Student Spotlight: Amy Bellis
Many years ago, Amy Bellis tried to return to school to study nursing.
Unfortunately, as a single parent, she had to focus on raising her daughter and working full-time to support the two of them. After her daughter graduate from high school, Bellis was ready to make a change.
“Nursing had been a desire of mine for many years,” she said. “I already had a successful career as a surveyor building heavy highways and bridges. But after two back surgeries, I decided it was time to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse and to leave my old career behind to protect my physical well-being.
“I chose College of DuPage and the Nursing program for many reasons. I had heard numerous times how wonderful the Nursing program was and that many successful nurses had graduated from this program. Of course, the convenience of the location being so close to home created easy access to my education.”
While attending school, Bellis still worked – as a patient care technician at Central DuPage Hospital, and then adding a second job as an LPN at Monarch Landing in Naperville. She also received numerous scholarships through the College of DuPage Foundation.
“These generous and selfless gifts have provided me with a minimal financial burden and created an environment for success,” she said.
While at COD, Bellis was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Nursing Program Honors Society, and she maintained a GPA above 3.9. In her spare time, Bellis is a member of the Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary, which is a humanitarian and educational nonprofit organization.
Bellis was named an Outstanding Graduate finalist in 2015. After earning her degree, she sat for the NCLEX exam and obtained her RN license. She then transferred into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Purdue University while working triage for Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group.
“Starting immediately after graduation for my BSN was a great decision,” she said. “I continued to learn through working as an RN, but I am able to expand my knowledge to the next level by continuing with my education.”
She is glad that she followed through on pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse, and Bellis advices others to never give up on their dreams.
“Take the time to reach out and take advantage of opportunities available to you. Success is in your hands and your heart will give you the courage to pursue your dream with passion,” she said. “When you become tired or burnt out, or when you feel like giving up, just know it will all pass. The struggle is worth it in the end. With every class you take, start strong. It is easier to start strong then to struggle for your grade at the end of the semester.
“There will be those around you who will help and support you, and there will be those that you will struggle with. Remember, the weakness is theirs, not yours. Never give up until you throw up that hat and tassel. The light does shine at the end of the tunnel – it shines bright – and that light is your success.”
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