Inspired by her grandmother who served as a nurse in New York City (NYC), Marybeth Peña has worked within the nursing profession for more than 30 years. Her grandmother shared stories with her of the NYC wards before there were antibiotics. At that time, the role of a nurse was to assess, care, comfort and listen. Her grandmother would care for her patients with loving kindness, never judging any of them.
After graduating from Catholic University, Marybeth moved to New York City and worked in the very same hospital where her grandmother went to nursing school in 1929. After working in pediatrics for several years, Marybeth decided to fulfill her lifelong dream and join the Peace Corps. During this time, she worked in an orphanage in Nicaragua. There, her passion was enhanced with travel, and learning a new culture and language.
For the past 15 years, Marybeth has worked in public health and most recently served as the health and wellness teacher and coach at the KinDoo Family Center in Indiantown, Fla. She recently authored a book, The Kindoo Journey, highlighting the achievements and struggles of women at the center. Marybeth also works with several community partners in AT-HOPE (rather than “at-risk”) communities to enhance the health and well-being for all.
Marybeth decided to pursue her master’s degree in Advanced Holistic Nursing at FAU after learning how the unique program could combine with her desire to help the community achieve maximum health through shared learning adventures. She anticipates graduation in 2022.