Feature Friday: Denise Dixon

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Denise Dixon, a student at the college, intends to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse after having worked as an assistant in the medical field for several years. Photo by Andrew Hartnett, The Campus Ledger

Caleb Latas

Staff reporter

clatas@jccc.edu

Denise Dixon, even after losing her husband and her 16-year-old son, has kept her head high and her feet firm as she has trudged ahead in life.

Dixon captures passersby in conversation. She sat there in COM, at a table next to the windows and the trashcan, conversing with the an employee gathering trash.

She talks of her life, but it never seems overpowering, or too much; it flows, one gets caught up and drawn into her words and story. Dixon talks to strangers like they are her family and friends. In that moment one kind of becomes a family or friend.

Dixon is selfless, she cares deeply and strongly, and she always tries her best. She is a loving and proud mother. She continually talks of her eight kids, and talks like each is a trophy; and they are. She talks of their lives, the incredible things each one does, and her hopes and aspirations for their futures.

“[My] kids [are] all doing really good,” Dixon said. “My kids are pretty successful.”

Dixon has worked in the medical field as an assistant for many years. When her husband, James Dixon, who was a naval officer on the U.S.S. Independence, returned from the Middle East, he grew very ill and Denise took care of him and the kids.

“It’s created this … compassion that I have,” Dixon pauses on her next words, “this great amount of compassion that I have for people. You know, I feel because I’ve been so blessed and so fortunate, even though in my life I have had a lot of misfortune, I still, at the same time see how I’ve been blessed.”

Her husband’s death and her eight children have pushed her to achieve much more than she thought she ever would.

“They are all pretty successful and doing really good, and they push me to go to school,” Dixon said. They’re proud of me, and they motivate me, and I just wanna make them proud. That’s my push, you know, that gives me the motivation everyday to come here and do my best here. And then I try to be an example for the younger people here.”

Dixon works hard everyday, she always has, from taking care of her family, to her work, and school. Putting her own life and education behind her family.

“I got married — got pregnant, and it kinda changed the course of my life,” Dixon said. “I stayed at home and basically took care of my husband and the kids, after my husband got out of the military he was pretty sick. Just taking care of him and raising eight kids was a full-time job.”

Dixon got her high school diploma through the college. She even won a scholarship for an essay she wrote about her own trials in her life.

They announced it at the graduation ceremony. Right up there on stage Dixon not only heard her name announced with all the other graduates, but she got to hear the recognition she deserved for her hard work, and perseverance in life. Dixon shook the hands of everyone that was on stage to congratulate her.

“That was a special day, it was really special,” Dixon’s said, her voice wavering.

Dixon has come a long way since the spring of 2016, but she still has a road ahead of her before she can achieve her dream.

“I want to become a wound care nurse, because I love the way the human body heals, and to me it’s just amazing to watch the human body heals,” Dixon said. “It’s just amazing how it works, it’s miraculous.”

Dixon squealed with excitement at the idea of being in the news. She can’t wait to tell her friends and family, to have them all read about her. For Dixon this is a moment to shine, like a movie star. And like movie star, a chance to be looked upon and admired.

“I’ve been inspired here, even at my age I’ve been inspired here,” Dixon said. “You know the young people, they keep me young, because I’m trying to keep up with them. It gives you energy … I hope to be an inspiration to the young people and the older people here.”

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