Episode 2. Hilda Jean Smith: From GED to PhD. On the day after her wedding, sixteen-year-old Hilda Jean Smith’s mother died, leaving her, the oldest daughter, the responsibility of helping raise her ten siblings. Even though she had to drop out of high school to do so, Hilda never lost sight of the fact that education was the most important stepping stone to a better life for herself and her family. After she graduated from the Adult Education Center in 1970, Hilda entered the white-collar workforce as part of the clerical staff at the formerly segregated Charity Hospital and, in the process, found her life’s vocation as a nurse practitioner.
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