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Nursing career within reach of scholarship recipients

A career in nursing requires a commitment to education and professional development. At Carle Health, we recognize that in building racial diversity in nursing, having support to overcome barriers is an important part of success.

Through a grant from the Women’s Legacy Circle, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) distributed $9,000 in scholarships to Black team members interested in pursuing nursing education. Adrienne Littlepaige, Certified Physician Assistant/Registered Physician Assistant (CMA/RMA) at Carle Danville on Fairchild, and Tyeonia Jake, Health Care Technician (HCT) in the Emergency Department (ED), were two of the selected team members as recipients.

“Adrienne and Tyeonia have demonstrated their commitment to education and professional development,” said DEI Specialist Demario Turner. “And through their personal stories, relationships and experiences of what drew them to a career in nursing, they have a clear vision of the goals they hope to achieve and the impact their diversity will have on this profession. and patient care.”

Adrienne Little Paige
When Adrienne Littlepaige saw the Building Racial Diversity in Nursing Staff education award story on CLICK, she knew she had to apply. For many years, Littlepaige dreamed of becoming a nurse. But after encountering many obstacles, she almost gave up on the idea.

“I was a teenage mom. I got married and after my son grew up a bit I got my CNA,” Littlepaige said. but life has come. I had two boys a year apart. I would take a class, then I would quit or there would be too much going on and I would fail the class. So I thought, ‘I’m done. I can’t get it, it’s not for me.

Littlepaige tried to put those ambitions aside. However, her desire to take care of others never wavered.
“I love taking care of people and that never left me. I realized that it’s in me, it’s my heart. And I decided to try one more time and complete the course said Littlepaige.

Having never applied for a scholarship before, Littlepaige didn’t know what to expect. However, she noted that Turner was helpful throughout the process. She was thrilled to learn that she had been selected as one of the recipients and it reaffirmed that she was on the right track.

“I’m a firm believer in God, so I felt that was a sign. My mom told me, ‘That’s what you’re supposed to do’. That’s the door that opens for you, then cross it.

With only a few classes remaining, Littlepaige looks forward to completing her nursing education and being able to bring her compassion and positivity to patients. She is interested in working in obstetrics and gynecology, although she is excited to go where that path leads.

Tyeonia Jake
A career in nursing may seem inevitable for someone like Tyeonia Jake, who has many family members working in adjacent nursing and nursing roles. But his desire to pursue his career was born from a much more personal experience.

“I had the opportunity to be at the bedside of my 99-year-old grandmother who suffered a stroke,” Jake said. “I was able to provide her with periodic care and comfort her until her last time with us.”

This time instilled in her a deep appreciation for caring for others and led her into the health field.
“I learned the importance of compassionate care and service for patients and families at the most vulnerable times in their lives,” said Jake. “There is no greater intrinsic reward than being able to see them go home better than they arrived and knowing that my contributions have made the slightest difference.”

Working in the ER, Jake enjoys the fast-paced environment and the immediate care patients receive. She is starting her nursing program next fall with the goal of advancing her career as an ER nurse. As a recipient of the Building Racial Diversity in Nursing Staff training award, that goal just got a little easier.

“It helps me manage the associated tuition and childcare costs as a single parent of two children,” Jake said. “And it brings me one step closer to advancing my nursing education and ultimately my career goals.”
Jake is grateful to work for an organization that recognizes the need for this award and has an eye for diversity in nursing.

“It will impact culturally competent care,” Jake said. “When minority patients see or are cared for by someone who looks like them and can relate to their experiences, they are more likely to be more open, transparent and trusting.”

Jake also anticipates that it will help overcome some of the undisclosed barriers that minority groups face in pursuing advanced careers in patient care.

“I hope my role will inspire other minority groups to pursue a career in nursing for the very purpose of reflecting the community we serve,” Jake said. “With a more diverse nursing workforce, improved patient care, services and experiences will follow.”

Congratulations to all team members selected to receive awards under the Building Racial Diversity in Nursing Staff fund:


Team member Dept.
Sarah Beck Carle Tower 6B
Zenita Belle Urology
Kimberley Bradley Communication
Ariell Burk Windsor Family Med
Daniel Gardner CT9A med/surgical
Debriana Giboney Family Medicine – Curtis
Tyeonia Jake emergency department
Shanetta Jenkins Windsor Road Family Medicine
Adrienne Little Paige Danville-Fairchild Family Medicine
Nichole Pearson Home Health Home/Reference
Teshema Scott Environmental services

If you would like to make a contribution to this fund to help support next year’s recipients, go to and select the Building Racial Diversity in Nursing Staff option to make a Don.


Key words:
Women’s Legacy Circle

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