Two recent high school graduates, each with an associate's degree, will enter Mississippi University for Women's bachelor of science in nursing program this summer.

Christina Clark and Marissa Gandy graduated from Columbus High School May 19. The two also received their associate's degrees from East Mississippi Community College this spring.

Personal experiences early in life sparked Clark and Gandy's desires to become nurses.

"My grandmother had health problems. When she went to the nursing home and I saw how the nurses took care of her, it enlightened me," said Gandy.

Gandy's grandmother told her life is full of possibilities and to take care of others as she cared for her.

Getting into The W's nursing program was not an immediate process. Both Clark and Gandy were on the waiting list.

Since February, Gandy has checked her email daily sometimes more. Clark admitted to sneaking peeks at Gandy's phone and checking her email for her. Gandy recently received the call that a position had opened up and immediately accepted. After the conversation ended, she danced around her room and called her mom.

Gandy said, "It means a lot to be accepted into the program. I've been on the wait list for over three months."

Clark, already accepted into the program a few weeks earlier, celebrated with Gandy by texting her phone in all capital letters, followed by face-time calls.

Both Clark and Gandy are still narrowing their career choices. They have plans to continue their education beyond the bachelor's degree level.

"I want to get my master's degree and be a nurse practitioner," said Clark.

The two also agreed that The W's affordability and close proximity to home were factors in their decision-making.

They will begin their nursing classes in July.