moved to the States by myself with two pieces of luggage. I arrived in Portland, Maine in July of 2016, and started working for United Airlines as a gate agent.

I moved to Minnesota and enrolled at Normandale in 2018. My dream as a little kid was to become a surgeon, but it felt like a lot of school for how old I am – so I decided to start with nursing. Last year I was accepted into the nursing program, and I’ll graduate in May. Getting the acceptance letter was one of the best moments of my life: I was like ‘YES! This is where my journey starts!’ I always tell myself that the journey is never-ending, but if I put in the work, I’ll get there. I have the passion for it: I love going to classes, going to clinicals, talking to the amazing teachers who are always available when you have a question.

I feel very prepared to enter the field. When I started, I knew nothing, and just two semesters in I’m feeling like a pro! I know it’s not going to be easy, but I believe you have to be out of your comfort zone to achieve what you want.

I’m married and have two little kids: a four-year-old and a two-year-old. I try to balance my family life and school, and it’s not easy. There are some nights when I’m up all night with my kid, but I can’t miss school the next day, so I just get my coffee and my energy drinks and go. At the end of the day, I was there for my kid and I built my career. Sometimes it feels like a lot, but my husband is so supportive and is always telling me that I got this.

To students considering the nursing program, I would say put the work in and then apply – that’s the first move. You have to make sacrifices if you want to reach your goal, but then you can look back and say: ‘Wow, look at where I came from. I made it.’” – Fatma Aweys, Normandale Nursing Student. After Normandale, Fatma plans on getting her bachelor’s and master’s degree and potentially becoming a CRNA.

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