Student Spotlight: Jennifer Beaman

Jennifer Beaman

Jennifer Beaman
Major: Nursing

When her youngest child entered kindergarten, Jennifer Beaman went to school, too.

Before college, she thought about going into medicine. But love, marriage and a growing family set her life on a different path. Then her marriage ended and Beaman became a single parent of six. She needed a livelihood and knew just what she wanted to do.

“I’m a mother and a nurturer, so nursing seemed like the perfect fit,” she said.

College of DuPage was close to home and offered Beaman the flexibility she needed to achieve her goal. Money was tight, so Beaman applied for COD scholarships, receiving two awards to help with tuition and other costs. For the next two years, Beaman attended class during the day while her children were at school. After dinner, the family did their homework together at the kitchen table.

Beaman graduated from COD’s Nursing program, passed her Registered Nursing Exam two months later and landed a job the very next month as Public Health Nurse, Family Case Manager for the DuPage County Health Department. She then worked as a nurse for the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and is now working in pediatrics and internal medicine at Northwestern Medicine.

She also is starting on her BSN and plans to bridge into a master’s program.

“My life has changed significantly in so many ways,” she said. “This would not have been possible without the support of the faculty and staff at COD.”

Beaman takes pride in all she accomplished and in the example she set for her children and others.

“I have been able to share my story with a couple of clients, single mothers, and hope that it gives them the strength somehow, in some way, to continue their education for a better life,” she said. “I don't think a day goes by that I haven't thought about my connection to COD and how it has changed my life.”

More about the Nursing program