The third time was the charm for Adurea Liburd.
After enrolling in two other colleges, Liburd wasn't having a hard time staying in school because she wasn't interested in what was happening in the classroom. In fact, she was having a hard time committing herself to careers that didn't feel right to her despite the fact that she was keeping near-perfect grades. She needed a career that she could put her whole heart into, taught to her by teachers who are just as passionate as she is.
"Coming out of high school, I wanted to be a lawyer. Then, I wanted to be a nurse. I didn't love it, but I got all As for my grades. I knew then that if I wanted to be in any career involving the medical field, it had to be something I really wanted to do," says Liburd. "My grandmother passed away from cancer and my mom had thyroid cancer. Part of dealing with that is when I realized that I wanted to be a doctor, instead. The other part was loving classes like A&P and anything to do with the body. I knew I couldn't have a career unless it was in something I really loved."
Keeping in mind that she would eventually have to score well on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), Liburd talked to an advisor who made her realize that her first two years could be about building a foundation before she transferred to a four-year school that would be the stepping stone to medical school. With a young son at home to consider, however, she also knew that she needed to fully commit herself once she had made the decision to attend NCC.
"I was thinking about my son when I was thinking about getting a degree. But I also know that sometimes it can be hard to master the concepts in really large classes. You want a teacher who is going to get to what you need to know, who spends time on the concepts that people don't understand right away, or just someone you're able to go speak with at any time, and you never feel uncomfortable asking a question," says Liburd. "I feel like out of all of the places where I've studied, NCC has given me a more positive attitude. I want to take that attitude wherever I go from here."
Liburd has set up her schedule so that she can take care of her school work while she's still on campus, in between classes. From early in the morning until early evening, she works hard so that she can concentrate on being a mother at night. Her son, now three years old, sees her reading her books sometimes, but is still a little young to grasp the concept of how hard she's working. Still, Liburd wants to set an example for him that a person should work hard in life in order to succeed. She has a work ethic that is partially instilled by her mother, who is a nurse. It's her mother who has helped her move along this path of stepping stones, as well.
"I love my mom and I love what she does at her job, but I want to be the one who is able to give answers. I want to be a cancer doctor now," says Liburd. "If anyone had told me a few years ago that this is what I wanted to be doing, I'd have said they were lying. I recently developed the confidence to be able to do this. I'm proud to be here because I've grown so much and all of the teachers in my life are a big reason why."
Name: Adurea Liburd
Major: Biological Science
Projected Graduation Date: 2014