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March 1, 2018

Not even childbirth keeps Nayzia Thomas from finishing her finals

Even under normal circumstances, finals are difficult. For Nayzia Thomas, the pressure of finals week was intensified tenfold. The added challenge? Childbirth.

Nayzia, a sophomore at JCCC, learned she was pregnant with her first child in the summer. Knowing that her delivery date would land at the end of fall semester, she had a difficult decision to make: continue school or take the semester off. For Nayzia, the choice was simple. She registered for five courses: African American Studies, Introduction to Psychology, Interpersonal Communication, Composition II and Introduction to Humanities.

The final push

Like many mothers-to-be, when Nayzia went into labor on Dec. 12, she rushed to the hospital and prepared to welcome her baby into the world. But childbirth wasn’t the only thing on her mind. Nayzia also set her sights on finishing her remaining final, which was a paper on dissociative identity disorder for her psychology course.

Surrounded by textbooks and her laptop, Nayzia tweeted, “my mom took this pic & it's the perfect explanation of my life. yes i'm about to have a baby, but final SZN ain't over yet.” The photo soon went viral with more than 28,000 retweets. And people around the world applauded Nayzia’s commitment to her education.

Despite complications following the birth of her son and a required blood transfusion, Nayzia persevered and is doing well. Her happy and healthy baby boy, named Anthony, weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces.

Like mother, like daughter

When asked where she gets her work ethic, Nayzia credits her mom.

“She is a great role model. She was diagnosed with lupus when I was 8 years old, but always wanted to give us everything we needed,” Nayzia said. “That’s why I have the motivation to do so well, so I can take that stress off of her. I want to take advantage of the fact that I am healthy and alive and that I can do everything I put my mind to.”

She plans to pass this same passion down to her son, particularly when it comes to higher education.

“I want to tell him that college is the time of your life. It’s more than just the education. You find out who you are, what you like, what you want in life. I don’t plan to talk down to him if he doesn’t want to go (to college), but I think it’s important. It doesn’t matter about your race or background; young people have to take advantage of everything we’re given because at the end of the day, knowledge is power.”

A bright future  

Nayzia has no plans to lose her momentum when it comes to her education. She is registered for spring courses at JCCC and plans to enroll in summer classes as well. Then, Nayzia intends to transfer to UMKC to pursue a degree in psychology, and she dreams of going on to graduate school to study neuroscience.

If you’re wondering how Nayzia’s semester turned out, she earned an A on her psychology paper and ended the term with a 3.5 GPA. This is one tough mama.

Success starts with you!

If you find yourself facing obstacles that keep you from enhancing your education and following your career dreams, visit JCCC’s Success Center. Talk to an academic counselor and discover ways to work yourself into a career. Call 913-469-3809 to set up an appointment today!