Crystal Jackson, 22, of Ft. Pierce, Florida, persevered through any obstacle and never skipped a beat to accomplish amazing things at the University of Miami. Crystal has certainly made her mark at the School of Nursing and Health Studies and will have a great impact on her patients as a registered nurse. Her most impressive—and most joyous—feat, however, was giving birth to her child during her college education.
Jackson is the single mom of her 5-month old daughter Kali. Kali’s father is also a UM student who will not be able to graduate on May 6 because he is deployed in the military. She is a dedicated student who will graduate on Friday with a nursing major and a public health minor.
Jackson came to UM as a new freshman on a Dean’s Scholarship in the Fall 2012 semester. From the moment she stepped on campus, Jackson demonstrated a commitment to her overall education and an amazing ability to juggle academic coursework, extracurricular activities, and life’s curveballs that is largely unmatched by other undergraduates. Jackson made the Dean’s List and Provost’s Honor Roll numerous times while balancing numerous clinical experiences with work commitments and various leadership positions in her sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha), the Black Female Development Circle, Minority Women in Medicine, and the Multicultural Nursing Student Association. She has also gained invaluable research experience as a research assistant in Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research (El Centro) and an inaugural participant in the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT).
She also credits the ‘Cane Success Center and Ms. Nora Gay-Betton as the source of support, including during the time she spent last summer while she was pregnant in Australia doing research for the School of Nursing and Health Studies.