EUGENE, Ore.—Lane Community College student Ashley Bell wants nothing more than to become a public health nurse.
Ashley grew up in foster care in southern California, living in various homes and attending various high schools. Public health nurses “would come in and teach us just some basic health precautions teenagers need to know, that didn’t have parents to tell them,” she says.
Then she had a son who developed meconium aspiration at birth, a breathing problem resulting when meconium passes into the amniotic fluid during labor. The ICU nurses “were there with me, the whole time,” says Ashley. That’s when she knew she wanted to be a nurse.
Ashley obtained her GED and moved to Eugene to study at Lane. “I wanted to be taught by the best.” She enrolled winter term 2018 and soon won a Shining Star Scholarship from the Lane Community College Foundation.
This spring, the coronavirus pandemic thrust Ashley from the classroom into a virtual world. Suddenly, classes were delivered through technologies like Zoom. It was a fast-moving and stressful time but Ashely never broke stride. In fact, she created a video to share how she was getting along in a virtual and viral world, and to announce that she has been accepted into Lane’s nursing program this fall. She will complete an associate of applied science in nursing at Lane and then transfer to Oregon Health & Science University for a bachelor’s of nursing before joining the frontlines of public health.
Ashley credits the LCC Foundation and anatomy and physiology instructors Dr. Jeanne McLaughlin and Brian Nichols for their support. “They have never doubted my ability to become a great nurse,” she says.
Ashley has simple advice for others. “We are all in this together. Each one of us can make a difference.”
Hear Ashley’s stories in her own words in these videos:
For more information about Lane Community College:
Lane is an AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabilities Employer
Lane Community College educates over 25,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $850 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 13,000 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.