Paradise Valley Community College Alumna Miranda Yost couldn’t avoid her fate. Raised by psychiatric professionals - her mom’s a psych nurse and her dad’s a counselor - Yost began her dream of becoming a dancer at the young age of three. However, after 15 years dancing and performing as a classical ballerina in productions like the Nutcracker and Swan Lake, her injuries got the best of her and Yost had to reexamine her future, which led her into the family business.
Yost began attending PVCC while still in high school through the Early College Programs. In 2013, she started full time at PVCC, going on to earn her associate’s degree in dance. While rehabilitating her injured knee after graduation in 2016, Yost took eight months off from dancing to figure out what else she enjoyed doing. She knew she enjoyed working with kids and had an interest in psychology. Today, she is pursuing her nursing degree from PVCC’s sister school Gateway Community college. This coming May, Yost will graduate as a Licensed Practical Nurse and in spring 2022, she will complete her Registered Nurse degree.
Yost had a birds-eye view into psychiatric nursing watching her mother work for years. Pursuing psychiatric nursing is in her blood. For the past three years, Yost worked with inpatient psych patients 12-to-17 years old with various debilitating mental illnesses like bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia to suicidal and homicidal tendencies. She left her job in December 2020 to concentrate on finishing her degrees.
It’s heavy work, but Yost finds it uplifting and says it gives her a similar feeling of purpose to dancing. “It’s rewarding to be present in someone’s journey when they are at their lowest or hardest point in life and know that it can only go up from there. This is the beginning of a fresh start.”
Yost is performing double duty. Besides completing her studies to become an RN, she also continues to perform with a local modern dance company and teaches movement therapy.
“I have the best of both worlds,” she said.