‘It's been an incredible journey’
Warren, OH (May 10, 2022) - As a child, Deanne Parr dreamed of one day becoming a nurse. And while a teenage pregnancy influenced her decision to drop out of high school, this Friday night – 14 years later, and now a mother of two – her dream will come true.
Parr’s success results from a long journey. Eight years ago, she completed her GED and moved to Champion to take care of her mom, Lourie. She had started a nursing program after obtaining her GED, but she acknowledges that it was challenging while caring for her new baby, Corbyn.
"My mom lived nearby, so I drove by the Kent State Trumbull campus every day," Parr said. "By then, both kids were in school, so I took the leap and decided to apply."
Parr attended full-time and received Trumbull Campus Scholarships. However, to make ends meet, she also had to balance two jobs, waiting tables and working as an aid at Regional Hospital. She also made sure her children could participate in their favorite activities. Corbyn is now 14 and plays soccer. Her daughter, Abbie, is 9 and does competitive dance.
"My fiance, Coty, has been an amazing partner in my journey," she said. "He is so great. He took on extra hours at work so I could study, cut down to one job, and make sure the kids got to their practices and competitions."
The convenience of the regional campus and smaller class sizes also helped her succeed.
"I only live a few miles from school, which is a huge benefit," Parr said. "The smaller classes made it more comfortable, and the professors were always available to help me and provide encouragement. I made so many friendships that I'll treasure. We helped each other get through."
At 6 p.m., on Friday, May 13, Parr will take the stage at Packard Music Hall as the student speaker for Kent State Trumbull's 2022 Spring Commencement.
"It's hard to believe. It's been an incredible journey," Parr said. "I hope that anyone afraid to take the risk looks beyond the short-term obstacles and focuses on the end goal. I will finally be a nurse and give my kids a better life."
Parr has accepted a position working on the medical surgery floor at Trumbull Regional Medical Center. She plans to go back to school to earn a master's degree and eventually become a wound care nurse.
Congratulations to Deanne and the rest of the 2022 graduating class!