Meskerem Berka first came to Denver from Ethiopia 12 years ago. She began taking classes at Emily Griffith to improve her English. Once she became proficient, she began teaching English to others at Emily Griffith.
She was a flight attendant before she moved to the U.S., which she believes helped her improve her communication skills. “It helped me to learn how to interact with a variety of people and provide good customer service,” she says. “Which can be applied in nursing as well.”
Her career goal was to become a nurse, so she decided to take the evening Nurse Assisting program at Emily Griffith while she was pregnant with her son.
Meskerem went on to get her Associate’s degree from the Community College of Aurora, while she was pregnant with her second child. “It was challenging in some of the labs!” she says. Then she went to the University of Northern Colorado to get her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. “I’m so proud of being able to achieve my goal,” says Meskerem.
Now, she works as a registered nurse at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital and she is continuing on to get her master’s degree in nursing. She’s in her last semester of the program in health care administration. “I really love to learn!” she says. She’s considering even getting a PhD.
Now she’s back at Emily Griffith as our newest Nurse Assisting instructor! “It was my starting point,” says Meskerem. “I want to share my experience with other students just starting out and letting them know that they can go wherever they want to go.”
Her most important advice to students is to stay focused. “If you want to achieve something, you can achieve it,” she says. “Life is not easy and there are lots of ups and downs, but stay focused.”
Meskerem hopes others will hear her story and go for their goals as well. “If I can motivate just one person, it’s really huge,” she says. “If I can do it, you can do it too.”