Interview with Rakeera King – Drexel University, School of Nursing ‘19

CORE: What are you studying and why did you choose it?

KING: To become a nurse, still deciding if I want to be a nurse practitioner. I just want to learn more about it. I’m doing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Drexel. I’m a certified nursing assistant. I got that degree from the American Red Cross.

Ever since I was younger, I always cared for and watched my baby cousins and still now I watch them and my nephews.

I don’t think I want to own my own practice, I like working with a lot of different people. I want to work in the hospital. I want to be a nurse that works with people from when they’re young to when they’re old.

CORE: Tell us something that you learned the hard way along your education journey?

KING: Saving money. My cousin told me about the RISE Scholarship. The financial literacy modules taught me how to save money for my future. I’m dealing with that now at Drexel because I pay tuition each quarter so I have to learn to manage my money. At first, I really struggled.

Before doing the modules saving money was hard. I really didn’t know much information about how to save I just knew I needed to. One year I had to leave school because I didn’t make the payments. I had to take a break from Drexel for a year to save $12,000. I was saving a lot and working a lot. I was working a lot of doubles. I just wished I had saved money before. I would have been graduated.

[On her college support system] It’s good. I would say they are my mom, my sister, my step father (my mom’s husband) and my brother. They helped me [pay for] one quarter which was great but I still needed to save. I feel as though my school, when I first started, they didn’t educate me on how much I needed to pay back and they rarely sent me updates on what I needed to pay. That’s why I wasn’t paying attention.

CORE: What is it like to have your mom in the RISE program at the same time as you?

KING: It’s hard for both of us to save together, we’re going to school, working, and paying for the house. She kept pushing me to do my modules and I push her to put something in her savings account

CORE: What is something that you’re working on now that makes you proud?

KING: Right now I feel proud of my studying skills. At first I had no type of technique for studying. But now I have a good technique and I’m getting A’s. My goal is to keep that technique and graduate.

CORE: What’s the technique?

KING: So we have lecture slides, it might be 50 or 60 slides. I look at each slide and then I look away and repeat it. Then I look at it again to make sure I remembered it correctly. And then I write it down from memory and check it again. It’s like testing myself and it helps me look at each slide and everything on it. I try to study for 50 minutes then take a 15 minute break.  

CORE: Any advice for other students?

KING: My advice to other students is when you first start college look at the tuition, see how much you have to pay and try to set a goal to save a certain amount each month. Try to do a work-study job or a part time that will help you save money. Get an organizer or a calendar for time management for your studying, your school schedule, and work. Just try to achieve the goals you’ve set and stay focused. And look up different resources.

For example, RISE Scholarship has helped me. They’ve taught me how to save money, and then I actually saved it and they give you the money back plus the money for your scholarship to pay for tuition or books.