Nursing Career Keeps LCCC Grad Close to Her Roots

Jessicka Castro

Jessicka Castro is dedicated
to her family and her Lorain community. By earning her nursing degree at Lorain County Community College, she didn’t have to decide between a great education and staying true to her roots. As a registered nurse, she continues to serve her city by helping young people in Lorain make healthy choices.

“I knew I wanted to work in the medical field. LCCC was close to my house, cheaper than other colleges in Ohio, and the staff at the Lorain Learning Center was really there for me,” Castro said.

Castro took advantage of the many opportunities provided by the LCCC Lorain Learning Center and began her coursework. She quickly felt at home with the small class sizes and individual attention. Castro did much more than simply attend classes. She became a student worker at the center. She excelled in math courses and soon became president of the center’s math club. She also made time to share her knowledge by tutoring her fellow students in math, English and anatomy and physiology.

After an experience of serving as a mock patient for STNA students preparing for their state test, Castro decided to earn the associate degree in nursing. She stayed motivated to reach her goal by taking classes every semester until graduation. Her hard work paid off when she graduated with honors in 2014. She passed the registered nurse state exam shortly after.

These days, Castro shares her medical knowledge with young people in Lorain through her position as the lead facilitator of the Promoting Achievement through Community Education (PACE) program, a mentoring program that helps at-risk youth in Lorain. The PACE program often meets at the LCCC Lorain Learning Center where many of the program’s students are preparing for future attendance at LCCC. Castro is the only RN on the PACE team and teaches young people about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while also performing health assessments, health counseling and suggesting exercise regiments.

Her program at LCCC equipped her well for her job, she said.  “My LCCC education prepared me for my job by providing me with the essential tools and knowledge to withstand any situation I encounter that is within my scope of practice as a registered nurse,” she said.