"I know that anything is possible, and I genuinely feel like I'm going to make it."
Although she had family members who were nurses, Aysha didn't picture herself becoming a nurse one day. Now, she's well on her way.
Aysha works as a patient care technician in the Post-anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at UPMC Hamot. In August 2023, she began a new venture with nursing school at the UPMC School of Nursing in Erie.
“I feel like nursing was always within me, but I kind of ventured off with other things," she says. "I'm very glad that I came back to it because this opportunity doesn't happen for everybody. I'm just genuinely so happy and proud of myself that I get a chance to go ahead and do it."
The journey for Aysha began in difficult circumstances. However, with the help of family and friends, especially her aunt, she learned of the Eagles Nest Leadership Corporation in Erie. A partner of UPMC Hamot, the program provides training to help young adults gain jobs training and internships at the hospital.
Aysha was part of the first class of Eagle's Nest graduates. She was hired by UPMC Hamot in 2015 and moved to the PACU in 2017.
"The relationships with the people who I've met, the rapport I've built over the last almost eight years, has been literally a beautiful thing," she says. "It's really nice to see myself grow,"
Aysha's personality comes out at work, where she has different responsibilities. She helps with registering patients in both the pre-op and recovery areas.
“I genuinely love what I do, and it shows because I get a chance to be myself," she says. "I'm normally an upbeat, positive, bubbly person unless I'm going through something. This is just who I am, and I'm just being my authentic self, a genuinely sweet person."
Aysha says her ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist. She says it wasn't an easy decision to go into nursing school. But she has a young son, and she wants to provide the best life she can for him. She also wants to show him that anything is possible.
Looking back on the past 10 years, Aysha is thankful for the opportunity that Eagle's Nest provided her. It helped open the door for her to start on a career path. And she's determined to keep moving forward.
"I know that anything is possible, and I genuinely feel like I'm going to make it," she says.
"I'm going to put my best foot forward. I'm going to figure it out because there is no way that I've come this far to go ahead and fail. I refuse to settle. I refuse to fail. There is nothing that is going to get in my way for me to become successful because my end goal is to become a nurse."
At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means helping our employees reach their goals.
Working in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and a wide range of community organizations, we are committed to improving the health of the communities we serve.
Life Changing Medicine at UPMC is made possible every day through the generosity of numerous individuals, corporations and foundations.
With volunteers ranging from teens to seniors and options involving office work or patient care, there's a place for all qualifying volunteers at nearly two dozen UPMC hospitals.