Christina Cicero '10

“I wanted to be a nurse right out of high school,” says Christina Cicero. “I had a stressful junior year of high school that included spinal surgery, a wheelchair, and a lot of missed experiences that year.”

In fact, Christina’s surgery forced her to miss a great deal of her junior year of high school as well as her ACT prep. It was this surgery, however, that inspired her to become a nurse. She had an amazing experience in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where the nurses were there for her around the clock for weeks. Her experience with how great the nurses were with the children and their focus on family-centered care cemented for Christina the path she wanted to take – though her path wouldn’t be easy.

“I had a 4.0 in high school, even with missing so much school. I didn’t do well on the ACT, however, and I was facing a really difficult road ahead,” she says.

Christina had always wanted to go to a bigger college and planned to become a pediatric nurse. Due to her ACT scores, she was told by several schools she applied to that she’d never make it through their science programs.

“There I was, graduating from high school with a 4.0 GPA, and facing the very real possibility that my dream of helping children would be out of reach,” she says. “Then, Lewis said yes. Lewis said ‘We’re going to offer you a scholarship, we’re going to take you in.’ It was an incredible feeling. I felt like, for the first time in a long time, I was being looked at for my potential and not for one bad score. Lewis believed in me, and they made me believe in myself.”

Christina flourished at Lewis. Classes, clinical rotations, study groups and her professors all lent to her success.

“I had every opportunity thanks to the programs and support at Lewis,” says Christina. “I was President of Student Nurse Association and student chair of Change for Children. Most importantly, I achieved my dream and became a pediatric nurse. I love my career. Lewis looks at the whole person and thought I would make a great nurse. When you have so many people rooting for you, especially when you start to doubt yourself, you can’t help but succeed for them and for yourself.”

Right now, Christina is finishing up a master’s degree in nursing education. She also teaches at Northshore College. Whether it’s in the patient room or in the classroom, she passes on the mentorship and lessons she learned at Lewis.

“I tell my students that nothing is impossible. In fact, impossible really says ‘I am possible.’ You can do anything you put your mind to. When you have passion, drive, and support, you can accomplish anything.” 


April 2018


<< Back to decade


Did you know we have more than 40,000 alumni worldwide? Read feature stories and news items online about some of our most notable alumni. Read more.