Fall 2023 Graduation Spotlight: Meet Iyana Mitchell

More than 3,700 students were invited to Austin Community College District’s fall 2023 commencement ceremony. Friends and family will join these grads as they prepare to walk the stage Thursday, December 7, at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park.

Meet Iyana Mitchell, who came to ACC through support from the college’s partner Capital IDEA. Iyana began at ACC in 2017 and after a series of road bumps and the loss of her brother, she persisted in completing her degree in Nursing.

Learn more about her ACC journey and the support she received.

Written by: Iyana Mitchell

Hello, all! My name is Iyana Mitchell. I’m a soon-to-be graduate of ACC, and I’m so excited to finally walk across the stage and get my diploma. I will be getting my associate degree in Nursing, and it’s been a long time coming. Very excited about that — it’s been a long journey!

I’ve been at ACC for seven years. Honestly, it shouldn’t have taken me so long to get my degree, but due to starting college right after high school, I wanted to play hard instead of work hard.

There were times I wanted to give up, especially when I failed my first semester of nursing school. But I prevailed and got encouragement from my advisor, Tonia, and my parents. They encouraged me to keep going. So, I did!

I worked harder to never put myself in a position to fail again. Earlier this year, my younger brother, at the age of 21, passed away in an unexpected motorcycle accident during my third semester of nursing school. That was the hardest thing I had to go through. I still had to pass but, at the same time, had to grieve. I felt I didn’t have the proper time to grieve because I still wanted so badly to pass. I kept my focus on school and pushed aside grief, which is super hard to do. With the support I received, I was able to keep going.

Through it all, I’m ready to come out successful and make my brother proud, with my family and friends rooting for me!

My time at ACC has helped me to grow as a person; I was able to fail and learn. I love ACC’s support, and I think everyone should take advantage of the different things provided, especially the tutors. Take advantage of the ACCelerators and the study rooms.

I would like to recognize my advisor, Tonia! She helped every step of the way and gave me the support needed to keep going. I’m very appreciative of her and how she never gave up on me and saw my potential.

Excitedly, I was offered a position to work in the Emergency Department at a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. So, after I take the NCLEX (national nursing licensure exam), I will be moving up there to start my new journey.

I would like to tell anyone who’s applying for college or thinking about applying to make sure that you know yourself. Give yourself grace; everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and everything won’t be. Allow yourself to fall, and don’t see it as a failure but as a learning lesson that you can learn from and improve upon. Find that balance and make sure you take time for yourself. We are our own biggest enemies, so don’t allow yourself to get in the way of your success!

I’m so happy to have this opportunity for you all to hear my story, and I wish the best to all of you! Keep going and never give up! There’s always a light in the dark.

  • From a Proud ACC Riverbat!

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