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Iredell Health System employees raise funds for local nursing student

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Jay Gantt.jpg

“My life has presented several obstacles – but I know I can succeed,” said Javis Gantt, a student in the Associate Degree Nursing program at Mitchell Community College.

Despite dealing with dyslexia and growing up in an unstable environment, Gantt has battled unique learning challenges and difficult circumstances, but has been determined to accomplish his goal of becoming a nurse.

“Learning doesn’t come easily for me,” he said. “And when you live in an environment as a young kid surrounded by drugs, you know the difference education can make.”

After meeting Gantt and being moved by his story, Iredell Health System’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation team members decided to raise money to assist him in his educational pursuits. They began in 2018, raising funds to help Gantt purchase his textbooks. Last month, they sold fundraising raffle tickets outside Iredell Memorial Hospital’s cafeteria, the prize being an air fryer kitchen appliance.

After announcing the raffle winner last week, the team presented a $511 check to Gantt earmarked for his graduation expenses.

“I don’t take my education lightly,” Gantt said. “I appreciate everything people have done for me. When it comes to education, I’m grateful.”

“Javis is dedicated to his success in the nursing program and has helped us learn how to better serve students as well,” said Linda Wiersch, the Mitchell Community College dean of nursing, natural, and health sciences.

On track to graduate in May, Gantt was voted class president by his peers and is an ambassador for the college’s Minority Male Success Initiative, a program designed to increase the completion rates of minority male students.

“I will always be grateful to Iredell Health System for helping my educational dreams come true,” he said.