Faces of UCM: Aperiendae Penfield

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PHOTO SUBMITTED BY APERIENDAE PENFIELD Aperiendae Penfield (far left), with her friends Scout Mason (middle) and Erica McCann (right) pose for a photo at a Spotlight event during Week of Welcome.

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By BETHANY SHERROW
News Editor

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Aperiendae Penfield has a name that no one knows how to pronounce.

She said none of her professors have gotten it right during these first couple weeks of school.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY APERIENDAE PENFIELD Aperiendae Penfield (far left), with her friends Scout Mason (middle) and Erica McCann (right) pose for a photo at a Spotlight event during Week of Welcome.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY APERIENDAE PENFIELD From left, Erica McCann, Scout Miller and Aperiendae Penfield pose for a photo at a Spotlight event during Week of Welcome.

Penfield said the uniqueness of her name can actually be an asset.

“I love my name,” Penfield said. “No one else has my name. It’s unique. I even talk to some professors who say, ‘I’m not going to forget you, your name is way out there.’”

She said her mom and great-grandma were watching a movie when they saw what they said was the most beautiful girl in the world whose name was Aperiendae.  Penfield said it means angel.

Because the name is so unique and difficult to spell, Penfield said her mom had her go by her middle name as a small child.

“When I got to middle school I was like, ‘I’m going to go by my first name. This is how it should’ve been all along,’” Penfield said.

She said she decided to take ownership of her name.

“It’s my name, I can wear it proudly,” she said.

Now she’s a freshman nursing major and she said that her quirky name has impacted her personality.

“I would definitely say that I’m pretty outgoing and that will never change,” Penfield said.

Being willing to talk to strangers and being so outgoing has helped Penfield assimilate at UCM quickly she said.

She said the first few weeks have been a whirlwind.

“It’s what I expected a little bit,” Penfield said. “I like how college gives you a lot more freedom to choose what you want to do. It is not like high school where everyone is telling you what you have to do. I like experiencing new things and experiencing things on my own.”

She said she made the right choice to come to UCM and that she really loves the atmosphere on campus, and she is enjoying her major despite the hard work it involves.

Penfield is a nursing major, and she said she has known she wanted to be a nurse since she was 10 years old because she likes to take care of people.

“I always wanted to do nursing since I was really little,” Penfield said. “Something just clicked. My family has a history of (health) problems and I always wondered why these things happened, why people were sick and what was wrong. I’ve just loved it ever since I was little.”

She became a CNA in high school and works at a nursing home in Independence.

Penfield said she’s excited to work toward her bachelor’s degree.

“It’s already time consuming,” she said. “Sometimes I’m stressed, but I can do this. I have a great family support so they tell me, ‘You can do this, you can do this.’ So, I just put in the work. I’m at the library like four hours almost every day. I have to get this done, so I’m going to work and get it done because I know that’s what I have to do.”

Penfield said working hard is her motto in all aspects of her life.

“You just have to have the right mindset and the right mentality and you can do anything,” she said.

After she graduates, Penfield said she wants to travel and help people.

“I want to travel to different countries helping people who are less fortunate than us, working at different hospitals there,” she said. “I just want to help because I know there are a lot of sick kids and people who don’t have what we have here, all the technology, so I want to provide for them what they don’t have.”

She wants to encourage people with her life and show others that they can do anything they set out to do.

“The road is hard, but at the end it will be worth it once you get your goals,” Penfield said.