Video by Columbia College Senior Video Production Specialist Mark Baumgartner

Anthony Ndone ’23 will never forget his original inspiration that drove him to become a nurse.

A native of Kenya in East Africa, Ndone cared for his ill mother when he was a teenager, providing support during her battle with cervical cancer.

“I remember that she told me, ‘You have blessed hands. Go out there and take care of other people who have conditions like mine.’ She inspired me,” Ndone says. “After that, I was like, let me try this.”

His mother’s message has stuck with Ndone ever since, guiding him as he moved to the United States and began pursuing a nursing degree in January 2019. He earned his Associate in Science in Nursing from Columbia College at the December 2023 Commencement.

While his mom passed away in 2011, Ndone continues her legacy today.

“When I was taking care of her, I could see how people who are suffering need care,” he says. “It really encouraged me so much to do what I love.”

Anthony Ndone ’23 poses for a photo after Columbia College’s Fall 2023 Commencement on Dec. 16 at the Southwell Complex. Photo by Columbia College Photographer & Graphic Designer Abigail Wade

Ndone begins work this month in the medical intensive care unit at the University of Missouri Hospital.

In the future, he says he hopes to complete his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from CC.

“Columbia College has given me an opportunity,” Ndone says. “I really love the school, I love the faculty, I love the instructors. When you go to them and if you need anything, they will help you. This is my home place.”

Ndone, born the youngest of 11 children, remains in close contact with his family – even from afar.

“It was not an easy journey, but I want to thank everyone who helped along the way,” he says of earning his associate degree. “I am just so thankful.”

While his focus is always on his current patient, his mom’s inspiration continues to spur him along.

“She gives me more motivation to put smiles on everyone’s faces,” Ndone says.