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Christy Barham, '19
We are shining a spotlight on Christy because she has demonstrated that a college degree is attainable after gaining years of experience in the workforce.
Background: She came from a family with six children. Both of her parents and four of her siblings dropped out of high school, so it was a great accomplishment that she graduated from high school. Education was never a priority in her family, so when she graduated from high school she was told by her parents that college was only for the wealthy and that she would not be able to go. She always knew that she had a higher calling than just graduating high school and finding a minimum waged job. She loved people and wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of others. She took a job at a nursing home and received her certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistant when they offered the class free of charge in 1992. She worked for eleven years caring for the elderly and helping them complete their activities of daily living, but longed to do more. After both of her sons were born, she realized that working for minimum wage was not going to allow her to care for them in the way she wanted to, so with the encouragement from administration at the nursing home where she worked she checked into attending college and how she could receive the financial aid to attend. In 2000 she registered at Trinity Valley Community College to attend the Vocational Nursing Program and after being accepted, graduated in 2001. She then began working for many years as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. She realized that there was so much more she wanted to learn to become a better nurse for her patients.
“It would be an understatement to say that I never expected my journey here at Navarro to be so incredible. At the age of forty-five, I was scared to death to come back to college after being out of school for so many years, but I had a goal to better myself so that I could receive my Bachelor’s degree in nursing. I wanted to return to my community here in Navarro county upon completion of my degree to make a positive difference in this community that I have grown to love so much.
I am so excited with what the future holds for my life, and I am here to tell anyone that will listen it is never to late to achieve academic excellence in your life and to make a difference in the life of yourself, your family and your community. I pray that my story will encourage others to reach for the stars and I guarantee with hard work, commitment, and determination nothing will impossible for you to achieve. I want to thank all of the professors and staff at Navarro College for your encouragement and support on this journey. I would not be here today without you. Navarro College has changed my life in the most positive way that I ever could have imagined. I would not have achieved the many successes that I have experienced in the past two years if it were not for the amazing professors and staff at Navarro College. I will forever be a Navarro College Bulldog at heart!”
- Navarro College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Society Officer
- Phi Theta Kappa’s Texas Hall of Honor
- 2019 Navarro College Top Dog
- The Margaret L. Pannill Award for Outstanding Achievement in Zeta Omnicron
- Graduate Caston Scholarship Recipient
Future plans: Attending Tarleton State University in the fall for Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program
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