Jiyeon Lee is the kind of nurse who goes above and beyond for her patients. As one classmate says, “I’d feel lucky to have her take care of my loved ones.”
So passionate and driven, it’s surprising that Ji’s career aspirations were once “to clock in and out of a mundane job.” How does someone with such indifference end up pursuing nursing, and winning Stenberg College’s prestigious Student of the Year award?
Korea to Canada
When Ji was young, her family immigrated from Korea, seeking a better life. Her parents gave up their careers and opened a restaurant. “Watching my parents work so hard to keep the restaurant going was difficult. It made me think, ‘What if I commit to something and fail?’”
This fear of failure followed Ji through high school. “It stopped me from trying. I believed I wasn’t good enough, resulting in commitment issues regarding my future.”
After high school, Ji knew she needed to enjoy her day-to-day, but still wanted a clock-in, clock-out job. She secured a Medical Office Assistant position at a clinic and resolved to be “a lifer” there.
To her surprise, Ji discovered her passion for patient care at the clinic. She was ready to take a risk. “I didn’t need a mundane job. I needed to believe in myself and care about what I was doing. I decided to become a nurse.”
Ji began Stenberg’s 74-week Practical Nursing program and gave it her all. “I was learning about the body, communication, health care, and most surprisingly, about myself and what I could accomplish once I set my mind to it.”
With newfound determination, Ji was thriving. “I didn’t want to be the student who fell behind.” One classmate praises, “Ji pushed me to work harder without realizing it. Her enthusiasm and kindness make her an amazing nurse.”
Considering her future, Ji shares, “I’m looking forward to volunteering for health-related issues, and offering support in developing countries.”
The contrast between Ji today and her younger self is stark. Once afraid to give herself a chance, Ji now loves a challenge and strives to do her best in every endeavour. “I learned that I’m more capable than I imagined.”
With plans to become a Registered Nurse or maybe get her Master’s in Nursing, the young woman who just wanted to get by in life has transformed. Today, Ji is a passionate Practical Nurse who loves her career, and will stop at nothing to do her very best – for her patients, her family, and herself.