As a child, Thadeus Banks always loved science and taking care of others. Now, after much soul searching, he is pursuing a career in nursing – the perfect fit for him.

When Thadeus graduated from Austin Career Academy in 2012, he went to trade school to prepare for a career in electrical, construction, and maintenance, but never felt like that was his passion. In 2016, he took some math classes at Wilbur Wright as he continued to work full-time. Then, after what he says was a lot of self-reflection, he decided he wanted to get into the healthcare field because it combined his love of science with his passion for helping people. He spent a year studying at the Chicago Community Learning Center to get licensed as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and changed careers.

With a foot in the door as a CNA, Thadeus knew he didn’t want to stop there. From East Garfield Park, going to Malcolm X College made sense for many reasons, including its close proximity to his home, the affordable tuition, a recommendation from a friend who was studying there, and the state-of-the-art virtual hospital. Thadeus signed up for classes in the spring of 2019, and by the spring of 2020 had earned his Associate in Science, taking many of the science classes he knew would help him be successful when he continued his education.

Determined to continue his studies now that he had found what he was really meant to do, Thadeus applied and was accepted into the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Bachelor’s in Nursing Program. Continuing his work in the field as a CNA, the past few months have been especially challenging – not only was he working to keep up his impressive GPA, his job needed him to put in more hours as the pandemic hit. But Thadeus wasn’t deterred for a minute, and looks forward to jumping into classes at UIC this fall.

His advice to other who aren’t passionate about their jobs is to “look back to your childhood – what did you enjoy the most? I think that’s a good indication of what career would be right for you.”

Is nursing your passion? Learn more about health sciences at Malcolm X College here, and apply at

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