FREDERICTON – If there’s one word to describe Rebbecca Taylor, it’s “determined.”
Life has thrown many challenges her way, but Taylor has met them all with purpose and resolve. Her hard work, grit and fortitude will be on full display on Monday, June 24 as she receives her diploma from the Practical Nurse program at NBCC Fredericton Campus.
“I left it up to God and the universe,” said Taylor. “Everything happens for a reason; you just have to believe there will be a better outcome at the end.”
Throughout her life, Taylor has dealt with serious illnesses, financial challenges and even homelessness. In any one of those situations, a less determined person might have been tempted to give up on her dreams.
That never even occurred to Taylor.
“I was on my own at 17,” she said. “I ended up staying with my Big Sister and her family. Then her parents passed away, so I ended up bouncing from home to home and living off people’s couches.”
Throughout it all, she struggled to make enough money to keep a vehicle on the road and pay for her medications. Every time she managed to take a step forward financially, vehicle repairs or other unexpected expenses set her back.
Things started improving for Taylor when she got a job in the housekeeping department at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital. With a strong work ethic and a desire to get ahead, she worked her way up to the position of patient roommate in the hospital’s ER.
From there, a passion for nursing was born.
“I feel like I was born to do this,” Taylor said. “It’s not a job for me. It’s a calling.”
Even though she wasn’t able to secure funding to go back to school, she decided to get a student loan and take the plunge anyway.
“It was very hard,” she said. “I couldn’t work while I was going to school, because I had to dedicate myself to my studies. It was really hard at times, because I had missed school time during my elementary years from being sick and I had gaps in my learning. But I just worked really hard.”
Her devotion to her studies paid off in the form of a bursary, which couldn’t have come through at a better time.
“Without that, I would have had to drop out. I was out of money,” she said. “It made the difference for me.”
The support of dedicated instructors in the Practical Nurse program also helped Taylor make it to graduation. They loaned her books that she couldn’t afford and ensured she was keeping her marks up. That support, along with her resiliency, work ethic and positive attitude, have helped her get where she’s always dreamed of being – on stage at graduation.
“I feel very blessed to be able to follow my dreams,” she said. “When you have a dream for so long and you have to work so hard for it, you start to have doubts. You think, maybe this isn’t meant to be. But I just kept working at it.
“You have to be determined,” she added. “Life’s way too short to be negative. You just have to do the work and follow your dreams.”