“Flying Like a Bird”
In November 2022, Ayan passed her NCLEX exam and is now a RN. She describes her feelings of accomplishment as, “flying like a bird.” For Ayan, this was the goal ─ the dream she wanted to achieve. From coming to the U.S. with no schooling and no knowledge of English, to becoming a nurse, she said this journey has only made her stronger. She attributes a part of her success to her support system; her husband, who helped her all the way to the end, “Without his help, this would not be possible.”
The Institute was another factor in helping Ayan achieve success, and she wants to give back in any way that she can.
“The Institute supports me a lot. I can never forget it.”
Ayan has shared her story with Nursing Assistant Training students at the Institute, encouraging them not to give up, telling them, “If I can do it, you can do it. Everybody can do it.”
What comes next for Ayan? She plans to keep working and gaining more experience. She wants to advocate for her patients and build connections with people in her field. She even thinks about the possibility of going back to school for training in mental health services. The Institute’s Medical Career Advancement Program continues working with Ayan as she searches for a job as a RN.
Ayan aims to be a shining example for students who come after her. She overcame obstacle after obstacle to find success and follow her dreams.
“I came to the United States with the language barrier. I didn’t have any education. But the U.S. is the land of opportunity. You can be anything you want to be.
Reported and written by Zinzile Sibanda, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the International Institute of Minnesota. She moved to Minnesota from Zimbabwe in 2014 to pursue an undergraduate degree at Hamline University, where she majored in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Women’s Studies. Her journey from student to immigrant has influenced her passion for working with immigrants and refugees and the importance of community building.