Published: April 08, 2013
Ingrid Levy earned her Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing in January 2013, and later passed the National Council Licensure Examination for nurses (NCLEX-RN). While celebrating these achievements with classmates, faculty, family and friends, she reflected on the amazing journey that led to this proud moment.
Ingrid was born and raised on the Indonesian island of Java. Upon graduation from high school in 1993, she decided to study abroad and won a partial scholarship to Hochschule Niederrhein in Moenchengladbach, Germany. There, in addition to working to help pay expenses, she was required to take several pre-requisite courses in her area of interest - health and wellness - as well as a year-long class to learn German. In 2002, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences and returned to Indonesia. While searching for employment, Ingrid volunteered for two years for the non-profit, global organization InWEnt as a German language translator.
After the tsunami that struck southeast Asia in 2004, Ingrid left Indonesia to join her parents, who had relocated to Queens, New York. They encouraged her to continue her education and study English full-time at Queensborough Community College.
At Queensborough, Ingrid met Florence Tse, director of the Port of Entry Development Program and Community Outreach, who helped her successfully complete and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) course for admission to the college. “Ingrid impressed me - not only with how much had she had accomplished - but also her drive and sincerity,” said Florence.
During this period, Ingrid met her husband and started a family. By the time she enrolled at Queensborough in 2009, she had three daughters under the age of six, including twins.
“Taking difficult classes - especially during my third pregnancy - wasn’t easy, but I refused to give up,” said Ingrid, who began as a liberal arts major and entered the nursing program in the fall of 2011. “I attended the lectures and clinical rotations. All of my professors understood my situation and were very supportive.”
In the spring of 2012, two weeks after her final exam, Ingrid gave birth to her fourth child, a son named Moshe. She plans to continue her studies in nursing at York College, beginning in the fall of 2013.
“Florence was my champion,” said Ingrid, who is fluent in English, German, Indonesian and Hebrew. “I would often stop by just to say ‘hello’ and let her know how I was doing. She hugged me when I graduated. She believed in me.”
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