Alexandra Diaz Franco
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program
A Committed Nursing Student Balancing Family Responsibilities and Academic Aspirations
Alexandra Diaz Franco is an undergraduate nursing student at George Mason University, class of 2026, aiming to eventually become a nurse practitioner. While her specialty remains undecided, Alexandra is committed to obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and becoming a registered nurse. Though initially hesitant about the financial burden of higher education, she has opted for a path that relies on scholarships over loans. This decision is heavily influenced by her desire to graduate with minimal debt, an apprehension shaped by her family's past financial struggles. Balancing academic responsibilities with family commitments, Alexandra faces unique challenges that have made her academic journey less straightforward. She is responsible for looking after her five-year-old brother, recently diagnosed with autism, which significantly influences her availability for work and even her class schedule. The financial and caregiving pressures culminated in a tumultuous fall semester, making her contemplate taking a year off. Fortunately, her family situation stabilized with her brother entering an Individualized Education Program (IEP), allowing Alexandra to continue her studies. Still, her mother’s work schedule and her caregiving commitments limit her ability to work part-time, making scholarships crucial for her to pursue her academic and career ambitions. Her story is one of resilience and unwavering commitment, not just to her own future but also to her family's well-being.