Crystabel Banda’s path to the Kellogg Community College Nursing Program has been a long one.
Banda, 26, grew up with extended family in Zimbabwe, Africa, before joining her parents in South Bend, Indiana, after high school. Family tragedies – relatives in Zimbabwe who died in ways that Banda feels may have been preventable, hospital staff in Indianapolis who comforted her family when other family members died in a car accident – motivated her to become a nurse to help people. Banda completed most of her prerequisites at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana before coming to Battle Creek, where she started the Nursing Program this fall.
After graduating from the Nursing Program, Banda hopes to continue on to get a bachelor’s degree, with the ultimate goal of becoming a psychiatrist.
“I feel like back home right now the economy is not really stable, and a lot of people go through this phase where they have so much going on they don’t know what to do, they don’t know how to express their feelings,” Banda says. “Mental illness is a stigma, but I feel like with educating people and talking about it and encouraging people to talk about depression, anxiety and all those feelings can be a really good thing.”
Today Banda commutes weekends to work as a CNA in South Bend, continuing to help others while spending her weekdays studying so she can do the same someday as a nurse, and later as a psychiatrist.
“I know that it’s something that you work hard for and it’s going to be worth it at the end of the day,” Banda says. “It’s worth it because we’re dealing with people’s lives.”
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