Laura Hornbarger In her own words..."My journey at Medical Careers Institute to become a nurse started on January 28, 2013. But I didn’t always want to be a nurse. In fact, the sight of blood used to make me ill.

My dreams when I was five years old might actually surprise you. When I grew up I wanted to be a rock star, a bus driver, and a hair stylist. Well, I can’t sing, I’m not coordinated enough to drive a stick shift, and it’s a good day when I don’t burn myself with the flat iron. Needless to say, I had to rethink my future. I danced around a few ideas but never had a solid idea or plan.

I was an average high school student. I didn’t make honor roll until my senior year and that was mostly due to the typical light senior year class load. I graduated and headed off to a traditional college like many others, but I was just going through the motions. I did not have the passion for Criminal Justice like I thought I would, no offense to all of you Criminal Justice majors, but it was nothing like CSI. Needless to say, I failed. I was suspended for poor grades and I had to go back home. I fell head first into the real world. That too, was nothing like it was on MTV. It took several years of back-breaking work and an unexpected pregnancy for me to realize I wanted more out of life. I wanted to provide my daughter with the life she deserved and, more importantly, I wanted her to be proud of me. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t first make myself a better person.

So I stand here in front of you now because I failed. I failed to become a rock star, I failed to become a bus driver, and I failed to become a hair stylist. I failed at being a criminal justice major, vet tech, and a social worker. I failed at all of my dreams up until January 27, 2013 when I began my Nursing Program. But now I can stand in front of over 500 people (without fainting I might add) and say proudly that I have succeeded. And it was because I did not give up. I did not accept my failures. And just like I tell my daughter every day, You have to try.

You have to try something to see if you like it. If something doesn’t work the first time, you have to try again. Try just a little bit harder because you never know what will happen if you don’t try.

If you only take one thing from this, other than the fact that I had a crazy imagination as a child, take the fact that failure does not mean your story is over. It’s the opportunity to start a new chapter, to pursue a new dream. Make every day new and bright, and know that every bump in the road is a chance to be better than you were yesterday and to do something great.

Class of 2014, friends, family, and faculty: Leave today and know that your story is not over yet. Let’s make it a good one!" - Laura Hornbarger

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