Student Spotlight: Christine Maretta
Major: Health Sciences
Christine Maretta’s interest in a health care career comes from personal experience with illness.
“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and I had such wonderful nurses throughout my treatment,” she said. “I am currently cancer-free and am so grateful. I always felt I had a lot to give and could help others through similar experiences.”
She began attending College of DuPage and initially earned her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credential as well as Phlebotomy and EKG certification with honors. Now she has finished three degrees: Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in General Studies.
“I felt that COD would be a great place to start pursuing my career goals,” she said. “COD helped me move from a minimum wage job to one where I could support my family. Without the education I gained there, there is no way that I could be where I am today.”
Her journey was not always easy, as Maretta juggled school, full-time work and raising three teenagers. But she took it one day at a time.
“I struggled, but like Dory from ‘Finding Nemo,’ I kept swimming. Some days I felt like I was failing, but who doesn’t? I had a strong safety net including a supportive fiancé, friends and family to help me out. My kids were supportive and grew into responsible young adults as a result of having to do things on their own. I hope that me going to school, working and doing all the other things taught them a strong work ethic.”
While at COD, Maretta received the Elizabeth Geyer Scholarship through the College of DuPage Foundation.
“The scholarship took some of my financial burden away, allowing me to stress less and focus on my studies and job.”
Maretta’s career goal is to become a labor and delivery nurse, and she is taking a little time away from school before focusing on her bachelor’s degree. Her advice to future nursing students is to start with the CNA program.
“COD’s CNA program will help you establish early whether or not you want to pursue this career path. It was the very first course I took. I saw so many peers finishing all of their nursing prerequisites and saving this course for last, only to find it was not for them. They had to start all over for a different degree,” she said.
“It’s also important to take each day as it comes, one foot in front of the other. You will find it gets easier each day, so don’t give up.”
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