Former Palmetto High School student Symone Major is attending Barry University this fall on a full scholarship. She is taking nursing courses with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.
“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl; I’ve always to help people,” Major says. “I told my grandma that I wanted to do it. She passed away, so I need make sure that I do it.”
Major says she would rather be a nurse practitioner than a doctor.
“Because doctors, they have to direct everybody,” she says. “If you are a nurse practitioner, you get to work with the patients and help them, both mentally and physically.”
A nurse practitioner has graduate level training and can perform many of the functions that a doctor does, but not all. However, they are able to spend more time with patients and they can be the primary health care provider.
Major says the scholarship is a blessing and will allow her to live on campus.
“They just gave it to me,” she says. “It covers everything.”
While in high school, Major was an athletic trainer for football, basketball, baseball and wrestling teams.
“It really helped me prepare for my nursing classes,” she says.
Taking the sports medicine class for two years and working as a trainer allowed her to practice her first aid technique. When athletes were injured, she would help ice the injury, clean any open wounds and then help the injured athletes with therapy and ultrasound if needed. She did that for two years and then decided that she needed to become involved in the African Heritage Club.
“It had been here for years, but no one had taken the time to make it big,” she says. “I wanted to bring it out to teach Palmetto students about African culture. I wanted to bring the club together, be a family and stop the violence. It’s not just for blacks; it’s for whites and Hispanics, too.”
The club attracted about 200 members in the 2009-2010 school year. Among other things, the club raised money for Haitian relief and members put together angel backpacks.
“We take diapers, necessities for infants and for homeless parents and they take them downtown to Camillus House,” she says. “We collect backpacks, load them up and then send them downtown,”
Major was president of the club for one year and was dance club president for three years. The dance club is affiliated with the African Heritage Club.
“We have the dance club, singing team and the Brain Bowl competition that we have at FIU every year,” she says. “All the African Heritage Club members are a part of it. We practice all year for it.”
Being involved with the heritage club led her to put on two big Black History Month events.
“It’s a big show and everybody comes; we’re sold out every year,” she says. “They’re basically talent shows. That’s where the teams showcase their talent. We have slide shows and videos; we put it on for about two hours.”
Not only was she in the show, she taught everyone their dance routines, sold tickets and even hosted a dinner in advance for the cast and crew.
Although she’s now a college freshman, Major plans to return to Palmetto this school year to help with the production of the show.