The average 14-year-old is thinking about their freshman year of high school, what it will be like, and if they will make any friends. The essential items on their to-do list are getting more followers on Instagram and how they can make a Tik Tok that will go viral. However, De-Shaunah Dixon was on a different path. At the age of 14, she was a freshman in college and on her way to earning two bachelor’s degrees, one in nursing and the other in sociology. Her passion for serving her community and being a helping hand in the lives of others is what lead her to pursue nursing. She is currently in a BSN to DNP program to become a Psychiatric Mental Health nurse practitioner. According to De-Shaunah, “I grew up poor, and furthering my education seemed like a dream. I worked hard and got into an academic program that allowed me to pursue college at a young age.” However, this triumphant feat did not come without hardships.
Not only did De-Shaunah have to take two buses and a train to get to school, but she also faced discrimination. While in nursing school, she suffered a tragic loss: her older brother, who was her best friend and mentor, died in a motorcycle accident when a car struck him. Her mother, a single mom from Trinidad & Tobago, spent her last to pay for his funeral. Losing her brother and seeing her mother struggle lit a fire in De-Shaunah. From that day forward, she would do anything in her power to make her older brother proud and take care of her mother and younger brother. She states, “My older brother believed in me when we had absolutely Nothing. He told me I would be great when I doubted myself.” De-Shaunah took her older brother’s words and her passion for helping others and made her dreams come true, with no signs of stopping!
At the age of 21, De-Shaunah is working as a nurse on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is helping patients and saving lives, all while getting paid over $100 an hour at a hospital that rejected her application as a new nurse grad! Even if she weren’t a nurse, she would still be pursuing her hopes of helping others through their struggles; De-Shaunah’s original career goal was to get her bachelor’s in Sociology and join the Peace Corps. She would complete missions around the globe to help tackle hardships. However, when she isn’t in her nursing uniform and saving others, she likes to read poetry and create YouTube videos for her lifestyle and natural hair car YouTube channel, NurseDe Tv. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing School Honors Society, a Bank of America Student Leader Alumni. She has completed over 600 volunteer hours for non-profit organizations in her South Florida community. Aside from becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practioner, De-Shaunah hopes to hold motivational seminars and networking events. She is even considering publishing books and developing hair products! Is there anything that she can’t do?
None of what De-Shaunah accomplished would be possible without the encouraging words from her older brother and the faith that she had in herself. She dreamt big and believed in herself, and has the same advice for young people: She says, “Nothing in life is impossible! Dream big and know that you deserve everything you wish for.” With faith and determination, De-Shaunah was able to accomplish her dreams, despite being met with numerous hardships. To keep up with De-Shaunah’s journey, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel, NurseDe TV.
By: Lauren McKeithen
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