Graduate Spotlight: Nevaeh Shaw

Mizzou Nursing student inspired by late mother’s dreams and father’s strength, 30 friends and family to attend commencement

Initially considering a pre-med path, Nevaeh’s transition to nursing occurred during her freshman year when conversations with nursing students convinced her that it was her calling. Inspired by peers already on the pre-nursing track, Nevaeh switched her major in her freshman spring semester, embarking on a journey that would bring her to the Sinclair School of Nursing.

Nevaeh’s connection to health care traces back to her family. Both her grandma, who battled diabetes, and her mother, who faced lupus, played pivotal roles. She remembers helping her grandma with blood pressure checks at six years old and accompanying her mom to hospitals during middle and high school where nurses let her join behind the scenes. She recalls, “I want to make sure that I’m able to love on the patients that I have, just like they loved on my mom. They really inspired me.” These early encounters shaped her passion for nursing, sparking a desire to provide compassionate care for others.

When asked about her late mother, Nevaeh says that she is the reason she is here. Her mother prioritized her and her sister’s education by calling around to make sure she got into the best high school and dreaming of her daughters going to college and making successful lives for themselves. In addition, her mom’s perseverance through her illness pushed Nevaeh through nursing school. “My sister and I barely knew how sick she was because she was so positive and strong. I’m doing this for her.”

Navigating nursing school as a first-generation student, Nevaeh faced challenges but found solace in a robust support system. Despite the loss of her mother at age 16, her family, particularly her father and sister, became pillars of support. “My dad is my inspiration. He is a strong man and so, so kind. He gives and gives and works all day to provide for us. I’m excited to take care of him.” The encouragement and assistance of her family motivated Nevaeh to persevere through the program and she’s looking forward to their full support at graduation. She estimates around 30 of her closest friends and family members will be in the audience.

As a CASE Scholar, Nevaeh emphasizes the importance of seeking resources. The Center for Academic Success and Excellence provided her with invaluable support, offering free tutoring and guidance on essential aspects like resume building. Acknowledging the significance of a support system, she credits her success to the collaborative efforts of her peers, professors and mentors.

Looking ahead, Nevaeh envisions returning to Kansas City where she plans to join Advent Health as a labor and delivery nurse, expressing interest in pursuing midwifery one day. Her aspirations extend beyond individual success. She aims to contribute to her family’s well-being and inspire others, particularly underrepresented individuals, to pursue their own dreams in health care.

Her story radiates resilience and determination, sending a powerful message that transcends personal achievements—an invitation for others to follow their aspirations, using their challenges as motivation to drive them forward.

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