Faith Sherman is about to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing magna cum laude, which is .02 shy of her goal of summa cum laude.
Her motivation for excelling through school was a Plum.
And it isn't the kind you get from the grocery store.
She's inspired by her 4-year-old daughter, Milan, who she calls by her nickname, Plum.
"When I was pregnant my sister said I looked like a plum, and she often called me that so we decided to call her Plum," Sherman said.
Milan "Plum" McKenzie
Sherman said Plum, who "talks a lot and asks a lot of questions," was her driving force to finish everything early and on time.
"She's really smart," Sherman boasted. "She tells me now how proud she is of me and how she wants to be a nurse."
Sherman didn't know quite that early in life that she wanted to be a nurse. The 23-year-old was deciding between nursing, pharmacy or medical school when her grandfather got sick and went to live with her family in Woodville.
"He came home to stay with us on home health and then hospice, so I kind of helped my mom out and really took care of him," she said.
She enjoyed the hands-on aspect of caring for her grandfather, helping him with everything from range of motion exercises to feeding him.
"That's how I really got into the field of nursing," she said.
After graduating from Jackson State University in just three years with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Sherman applied for nursing school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and was accepted.
"It was hard at first because I was going to school and my last year I had a job at the VA hospital. I do at least 30 hours a week," she said.
Her mom helps her a lot with Plum, which allowed her to focus on succeeding at school. She received several scholarships and has been active in community service projects such as the Mercy Delta Express Project, Habitat for Humanity, and the school-based clinics.
She also serves on the board of the Mississippi Association of Student Nurses, a position she ran for on her own without being a pre-slated candidate.
Assistant Professor of Nursing Mary McNair said Sherman was one of the quietest students she's ever taught, but "that 'quietness' hides a wealth of capability."
McNair will never forget watching Sherman give her campaign speech from the back of the convention room.
"Honestly, I don't remember what she said. All I know is when she stood in front of that microphone and started to speak, the 'quiet' Faith was replaced by a powerhouse of a speaker. She absolutely wowed me with her ability in front of a room of strangers. I knew then that no matter what is placed in front of her in the future, she will be successful," McNair said.
Success came quickly for Sherman, who recently landed her dream job in the surgical intensive care unit at UMMC.
"It's a lot of thinking on your feet, a lot of autonomy. You can't call the doctor every five seconds. You just have to know what to do.
"It's never a dull moment and I like that."
As mom to precocious Plum, Sherman is used to that.