Today we’d like to introduce you to Jerusalem Bereket.
Hi Jerusalem, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Imagine fleeing a war-torn country in hopes of not having to spend every day fearing for your life. For my parents, this was their reality. Their journey to safety is where my story starts. I am originally from Eritrea (one of the newest countries in East Africa, gaining independence in 1991,) but my parents met in Sudan, which is where I was born. From Sudan, we left as refugees seeking our chance at the “American Dream.”
My parents have always instilled the importance of education in their children, which is no surprise in an African household – if you know, you know. A product of their efforts, I became the first person in my household to graduate high school and attend college. This exposure to higher education led me to my current career as an ICU travel nurse.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. There have been several failed exams, threats of dropping programs, multiple all-nighters, thoughts of imposter syndrome, applications, rejection letters, re-applying, etc. The biggest lessons revolve around my entrance into nursing school. It took several years before I was accepted. Four separate attempts of applying, retaking prerequisite courses, volunteering, etc. Anything I could to make myself a stronger applicant each time around, I did. This journey served as a constant reminder of the importance of resilience and redirection.
Whether I recognized it at the moment or not, getting derailed from nursing awarded me some of the most exceptional experiences of my life. Some of those experiences included the opportunity to backpack Southeast Asia for a summer, getting certified as a CDL driver, becoming an EMT, visiting my homeland of Eritrea, and moving to a new city just to mention a few. It’s not to say these things wouldn’t have happened otherwise. However, the lesson for me was to keep moving and never take my eyes off the main goal. Being flexible in the pursuit of your goals is something that proved to be a big takeaway. I elaborate more in the next question. I truly believe everything happens when it’s supposed to and that is the motto for my life
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I started working as an ICU Registered Nurse (RN) in 2018. However, that is not where my nursing journey began. I initially got waitlisted for a nursing program in 2009, twice actually. (Once in the summer and once in the fall). The third time I applied (that Spring), I didn’t even get an interview. It was then that I began to question if this was the career path for me. It was at this time I was led to pursue Public Health at the Bachelor’s and Masters’s levels. In doing so I was granted the opportunity to explore the non-profit arena. It was in the midst of this career that nursing resurfaced for me. The company I was employed with had a tuition reimbursement program. I re-applied for the nursing program in 2016 (this was attempt number 4) and was finally accepted to an Associates Degree in Nursing program…..7 years after the original attempt. Full circle moment.
I can easily say that nursing has been the greatest career change. This was made even more evident when I began travel nursing in 2020. Travel nursing itself already comes with many uncertainties but imagine jumping into unknown territory heightened by a global pandemic. Surprisingly, it was the pandemic that gave me the push I needed to pursue something I had been wanting to try since my college career began back in 2007.
It is this avenue of work that will continue to assist in pursuing my true passion for real estate investment.
Any big plans?
As previously mentioned, my current plans involve real estate investment. I’m in the process of furnishing a couple of Airbnbs, the first of which will be available in July. The link will be provided to this article as well.
Another personal goal includes becoming certified as a yoga instructor within the next year or two.
- Website: https://abnb.me/TmNPxO1Gmqb
- Instagram: eritrean.nurse