Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TSIC Alumna Crystal Chapman-Lambert Delivers Commencement Address at USF

Take Stock In Children Alumna and University of South Florida College of Nursing BS-PhD student, Crystal L. Chapman-Lambert, MS, FNP-BC, ACRN, AAHIVSdelivered the commencement address to more than 730 graduates and their friends and family during the student address at the USF Commencement Ceremony on May 4, 2013. 

Crystal graduated from USF with her BSN and just finished this semester with her BS-PhD in Nursing.  We are so very proud of Crystal’s accomplishments and how she has demonstrated that, with hard work and dedication, you can do anything that you put your mind to. Kristy Scott, Take Stock In Children’s Marketing Manager, had the opportunity to interview Crystal about her experience as a Take Stock scholar, and this is what she had to say:

What Take Stock in Children program did you graduate from?
Sarasota County, I received the scholarship in 7th grade and graduated from Sarasota High School in 2002.

Who was your mentor? Can you provide some details of that mentor relationship?
Bonnie and Jack Harrison. Bonnie is a retired nurse and Jack is a Pulitzer Prize winner and retired Vice President of the New York Times Company. The Harrisons came into my life during my 10th grade year. After three mentors, I really did not want to open up to another mentor, but now they will not go away (this is just a joke). They are not only my mentors, they have become my family. I can call them to say hello or whenever I need advice. Even to this day – 12 years later, we have conversations at least once a month and they are always there for me.

Do you think mentoring is an important factor in the TSIC program?
The financial award from the TSIC program is great, but the mentorship is priceless. I know that my family is interested in my success, but to have strangers take a vested interested in my success gave me extra motivation plus invaluable advice, perspective and guidance.

What are your aspirations after receiving your PhD?
I have so many opportunities. My dream is to educate the next generation of nurses and nurse practitioners, conduct research that advances the science of nursing and improves healthcare outcomes, and manage the healthcare needs of individuals infected with HIV.

What were your biggest obstacles graduating high school and how did you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle graduating from high school was staying motivated. "Senioritis" is not a myth but it is just a state of mind that many seniors must overcome to succeed. During my senior year, I only needed two courses to graduate so that left me unmotivated to attend classes. My mentors just kept me going and kept reminding me my whole world would open up soon as I entered college - they were right! I had help overcoming my obstacles. My mother and my mentors constantly encouraged me to continue.

What is advice would you give to other TSIC students? 
I would tell TSIC students to set goals, short and long term, and take steps to accomplish those goals. Also, I would tell them failure is a normal part of success. Do not be afraid to fail, but be afraid of giving up!

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