Luella Jones earns Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee

Alcorn State University alumna Luella Jones discovered her purpose during one of the darkest times of her life.

At the young age of 12, her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. During a trip to the hospital, her mother’s pharmacist sat the pre-teenager down and gave her details about her mother’s condition. What stood out for Jones was the pharmacist’s caring attitude.

“She sat me down and said ‘your mother is really sick and it is important that you make sure she takes each medication as directed and call if you need anything,” said Jones, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2010. “At that moment my life changed. Not only was she just my mother’s pharmacist, but she took a genuine interest in me and was concerned about my well-being. That was the moment I knew I wanted to be a pharmacist.”

The pharmacist’s concern motivated Jones to aspire to care for others just like her. Which is what led her to earning a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Pharmacy Friday, May 5 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Finishing her pharmacy education was a tough task that required Jones to give up leisure time. Now that she’s accomplished one of her main goals, she can say that it was all worth it.

“It’s hard to explain how I feel with words, but I will tell you that I am truly grateful. The late night studying, missing birthday celebrations, weddings and all other extracurricular activities were all worth it. In order to accomplish something great, you have to make huge sacrifices.”

Faith is what Jones credits for her matriculations through medical school. She said that lots of praying and faith are key reasons why she was able to make her dream come true.

“None of this would be possible without me being spiritual. There were times when I wanted to give up, choose another career and should have failed, but my faith would not let me quit.”

With much experience, Jones hopes to share her journey with others who strive to follow the same path she did.

“It still doesn’t seem real to me today. Because I have gone through something so challenging, I can encourage and motivate others who may want to travel the same path.”

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