Denise Berry says she’s a very nurturing person, so it made sense to her to choose nursing as a profession.

“I think it’s so important for nurses to have compassion and empathy and to understand we are all human beings no matter what our creed or color is. We are here to help one another,” she said.

With an emphasis on psychology, Denise wants to work in a hospital with patients who may need additional care. “We have a lot of mentally ill people. I’m taking classes so I can help understand what I can offer to a patient, determine what his behavior is and help him as best I can with any additional psychological needs,” she said. She spends time now as a caregiver for two family members—one with Down syndrome and one with autism.

As a mom of three grown sons, Denise decided it’s now her time to go to school even though she was a little apprehensive because she’s older.

“I’ve seen a number of older people in class, so I don’t feel alienated. I think I fit right in,” she said.

She’s worked hard and earned a spot on the college’s honor roll and in the Phi Theta Kappa honors organization, crediting the tutoring staff with getting her mentally prepared.

“I couldn’t have made these grades without them. They are wonderful. Everyone at Moraine Valley has been wonderful.”