||For Simone, the journey wasn't easy. But she wouldn't have it any other way.
With hard work and an open heart, Simone has achieved much during her 16 years at Lowell CHC.
Her story will leave you no doubt that dreams really can come true.
Simone embodies the mission and values of Lowell CHC. Her effortless grace under pressure and quick smile have earned her the admiration and trust of her patients and colleagues in our Family Medicine department.
Simone's journey to Lowell CHC has been anything but quick, or effortless.
Born and raised in Brazil, her family toiled to make ends meet. It was a harsh and difficult life.
"I come from a humble family," Simone shares. "My parents were farmers with only a 4th grade education." But, Simone had a dream.
I wanted to help my parents and I wanted to go to college. So, I came to the U.S to do both. I felt so blessed."
That sense of gratitude never left her. Even in hard times. "As an immigrant, I have to tell you, my journey wasn't easy," she says. "I worked hard, day and night. I worked as a house-cleaner, as a dish washer. I missed my parents terribly, but I never forgot, I had a goal."
Simone scrimped to save just enough money to register for a Medical Assistant course. She was hired as a receptionist at Lowell CHC's School-Based Health Center only 10 months later.
In the summer months, when school was out of session, she would rotate through Lowell CHC's different departments. "That's where
I found my calling - nursing!"
Next, Simone registered for the LPN program at Greater Lowell Technical High School, then continued on to earn her Associate's and Bachelor's degrees in nursing. Did we tell you she did all this while raising two sons?
Many people would have stopped there. Not Simone. She continued on to earn her Family Nurse Practitioner degree, a rigorous course load. As an "NP," Simone could go anywhere. But, she chooses to remain right here at Lowell CHC, where she built her career.
"The journey was rough. Sleepless nights. But I kept on moving. That's what we do here at the Health Center. We inspire people to keep moving. We show up and we do our best!"
What makes the end of this story even happier? Thanks to her hard work, Simone's parents have been able to join her here in the US - and they are patients at Lowell Community Health Center! Talk about one big, happy family.
What's next for Simone? "I think I'll take a break from school for a little while," she says, laughing. "Maybe I'll give sleep a try." We are so proud of Simone and all she has accomplished.
"I have grown. I've made mistakes, I've learned from them. I've given back to the community, I have helped my parents. I am blessed!"