Janna Jones Kersh, JHS Class of 2008
My story of how I became a midwife always begins with Hall County Honors Mentorship and a few, seemingly serendipitous, events. Looking back, it is easy to feel like midwifery was a true calling on my life. I participated in one of the first HMP classes with Ms. Ecke in 2007.
At that time, my career goals were vague. I was interested in healthcare, wanted to work intimately with people, and had a particular enthusiasm for women and children’s health. I think I applied to the program with the intention to shadow a physician but after talking more with Ms. Ecke, it was clear that that did not exactly fit my interests. We discussed finding a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant to mentor me but I will always remember the afternoon Ms. Ecke called to tell me about a certified nurse-midwife who was willing to be my mentor.
My mentorship was with the midwives at the Longstreet Clinic Ob/Gyn. There I was introduced to the midwifery model of care and discovered that I love caring for young families and listening to women’s stories. I worked with the midwives in the office most days and even got to experience my first births during the program. The work the midwives did at Longstreet felt immensely important and deeply influenced my career goals and the midwife I am today.
After I graduated from Johnson in 2008, I went to the University of Georgia where I majored in Child and Family Development. Studying early human development and family theory solidified my desire to pursue midwifery as my life’s work. I graduated from UGA in 2012 and moved to Nashville the same summer to begin the Nurse-Midwifery program at Vanderbilt University.
Last December, I graduated from Vanderbilt and have since moved to Beaufort, South Carolina where I work at Beaufort Memorial Hospital as a Certified Nurse-Midwife. As a midwife, I care from women throughout the lifespan including well-woman visits, gynecology, prenatal care, and of course, catching babies. I still don’t believe that someone wants to pay me to do this job every day!
Hall County Mentorship enhanced my high school experience and allowed me to explore my passion, talent, and interests in a way not feasible in the regular classroom.