Left: Tiffany Young  |  Right: Bali Leffall

Every college degree comes with it’s own challenges, but many would say nursing school is an entirely different beast. The sleepless nights, constant studying and clinicals and immense pressure are all byproducts of the degree nursing students must juggle with grace. Stepping into this field is learning an entirely different language. To know a nursing student during this process is to respect them.

In recent years, nurses have been more vital than ever. It was March of last year when one of GRACE’s very own Transitional Housing clients, Tiffany Young, reached out to the housing managers and expressed her desire to become one herself. We jumped at the opportunity to support her dream, and the process ended up being more fruitful than any of us imagined.

The idea of being a nurse was by no means new or spontaneous to Tiffany. “Taking care of God’s people” had been her passion since she was a young girl, and life’s obstacles could not deter her. After graduating from college 15 years ago, she had been running a daycare and focusing on her five kids. When she found herself back in Texas two years ago, she decided to take her dream off of the back burner and get her certification. Despite the overwhelming nature of the process, Tiffany began teaching herself the material all over again.

When she came to GRACE, Tiffany had studied and taken the exam three times, and she knew she needed a different approach. Flipping through all your flashcards or completing your practice tests on Quizlet does not compare to stepping into a timed exam with real repercussions- that’s something we have all discovered at some point. Tiffany confided in our Transitional Housing managers, who immediately connected her to our Clinic Manager, Shirley Roberts, as well as our Operations Manager’s girlfriend and recent nursing school graduate, Bali Leffall. Together, combining their knowledge and Bali’s university resources, they got to work.

Bali and Tiffany studied tirelessly together both in person and over video chat, quizzing one another until the information stuck. Tiffany noted that simply having this kind of support and accountability made a world of difference. Clearly, she was right, because she is now officially a certified nurse!

Bali Leffall gushed that she “had a fantastic experience studying with and getting to know Tiffany! She was such an inspiration and a great study partner, too. Even though she graduated years ago, she didn’t miss a beat! We were both able to learn from each other! I just want Tiffany to know that I am so proud of her and happy to have gotten to know her. I’m so proud to say that we are now friends AND colleagues!”

When asked what kept her motivated, she answered without hesitation. Her five children were always at the forefront of her mind, and becoming a licensed RN meant she would be able to financially support them. More than one dream came true for Tiffany on that day. From here, she hopes to become an ER or Psych nurse so she can continue to care for God’s people.

We are so proud of the time and effort you dedicated to accomplishing this, and we feel so lucky to have been able to support you along the way. We know you will do great things and make an impact on so many people. Congratulations!