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Thursday, July 18, 2024

15-year-old girl who dropped out after pregnancy returns to school, bags Nursing degree, 2 Masters and 1 PhD

A young woman named Dorothy Miller from North Carolina in the United States dropped out of high school at 15 because she became pregnant. However, she has persevered and fought to return to school to complete her education.

Dorothy’s hard work and determination paid off, as she earned a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate in Nursing. A  department chair of Health Sciences at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, United States, Dorothy got pregnant in ninth grade at the age of 15 according to BOTWC.

Despite her challenges, Dorothy graduated high school, attended nursing school, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Lander University.

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She then proceeded to Regis University for her Master’s degree in Nursing Education and South University for her second Master’s degree in Public Health with a 4.00/4.00 grade point average.

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Dorothy also holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Phoenix in the United States.

”What some people saw as a mistake, having a child so young, to me was a catalyst, we came from a lower socioeconomic background. When I got pregnant, I was in ninth grade…I had a wonderful mother when I was going through all that at 15,” she recalled.

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”Her goal for me was to not stop school. I had my child on a Friday, and my mother made sure I was in school that next Monday,” she added.



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Dorothy mentioned that when she finished high school, she left her daughter with her mother and joined the military. Immediately after she completed her service with the military, she began working two jobs while attending nursing school full-time so she could support her children.

In 2021, Dorothy launched the first nursing school at St. Andrews Hospital, in the United States. She mentioned that because of her upbringing, she aspires to solve healthcare disparities in small towns like the one she grew up in and retain skilled nurses in these regions.

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“Coming from a lower socioeconomic background…I knew that education was a path for me. Domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and poverty seem to be constant bedfellows and I experienced all three growing up,”,” she said.

“My way of escape was reading. I read everything I could get my hands on. Reading created a window of escape as I would often fantasize about what life would be like outside my rural and impoverished community,” Dorothy added.

She mentioned that she presently is running for the North Carolina Board of Nursing with the hope of addressing the shortage of nurses in small towns while continuing to make a huge impact on her students and children.

She credits her children with motivating her to become as successful as she has and hopes that they will follow her path and do great things as well. Dorothy’s daughter, Bandy, recently became the first graduate of the nursing program.

Bandy said she enrolled in the nursing school, taking classes taught by her mother and other professors. She stated that though it was challenging being the daughter of the founder still it was worth it.

She said as they called the graduates’ names alphabetically, her name was the first on the list which gave her a full circle moment of being the first graduate of her mother’s program.

“She gave me everything I needed to make sure I’m successful. You can imagine the pressure, though, coming through a program that was just established by your mother, being the first one to graduate, and trying to make sure that you keep the program going…it’s tremendous pressure, but they say pressure makes diamonds,” Bandy said.

Bandy added that like her mother, her goal is to make sure patients get the best care possible. She also encourages others to never stop pursuing their dreams.

“A person’s walk of life is not linear and sometimes you veer off course. But despite your missteps, you have to trust that God knows your purpose and path — and he will get you to where you are supposed to be,” she said.

Dorothy described her daughter’s graduation as the result of her determination and hard work. She added that she is grateful not to have given up on her dreams.

“Nobody should be able to tell you what your future is, I think that if I hadn’t been given the opportunity to have that child, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I did…That has always been my goal, for my kids to do better than I did,” she said.

”And people telling you you can’t do something or you’re not qualified to me is just an open door to say, let me show you,” she added.

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