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May 27, 2024 8:23 am

UMO nursing student has inspiring journey

University of Mount Olive nursing student Marissa Parks has an inspiring story of perseverance and dedication.

MOUNT OLIVE — Marissa Parks is a remarkable woman with an inspiring story of perseverance and determination.

She grew up in Goldsboro as a child of an imperfect family. Her biological father was an alcoholic who mistreated her mother often, and they moved several times before settling down. However, Parks’ mother was determined to provide her family with a better life. She went back to school to become a nurse, which was an inspiration for Parks as well.

Parks’ academic journey was not without challenges. She dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. However, she soon earned her GED and worked part-time at a retail store while completing her prerequisites for nursing school. Her love of helping others led her to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. This allowed her entry into the healthcare field where she worked in home health assisting patients with their daily needs.

At 19, Parks gave birth to her firstborn, Ely. Six months later, she enrolled in online classes. It was a balancing act juggling her studies, part-time work and family responsibilities. Despite separating from Ely’s father, with the support of her family and her unrelenting spirit, Parks continued her studies and became a licensed practical nurse in 2021.

Parks’ hard work and dedication have paid off and her future looks bright. In April of 2022, she married the man of her dreams, a loving and supportive husband, who shares her values and goals. She is working as a nursing professional at O’Berry Neuromedical Treatment Center, and she is on track to graduate from the University of Mount Olive in May 2024. Parks’ future career goals include becoming a psych nurse, and later returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.

“UMO is transforming my life by providing me with more education, nursing knowledge and critical thinking skills,” Parks said. “This will prepare me to meet current and future challenges in the field of nursing.”

When asked if she had any advice to other adults considering continuing their education, her answer was simple, “Do it!”

She encourages anyone thinking about going back to school to chase their dreams like she did. Parks’ inspiring story of perseverance and determination serves as a shining example of what one can achieve with hard work and dedication.

— From University of Mount Olive Public Relations, by student intern Grayson Morgan