Jamie Novick is a determined woman. Whether it be in school, work or her personal life, she hasn’t let setbacks keep her down. And she’s had her share.

Jamie is in her third year pursuing a nursing degree. For years, she worked in the retail industry, holding management positions. Although she was good at her job, she hated it. In 2012, she went through a divorce while raising three kids and was left with little else. What she did have was a hard-working ethos and strength.

Jamie dropped out of high school but eventually earned her GED. Over the years, she attempted to go back to school for a degree, but life got in the way. Jamie had always thought about pursuing a career in nursing, but her own health issues were a concern. Nevertheless, her passion won out, and she started the Nursing Program at Moraine Valley.

Last spring, Jamie contracted COVID-19 and spent 10 days in the hospital on oxygen. Her dad and two of her children also were sick. She had to take two course incompletes because she was ill during finals. However, she completed her classes in the summer and continues to pursue her dreams.

“It’s been a wild ride for sure. I’ve been through so very much in my life, but my biggest obstacle to date has been surviving COVID-19. Being sick with COVID-19, watching my family get sick and taking care of them has surpassed my expectations of what I could survive,” she said.

Throughout her college career, Jamie used every resource she could find on campus from Academic Advising and Financial Aid to TRIO and the Speaking and Writing Center. She also worked as a student aide in the Education Center at Blue Island. Her ultimate goal is to be a floor nurse while earning a bachelor’s degree, but eventually she wants to give back and teach. She is grateful for all the family and Moraine Valley employees who have helped her along the way and hopes to inspire others.

“I’ve always been driven. My kids are everything, and I want to show them it’s never too late to do whatever you want to do. There are resources; you just need to seek them out. There are wrenches, but you pull yourself back up and keep going,” she said.