Two Teens Get Jump Start on Nursing Career

Two Milwaukee teens got a jumpstart on their nursing careers after earning college credits while simultaneously completing high school.

Chiann Walker and Fayth Buchanan Cooper share a passion for helping others. They first met in elementary school, went to separate high schools, and began pursuing nursing careers.

This summer, both teens got their technical diploma in practical nursing from Milwaukee Area Technical College days before graduating high school.

"It feels great. I feel very accomplished very good," Walker said.

They did it thanks to a dual-enrollment program called M3 College Connections.

"I was told that it's very competitive, but I figured why not do it. What could I lose," Walker recalled.

"I've always wanted to help people. I've always wanted to be in the medical field," Buchanan Cooper said.

Eligible high school students in Milwaukee Public Schools earn college credits from MATC and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at no cost.

Families save money while students prepare for college-level work.

In 2023, 94 students from 15 MPS high schools graduated while enrolled in the program.

"It was a lot, but we always had a good support system," Buchanan Cooper explained.

The teens would spend part of their day in high school and then travel to MATC for more classes. They admit it was challenging, especially when the classes got harder during their senior year.

"I had to make like study plants and sit down and take time to study and just be disciplined, but I still created a time for myself," Walker recalled.

"I just made sure I surrounded myself with people who had the same beliefs, values as me," Buchanan Cooper shared.

Buchanan Cooper will head to Alcorn State University in the fall. Walker will attend Marquette University.

Meanwhile, both young women are working in the field before then. They say the balancing act has been worth it.

"It has made me more confident and becoming a nurse and on my journey," Buchanan Cooper said.

"Anything worth doing will always be challenging. If it's something you really want to do I say take a shot at it," Walker added.

Article from TMJ4 Milwaukee.


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