Student Overcomes Obstacles to Earn Degree

Friday, May 15, 2015

After being laid off during the Great Recession, Natalia Wright vowed to earn a college degree so she could provide a more stable life for her son. Now she has been accepted into Rush University’s College of Nursing, one of the nation’s highest-ranked nursing schools, after earning a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Rush. Wright will receive her degree during the University’s commencement ceremony May 21.

Wright made her way into the bachelor’s program in Rush’s College of Health Sciences via a pipeline program at Malcolm X College, a City Colleges of Chicago school that awards two-year degrees. She’s part of the first graduating class from the collaboration with Malcolm X College, which is located just blocks from Rush on Chicago’s West Side. The partnership was developed as part of a $5 million grant Rush received from BMO Harris Bank in October 2013.

The donation funded five scholarships for Rush to provide to Malcolm X College graduates, giving them the opportunity to continue their education by pursuing a bachelor’s in health sciences at Rush. The school developed the pipeline program to provide training and education opportunities that prepare students for unfilled health care jobs.

Wright is one of the first beneficiaries of the program, but she wouldn’t have made it without hard work and smarts.

“For me to get a bachelor’s degree and move on to get a graduate degree — that is something so huge,” said Wright, whose son will also be pursuing a degree in a nursing. “I’m just blessed and grateful for everything.”

Learn more about Wright’s story in the accompanying video below: