At Seeds of Hope, we are so proud of our former scholars, and we feel like they are a great source of advice and counsel for our current scholar community. To help you make connections, we will be spotlighting our scholars monthly so that you can read about their stories and potentially make connections with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media.
Below you will find a story based on my recent interview with Petrovna Petit-Jean. Petrovna is originally from Haiti and was one of our first Seeds Scholars. She currently works as a travel nurse. Enjoy!
Kristi: Petrovna, thanks so much for spending some time with me today. As we get started, let’s share your Seeds story with our readers; how did you initially get involved with Seeds of Hope?
Petrovna: I was a senior in high school when my advisor called me to the office to meet someone. It was Michele Dudley. We just talked, and I didn’t really think anything of it. I thought she was a really nice person, down to earth, and I enjoyed talking with her. Later on, I got a scholarship! Pretty exciting!
Kristi: The Seeds Scholarship is focused on scholars with a big dream. What was the dream that you were pursuing?
Petrovna: I knew I wanted to go into the medical field. I wasn’t really sure which path to take when I first started college. I thought nursing might be the right path for me.
Kristi: It sounds like you had a pretty good idea of the right field going in, which is great! I think I changed my major 10 times during my college career. How was your 1st year of college? What did you find challenging?
Petrovna: I went to UNC Charlotte my first year. The biggest challenge was how many clubs and people there were, which to try, and where to fit in. It turned out to also be the best part of UNCC.
Kristi: What surprised you most after college as you were getting started with your career?
Petrovna: So my path with UNCC ended after my sophomore year. I worked for a couple of years and went back to school at Winston-Salem State, where I got my bachelor of science degree in nursing. I think it’s not very original to say, but you really start to learn about your field of study when you begin working in it. You learn about the job culture, what kind of nursing you want to go into, what degree of professionalism you should display and expect from others. You also learn to stand up for yourself and your patients.
Kristi: Tell us about where you are now. Any big dreams or goals for 2021 that you want to share?
Petrovna: Right now, two and half years later, I am a traveling nurse. I have the same dream as every other overworked and overwhelmed nurse during this pandemic (a nice beach vacation - LOL) But seriously, I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. I try to be better and do better than I was the year before. Self-awareness is very important. So is being able to accept constructive criticism.
Kristi: As you think about the last few years, how has God met you and helped you on your journey?
Petrovna: The last few years have had their ups and downs. It is important to know that it is how life works. My psychology preceptor used to say in life; you’re either entering a crisis, in a crisis, or leaving a crisis. As long as you have a strong belief that things will get better, they will. God is the anchor of my life. I now live the life I’ve prayed for five years ago when it didn’t look like I was ever going to get there. I’m engaged, a homeowner, with a fulfilling career, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Kristi: What advice do you have for future Seeds scholars?
Attitude is everything. Save your money. Call your mom [or other loved ones]. Find and guard your inner peace. Whether it be by removing toxic people in your life or removing yourself from toxic situations, extend yourself some grace by being kind and patient with yourself. Real happiness and contentment come from helping others.