Motivating Stories from Local Women
Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever.
These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand.
I knew my life would be centered around helping and serving others from a very young age. Growing up as a young African American female, I heard stories about distrust in healthcare from family members. In school, I learned about the Tuskegee Study which, in part, validated their skepticism. And as I grew into my teenage years, my medical provider did not look or sound like me. It was difficult to explain my plight because of stigmas and cultural disconnects. The seed was then planted within me that I could make a difference.
Through my own research, I found that a lack of diversity, coupled with systemic and both unconscious and conscious biases, as well as a lack of mentors in my community had a profound effect on what I observed. Despite the disadvantage, it only reaffirmed my desire to become a healthcare provider. I knew that with compassion, empathy, and equity, I would become a change agent in the healthcare industry. Then began my personal growth and metamorphosis.
Today, only 6.5% of nurse practitioners are African American. One of my greatest challenges was being an African American primary care advanced practice nurse in a predominantly male caucasian field. It was often lonely and isolating. After the death of my mother in August 2020 and several other family members and friends later in 2021 from COVID-19, I saw first-hand the lasting devastation of the pandemic on African Americans, both the effects of stress and the impact on mental health.
Challenging and often overwhelming, I conquered ignorance with education, fear with discipline, and doubt with determination. I surrounded myself with people who encouraged, prayed for, and mentored me through the process of becoming who I am today. Now owner and nurse practitioner of my own healthcare facility, I am leaning in and have a seat at the table. I speak up and advocate for my patients’ care, and I’m calling for a change in the culture. I am a proud servant who believes that a diverse nurse practitioner workforce is the most equitable way to fulfill the gaps in healthcare.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
Michalle Morris, East Brainerd