Tell us how life has changed since you left SPX.
Since I graduated from St. Pius X, I have been married for 10 years. John and I have 2 children, Trey (7) and Kate (2). They are so spunky and hilarious. They keep us on our toes and we stay very busy. We still live in the neighborhood and occasionally attend SPX events like football games or summer camps.
What college(s) did you attend? What was your major?
After high school, I attended Texas A&M University and completed my BS in Health Education with a focus in Community Health in 2005. After graduation, I began my BS in Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston and graduated in 2007. 8 years into my nursing career I took a leap of faith, with a toddler and shortly after a baby on the way, and went back to get my Masters. I graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing from the Cizik School of Nursing in Houston and became a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner in 2017.
Tell us about your job.
I have been a registered nurse now for 12 years and a nurse practitioner for 1.5 years. My nursing career has been heavily focused on Women's health and dermatology. I absolutely love it. I worked in labor and delivery at the bedside and in the operating room for 6 years of my career and I can honestly say that there is nothing more rewarding. It was such an honor to be a part of such an intimate moment in a family's life every time I went to work. Through the happiest and saddest of moments, I learned more than I could have ever imagined about the miracle of life. How quickly it happens and how quickly it can be taken away. Currently I work in a high-risk obstetric unit at Texas Children's Hospital 2 days a week and the other 3 days, I work as a Nurse practitioner for an OB GYN group in Houston called Complete Women's Care Center. In addition, I work for a concierge aesthetic company called My Face Lady where I perform minimally invasive procedures using Botox, Dysport, and dermatological fillers to maintain a youthful appearance. It is so fun meeting all my new clients and seeing them happy with their results. I love it.
What first interested you in the medical field?
For as long as I can remember I knew I wanted to be a part of the medical field or health care in some way, shape or form. I was surrounded by nurses my entire life and it seemed like the natural path for me. I think it started from an early age. We were always very active in my family and as I became an adolescent and adult, remaining healthy through a balanced diet and exercise was a very important part of my life. But if I'm being completely honest, I'm a science nerd through and through. I love it and it clicked for me very easily. Knowing that the majority of my classes would be science related was pretty enticing too.
Did you always want to work in the medical field?
When I was a freshman at Texas A&M, I started as a biomedical science major. My passion at the time was to go to dental school. By the time my freshman year was over, I knew that something in allied health was where I belonged. After some soul searching, the answer was nursing. It was a calling I felt that I can't really explain. Nothing else made sense to me and I couldn't see myself doing anything else.
What is the best/most rewarding part of your job?
The best and most rewarding part of my job is that every single day is something new and different. I show up every shift not knowing what's waiting for me and although that can be scary, it's also super exciting. Women's health is a passion of mine because I am completely fascinated by the female body and what we are capable of. As a provider and as a bedside nurse, my patients allow me into the most vulnerable stages of their lives and they not only accept me, but they lean on me. Little by little they begin to trust me and after minutes I can see some of the anxiety melt away. That in itself is rewarding.
What advice would you give current SPX students who are interested in this field?
I would tell anyone interested in this field to go for it. Nursing is something that you can take with you no matter where you live or what stage of life you are in. There are endless opportunities for nurses and I think it's only the beginning for this profession. It continues to grow and evolve with each year that passes.
What is one of your favorite memories of SPX?
One of my favorite memories at SPX was homecoming week every year. You could feel the excitement from the moment you walked in the door for the entire week. Everyone was excited! Students and teachers all participated in the themes of the week and on Friday there was an energy like no other. So many wonderful memories were made during homecoming week every year.
What is one of the most important lessons you took away from SPX?
I learned so many important lessons at SPX but the biggest thing I learned is that we are all in this life together and if you work hard, the places you can go are unimaginable. The sense of community made such an impact on me and I try so hard to look for opportunities to give my kids the same sense of community.
What were you involved in as a student at SPX?
I was a cheerleader and I also played volleyball and was on the swim team. I was a member of the student council, the drama department, the national honor society and was involved in campus ministry.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love finding the time to travel with my family and friends. I love the adventure of going to a new place and immersing myself into the local culture. I love to exercise. I'm a foodie so finding great new restaurants to try is right up my alley. I love to drink good wine and watch mind numbing reality tv at the end of the day. It's my sad, but guilty pleasure.
How did your SPX education prepare you for college?
I felt very prepared for college and I went to a very large university. Academically I made good grades and was still able to have fun. My time management was strong and I felt like I knew how to study and what was expected of me. Most importantly, I knew when to ask for help because I always felt like I could ask for help in high school.
What advice would you share with new SPX graduates?
I think I would tell them to remember why they are going to college. To embrace all the freedom and fun that comes with that, but to also put in the effort and maintain a healthy work / life / social balance. These can be the best days of your life and moving forward you want to know that they were worth all the hard work to get there. Have a blast, and hit the books when its time to hit the books. I would also say, get involved in as many organizations that you are passionate about. Meet new people and use that time to find yourself. The friendships and the character that you build by putting yourself in a new situation is empowering. Begin each day with a smile. Be a good person. Be respectful. And never burn a bridge because you never know who will be on the other side of an opportunity in this life.
What does it mean to you to be an SPX alumni?
I feel so incredibly blessed to have been given the education that I was given at SPX. I took it for granted while I was there, but now all these years later I see how prepared I was for my future based on what I learned there. Some of my closest friendships still to this day are the friendships that I made at SPX. We learned to be there for each other in good times and in bad and to be a good person. I love that I can call myself a member of the St. Pius X community.
Which SPX teacher made the most lasting impact on you?
There were so many teachers that made a lasting impression on me. But if I had to pick my top 3 it would be Mr. Tommy Calais, Mr. Dominic Amorosa, and Sr. Donna Pollard. I have never seen a passion for history like I did from Mr. Calais. He loved life and he gave his class and the student council his absolute all. He was stern, but funny and playful and he always kept things interesting. Mr. Amorosa taught senior government and economics. He truly cared about every student and just wanted to bring out the best in them. He was such a great teacher. Sr. Donna, well there aren't enough words. She was by far the picture of what a principal should be. She showed grace in every situation and she knew the students under her roof. Even after graduation, she has been a huge part of my life and I love her dearly.
Anything else you would like others to know?
Catholic education is something that I didn't wholeheartedly appreciate while I was immersed in it. But through all these years, I know that the values instilled in me during my time at SPX have shaped me into who I am today. God is the number one person responsible for all the blessings we attain in this life. And I'm proud to carry that message with me every day.