Imagine growing up in Ethiopia and moving to the United States.
Edlework Tafesse has lived here for 13 years. She prefers to be called by Edle (pronounced Adell).
Tafesse was a nurse in Ethiopia and is in the nursing program at Vol State. “I’m going to graduate in May. I’m transferring to Vanderbilt MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) program.”
“I was a nurse back home. When I came to the United States I wanted to continue my education,” said Tafesse.
Tafesse has two children; Emmanuel, 5 and Nathan, 3. She visits Ethiopia from time to time, but doesn’t get the opportunity that often. “I went back in 2004 to visit my mother. I miss my family. I have two brothers that live here; one in Nashville, and one in Las Vegas,” she said.
“I want to go back to Ethiopia and volunteer after I get my nursing degree. I want to give back. I want to help orphans. There are so many people without their moms and dads,” said Tafesse.
Tafesse talked about the differences in America and Ethiopia for the medical profession. “America has access to supplies. They aren’t scarce in America but the access to health care if you don’t have insurance is scarce. In Ethiopia the supplies are scarce. There are a lot of quality doctors in Ethiopia and America,” she said.
“You have to apply nursing hands on. It isn’t an office job. I love helping people in need. People say I function well under stress. It shouldn’t be your job it should be your calling. At the end of the day when you see your accomplishment that’s your reward,” said Tafesse about her passion of continuing nursing.
Tafesse’s home language in Ethiopia is Amharic. She said that it is hard, time consuming, and sometimes frustrating to learn a second language. If it weren’t for the Student Life and Diversity Issues, TRIO (Student Support Services) and other students who have reached out to her, then she wouldn’t be where she is today.
“For me God is the center of my life, I love my kids and my husband. I have a lot of support. Thank you for all of those people surrounding me. At Vol State I feel at home. I don’t feel lost or like an outsider,” said Tafesse.
Tafesse says that she wants future students who speak English as a second language to benefit from the wonderful and welcoming departments at Vol State.
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