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Meet the Grads - Brianna Ontiveros

Meet the Grads:

Every student at NOVA brings a different story, and a different perspective on student success and achievement. Commencement brings to life their accomplishments. For a student like, Brianna Ontiveros, she has always known that she was meant to be in the healthcare field. At NOVA, she has successfully completed one step towards becoming a nurse practitioner and the institution is proud of #NOVANighthawk in graduating at the 2021 Winter Commencement and sharing her story.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background: 

Hi! My name is Brianna Ontiveros. I am a mother of two and a first-generation student who is graduating from NOVA with my A.S. in Science with a specialization in Health Science.  

What brought you to NOVA?  

As a child, I always knew I wanted to be in health care. I have always had a passion for helping people. As a young parent, becoming a nurse seemed unrealistic. I did not think I could ever go to college being a full time mom. I went to school for a medical assistant certification because I believed that was the quickest way to get in the medical field. NOVA always seemed impossible. I always thought that it was a place to go to as soon as you get out of high school; little did I know I was completely wrong. After my second child, I knew I wanted to do more in life and my passion for helping people only grew, so I started looking for other options. Long story short, I registered to NOVA and have not looked back since. I started back in fall of 2017, and at first it was a challenge because I had other priorities besides school. I was a mother with a full-time job trying to juggle it all at the same time. At times, I doubted I would ever reach the credits I needed to graduate. But here I am!  Finally graduating with an immense amount of options in the medical field. It look longer than expected but NOVA made sure to assist me every step of the way. 

What are you studying or plan to study at NOVA? 

I studied for my A.S in general studies with specialization in health science.  

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA; ie, professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met 😊 

NOVA has honestly been a wonderful place; everyone is there to help you, with the same purpose to watch you succeed. Advisor are always there to guide you through course selection. Professors are there to make sure you learn everything taught in class. My colleagues in class were very easy-going and their relationships made my time at NOVA stress-free.  

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?  

I would tell them it is never too late to start your dream. Life will happen and obstacles will come your way but you just have to jump the hurdles and keep pushing.  Once you start NOVA, keep pushing even if it is just one, two, or three classes a semester. There is always a finish line and you will achieve it. NOVA is not a race but it is a marathon and it trains you to start your future.  

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring? 

I plan to stay in healthcare and pursuit a nursing career. I will be applying to a nursing program to obtain my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. In the future, my goal is to be a Nurse Practitioner after obtaining my RN. I am excited to see what the future has in store for me, and I thank NOVA for giving me the opportunity I needed. I am grateful for all I have learned on this NOVA journey, which has brought me one-step closer to my ultimate goal. 

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

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