It's not how many times you get knocked down in life that counts; it's how many times you get up, is a quote credited to legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. This quote describes Southside Virginia Community College alum Tammie Peebles Forrest perfectly.
The Kenbridge, Virginia native explains it best," While I was attending nursing school at SVCC, I was divorced, remarried, had a baby, and lost my mom. The final blow was that my four month old son, Tyler, died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome the day before my final nursing exam. There were so many times that I wanted to give up. I wanted to make excuses for why it was too hard to finish such a difficult program with all the tragedy that I had endured. It took sheer endurance and hunger for a better life to keep moving forward. So my first piece of advice is keep moving forward and do not let life get in the way. Set your mind to what you want and go get it."
Currently Senior Vice President of Amedisys Home Health and Hospice, a national publicly traded Home Health and Hospice Company, Forrest has worked in the healthcare industry since her graduation from SVCC in 1994. She started her career as a floor nurse on the west wing at Community Memorial HealthCenter in South Hill.
"In 2013, nearly 20 years after graduating from SVCC, I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). In 2016, I completed my Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management."
"The guidance that I would give to current or potential students would be never let "life" get in the way of your educational goals and always make each day your masterpiece," she said. She continued, "Armed with my Associate degree from SVCC, I was able to work my way up to my executive level role. This leads to my second piece of advice, which is to say that you do not always have to have a top degree from an Ivy League college. While this type of education is extraordinary, it is rarely afforded to most of us. This is why we must develop a skill set and apply a strong work ethic."
She was nominated for Alumni Spotlight by her daughter, Blaire Willis.