At Ivy Tech Community College, every student has a story, but few are as inspiring as that of Christina Jones. Christina, a recent graduate in Nursing, has faced more than her fair share of adversity on her path to becoming a nurse. Her journey has been marked by personal loss and health challenges that would deter many, but Christina’s spirit and determination only grew stronger.

In January 2023, Christina's world was shaken by the loss of her father. The impact was profound, causing her to withdraw from the semester to grieve. However, her resolve to fulfill a promise made to her father—to become a nurse—propelled her to return to her studies. Just as she was nearing the completion of her degree, Christina faced another devastating blow: a cancer diagnosis. Throughout her treatment, including six rounds of chemotherapy, Christina continued to pursue her education, supported by a network of Ivy Tech faculty and staff who went above and beyond to accommodate her needs.

The Dean of the School of Nursing, together with key faculty members, worked closely with Christina to ensure that her academic and clinical experiences were adapted to her changing health situation. They facilitated flexible scheduling and provided additional resources to help her manage both her coursework and her health. One resource her faculty connected her with was our Disability Support Services. Christina was able to meet with our Director of Mental Health and Disability Support Services to discuss her individual needs and determine what accommodations were appropriate for her.

Christina managed to complete her clinicals with adjustments that maintained their rigor but considered her health, demonstrating her unyielding commitment to her future profession. Her resilience culminated in passing her nursing boards—just days after undergoing emergency surgery. On the day of her last chemotherapy session, Christina wore a special shirt given to her by a friend. The shirt proudly declared, "I survived cancer & nursing school," adorned with a peach ribbon and a heartbeat design. This shirt, much like her degree, symbolizes the tremendous obstacles she has overcome.

Christina now looks forward to a career dedicated to caring for others, embodying the strength and compassion she learned through her own experiences.  

I don’t know how I would have graduated or done any of it without them.

– Christina Jones

Christina reflects, grateful for the comprehensive support that carried her through her darkest times. Her journey and success serve as a beacon of hope and an inspiring testament to what is possible with determination and a supportive community.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.