Oak Park, Ill. – Alesha Young feels like a lifelong student of Triton College, as a two-time graduate of the institution. The Oak Park resident received her first associate's degree in Hospitality for Hotel/Motel Management from Triton in 1995, complemented by a bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from Western Illinois University in 1995. But when the hotel industry faltered following 9/11, Young returned to Triton to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a nurse. During her studies, she received her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) credential and gained experience working at the Hines VA Hospital. Triton made achieving a bachelor's degree in nursing a smooth transition for Young with the college's University Center, which provides Triton College students with the opportunity to continue their higher education pursuits at five-highly regarded four-year universities without leaving the Triton campus. "When I decided to pursue nursing, I was aware of the partnership that Triton College shares with Benedictine University’s nursing program," Young said. "And I knew that partnership would be beneficial for me in that it provided me with an avenue following my associate's degree." She graduated with honors with her bachelor's degree from Benedictine University's nursing program in 2008 and her master's degree in 2011. She now works as a full-time Staff Nurse at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the Cardiology/Step-down unit and part-time at Loyola Medical Center as a Registry Nurse.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?My biggest challenge was juggling work, family and school life but my family has been very supportive throughout each step of my career. My ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner.
What have been some sources of inspiration both in your career and in your life?My 10-year-old son has been my biggest inspiration. He's my support and cheer person in obtaining all my goals.
What would you describe as your strong suit?I am very attentive to details and a good listener. Plus, I love technology and am an exceptionally caring person.
How has Triton College impacted your life?I feel at home at Triton. I'm fond of the school and what it has done for my life, with both hospitality as well as nursing.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?My advice to nursing students at Triton is to ask questions, take advantage of the help that is offered and have a strong support system of people who are understanding about missing family events, allow you to have quiet study time and will encourage you through the good and bad.
What are your words of wisdom for current Triton students?Triton has a lot to offer and can be very rewarding. In essence, it is what you make it to be. I received a scholarship at WIU that paid for my room and board because of my academic success at Triton. Some say "Triton is not a real college," to those people I say, "It is better than some universities, and it's affordable. Graduating from Triton, I knew more as a new grad on my nursing unit than my co-workers who came from four-year programs. Triton prepares you for your field of study."
What are your plans for the future?My plans are to head back to school in April to Olivet Nazarene for my Nurse Practitioner Certification.
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