Considerations of Ebony

Ebony standing with fellow 2018 QHS graduates
In 35 weeks Ebony will complete fourteen years in the buildings, hallways, and classrooms of Quitman School District, but now she stands outside the Career Tech’s Health Science II class with fellow 2017 – 2018 seniors. With more clinical rotations to attend and procedures to learn, the 2018 QHS Health Science graduates are already beginning to treasure all the last firsts of the year.

And seriously considering all the possibilities of life after high school graduation. For Ebony that means nursing school, and her entire face lights up when she is asked about the future.

“I’m so excited. I see myself helping people in the future. It started when I got into high school and figured out they had a health science program. I liked that it was hands on, and I could help people. If I don’t like being a travel nurse, I can go into something else. There are so many different types of nursing.”

Ebony demonstrating blood pressure monitoring in Health Sicence II class.

Ebony has already overcome the obstacle of choosing a career. Now she is tasked in excelling in all of her classes, completing clinicals, and continuing her active HOSA membership. She will sit down with her mom and dad and complete all the questions on the FAFSA. She will apply for college and scholarships. She’ll go to pep rallies, parades, and cheer at Panther athletic events.

She will also play many games with her family.

Ebony, her mom and dad, her little sister and her big sister, all pose for a family photo.

“I like to spend time with my family. We have cookouts at the house or we go somewhere together. We play games like UNO, Monopoly, and headbands.”

When asked about the headbands game, Ebony laughs,

“You put on a headband. Then you put a card in it saying what you are, and you have to guess it by asking questions. It’s fun.”

Ebony stands in the hallway of the Clarke County Career Tech Center

When Ebony is deciding where to go to college she first has to decide if she wants to stay at home and commute, live in a dorm, or get an apartment. A family and a home she loves will definitely have an impact on her decision, but Ebony looks confident that the future will be as bright as her past has been.

“I am thinking about Antonelli College in Hattiesburg. They have one in Hattiesburg and one in Jackson. It caught my eye, because my cousin graduated from there. It’s a small college, but I don’t know if they have any dorms.”

Antonelli College‘s yearly tuition of $31,960 does not include housing or consider a deduction by scholarships and/or grant money, but it does boast smaller class size and more personalized attention. Ebony could still live at home and commute, but transportation and time are also financial considerations. While completing her senior year’s coursework she will be considering other options such as Meridian Community College and Jones County Junior College, both of which include dorm life and the potential of a shorter commute for at least $25,000 less in yearly costs, again without scholarship or grant deductions.

Also, Ebony has to consider the TYPE of nursing degree that will best fit her plans for the future. Average career salary and the required amount of time to obtain a degree are huge deciding factors in the return she receives on her investment.

Though the QHS senior has a lot to consider and do this year, she does not mind pausing to share some wisdom. She is quick to say,

“There is a lot you can tell a child. If you have a dream, always follow it. My family has always helped me. They keep my mind focused. They help me keep my head up. They give me encouraging words. People you hang around, choose them wisely. People can really influence you.”