Success Stories

Mom of 7 Graduates As Best Student With Perfect 4.0 Grade Despite a Major Health Challenge

Mom of 7 Graduates As Best Student With Perfect 4.0 Grade Despite a Major Health Challenge

Cursory: Inspiring mother of seven, Ashley Payne, has graduated as the valedictorian with an excellent GPA from Keiser University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She expressed gratitude to her supportive family and plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in Nurse-Midwifery.

Ashley Payne, a resident of Florida, USA, recently achieved an extraordinary feat by earning her Nursing degree in grand style. Not only did she earn the distinction of being the class valedictorian, but she also maintained a flawless grade point average throughout her academic journey.

This accomplishment adds to her history of academic excellence, as she had previously served as valedictorian during her high school graduation at the Families of Faith Christian Academy in 2006.

In her valedictorian address at Keiser University, Payne expressed overwhelming gratitude and joy as she reflected on her remarkable achievements.

“I cannot begin to express the gratitude and joy that fills my heart as I reflect on this incredible journey,” Ashley Payne said in her valedictorian address at Keiser University.

Payne attributes her achievements to the unwavering support and love she receives from her husband, Joseph, whom she considers her “other half.”

She also expressed deep gratitude to her family, describing them as a constant source of support and the foundation upon which she has built her success.

“Each step has been marked by the support and love of an amazing family who have been my rock and foundation throughout,” Payne said in her speech.

“To my precious children, you are the reason I strive for greatness and I thank you for the motivation and inspiration you provide every day.”

On Payne’s first day of college classes in 2019, she received some words of encouragement from her oldest daughter, Lorelai, 9, that she says she still cherishes today.

“She sent me to school with a Post-It note in her tiny handwriting that had this phrase ‘Aim for the moon, if you miss, you may hit a star,’” Payne said via a press release from the university.

“If she can realize the vast opportunities this world has to offer, so can you,”

During the beginning of her freshman year in 2006, Ashley Payne faced a major setback on her journey to college when she experienced a major health challenge, after being diagnosed with pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary Embolism is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. Blood clots most commonly come from the deep veins of your legs, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis.

Mayo Clinicnone

At the age of eighteen and with no apparent reason for blood clots, she had to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit for a two-week period. This unexpected health challenge significantly disrupted her plans for pursuing higher education.

She switched gears to manage her health and focus on her growing family. She also joined her husband to manage their party rental business but ultimately found a new passion. She became a doula and a birth assistant before she decided to return to school and earn an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse degree in Midwifery.

“My array of birth experiences, after having seven babies, has put me in a unique position to be able to empathize with most women and has cultivated a passion for birth work as deep-rooted as the oldest Shepherd’s tree,” Payne said.

Keiser University Chancellor, Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., said the community was happy to celebrate Payne and her impressive accomplishments.

“We are incredibly proud of Ashley for being named valedictorian of her graduating class with a perfect 4.0 GPA,” Keiser tells PEOPLE in a statement.

“Such determination is common among Keiser University graduates. We live to serve students like Ashley and the many other working parents who are determined to take their next steps toward professional growth. We wish Ashley all the best in the future and encourage her to keep reaching for the stars.”

Payne’s thirst for knowledge and personal growth continues as she embarks on her next exciting endeavor. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Nurse-Midwifery at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. This new educational pursuit showcases her dedication to expanding her skills and expertise in the field of healthcare.

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