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Nursing student volunteers at African orphanage

Brooke Houseworth

Brooke Houseworth, second-year nursing student, wears the program’s uniform of green scrubs. Students in the nursing program – which graduates more than 200 students a year in two pinning ceremonies – learn in a concept-based curriculum that trains them to see an illness as more than just signs and symptoms, affecting the patient as a whole. On May 9, 2012, 105 students received their nurse pins, celebrated in a ceremony at the college’s News-Journal Center. Three students received awards from Halifax Health Hospice, Heart of Volusia and Vitas Innovative Hospice.

Summer 2012 will likely change forever the life of nursing student Brooke Houseworth. At the age of 21 she’s headed  halfway across the world on a volunteer mission.

Motivated and passionate about her calling, Houseworth decided to apply her skills as a second-year RN student at an orphanage and medical clinic in Jinja, Uganda. For two months she will help care for orphans in Amani Baby Cottage, where about 60 newborn to five-year-old children live.

Houseworth, from Ormond Beach, left home and family on June 6 for the orphanage on Lake Victoria near the source of the River Nile. To share her experiences at the clinic with her parents, two younger siblings and numerous supporters, friends and family members, she plans to keep a blog, posting updates and photos.

“When I heard about the orphanage and the clinic, I just knew I needed to be there,” says Houseworth. “Children mean so much to me, and this is a way to help them while putting my skills to work.” A nanny for two families, the Warner Christian Academy graduate raised the money herself for the trip and orphanage support. Service to others runs in the family – her aunt and uncle are nurses and her mom just earned a master’s degree in social work from UCF.

Houseworth started college with plans to be a writer, majoring in English, earning her AA. But along the way she realized that her love for children could be well served as a pediatric nurse. Now halfway through Daytona State’s AS nursing program, she feels primed for her chosen career.

“This time at the orphanage will build on what I’ve learned in classes and labs, and really give me a taste of what I can do in this profession,” adds Houseworth. 

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Last updated: 2014-08-04T21:17:09.845Z