With four sisters completing a nursing program before her, Susan Zobrist ’13 never doubted she too would enter the healthcare profession. She started working toward her degree 25 years ago, but left Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) when she and her husband started their family that grew to include four children.

Beyond being a mom, Zobrist was employed as a social worker in a nursing home and the family served an orphanage in Mexico for two years. When the youngest child became a teen, she knew the time had come to complete her degree. She quickly discovered that much had changed.

“The use of computers was the biggest thing,” Zobrist said, recalling the challenge of using the Internet to complete class work instead of a library card catalog. The college’s high-tech lab didn’t exist either when she was previously enrolled.

Zobrist was able to embrace the new academic opportunities in part because of a scholarship she received through the college. Her interest in working with the elderly made her eligible for the financial assistance, which went toward tuition expenses.

“Knowing somebody was behind me and rooting for me was a good feeling,” Zobrist said in expressing appreciation for the donor. With a commute to classes from her home in Goodfield and ongoing family expenses, the assistance was a huge help in completing her degree.

Zobrist also relied strongly on her Christian faith to complete the journey, which ended with her graduation in May of this year. She has since completed the state board exams and is now a licensed nurse working at Advocate Eureka Hospital—the same place where she interned for a year while still at Illinois State.