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Mother of four graduates from TCC nursing program during pandemic

Stephaine Overfelt
Posted at 12:26 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 10:11:19-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Graduation ceremonies are being held online due to the coronavirus. Students have spent years working hard to earn their degrees, and Stephanie Overfelt is one of them.

The local Navy wife is finally achieving her dream of being a nurse. The mother of four kids ages 7 to 13 worked hard to get to this point.

40-year-old Overfelt has lived an interesting life. She spent time modeling in Italy, taught snowboarding in Utah and previously majored in languages in Arizona. She said she originally wanted to major in a medical field; however, she was discouraged when attending chemistry class in her younger years.

Overfelt said she always had a yearning to go back and try it again.

Monday, she was one of 1,679 people who graduated from Tidewater Community College during the virtual ceremony for the school's 70th Commencement.

“If I decide I want to do something, I just do it and then if I love it, I try to be good at it,” said Overfelt.

She said she had no idea how tough nursing school would be. She said it was grueling and said some days she would wake up at 3 a.m. to study and then homeschool her children.

Overfelt said her husband, Luke, was extremely supportive throughout the entire process.

“I could’ve said I wanted to do anything and he would’ve said, 'Yeah, go for it if that’s what’s going to make you happy,'” said Overfelt.

Related: Respiratory therapist soon to graduate discusses entering the workforce during coronavirus outbreak

She said he had unending support, encouragement and would pick up the slack at home.

“I’m not the smartest person you’ll ever meet, but I’m driven and I’m organized, and I think that helped me with the kids,” said Overfelt.

She said going back to school wasn’t easy and said there were many difficult, long days, but she said the sacrifice was worth it.

“If you want to do it, do it. You only have one chance to live this life,” said Overfelt. She said she didn’t want to live with regret and wonder what she could have done.

Now, she’s embracing a new challenge of working in an intensive care unit in the mist of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not going to go into this blindly, but I’m not going to live in fear,” said Overfelt. “I’m excited to be part of the solution to be a force for good when everything seems so scary and so overwhelming.”

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