Brittney Weems

Headshot of Brittney Weems smilingWhen Brittney Weems moved from Alabama to Winston-Salem at the age of 23, she was completely on her own, unsure of just about everything and excited to be changing the direction of her life. “I was leaving behind a very difficult past and ready to build a positive future for myself,” she said. “I’d never heard the phrase ‘upward mobility’ before, but I was praying for exactly that!”

She admits there were plenty of challenges — not having a job, money or a place to live — but Brittney trusted her remarkable instinct for perseverance. “I believe in myself,” she said. “I felt destined to have a good life, even though my childhood was hard and there was a lot of trauma to overcome.”

Brittney dreamed of having the opportunity to rise to her potential — the defining purpose of Novant Health Foundation’s Upward Mobility Educational Award for Nursing program. Powered by community-based philanthropy and steered by foundation team members, the program combines financial assistance with the rallying support of colleagues who believe in you. “I was determined to break the negative cycles that trapped so many people in my neighborhood and in my family. This program gave me a support system I didn’t know was possible. So many people at Novant Health encouraged me, checking on me regularly and giving me energy. I couldn’t have done it without them or without this program.”

In 2023, community and team member donors helped make this program possible through Novant Health Foundation giving. Together, we supported continuing upward mobility education awards for 59 current scholars. Today, please consider giving or even increasing your support to provide more ambitious and determined team members the chance to rise to their potential and fulfill their dreams.

Her commitment to education and growth led Brittney to more personal and professional success than she ever thought possible, including a career at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center that has been advancing and expanding. From her start as a phlebotomist to becoming a licensed practical nurse on the behavioral health floor, Brittney has now been with Novant Health for seventeen years, steadily gaining skills and responsibilities.

“Thanks to all the people who give so generously to the Upward Mobility Award, I’m now a licensed RN!” she said. Upon graduation, Brittney was presented the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award for outstanding compassion and spirit. “This is for my family’s struggles and for all women who have the odds against them. I’m so grateful to Novant Health Foundation and all the people who support its mission for believing in me and investing in my future.”

Doctor, thinking and writing with laptop at night for healthcare solution, idea or planning at hospital. Woman medical nurse working late in focus for research with notebook and computer at clinic

Your support can help nursing students.

Made possible through philanthropic support, Novant Health Foundation’s Upward Mobility Educational Award for Nursing program provides up to two years of tuition and fees for an approved nursing program. Upon completion, the participant is licensed  as a registered nurse — a career that offers an average salary more than twice that of a certified nursing assistant, or CNA. Additional resources are also available to ensure Novant Health team members success, including:

  • Career coaching
  • Professional development seminars
  • Mentorship
  • Financial literacy classes
  • Reduced work schedules with health benefits