She's a nurse, a single mom, and when she's not too busy, a freelance TOPS Louisville photographer. Candice Gentry found the time for a quick lunch with Rocko Jerome. Here, he brings you her story.
Perhaps you have seen her at any number of events around town, shooting photos for this very magazine. She might have even taken your picture, carefully getting the lighting and setting just right, then getting your name down afterward. What you might not know about Candice Gentry is that her full time job is a big one: she's not just a nurse but has received a doctorate, and is the Director of Care Coordination at Norton Hospital. "Knowing that what I do every day leads to positive outcomes for patients, that's major for me," she says. "I like to see that I help make a difference."
Growing up in the small town of Winchester kept Candice grounded, but thinking big. "A place like that is perfect for raising kids because it's such a tight community, but transversely, you can't wait to grow up and get out into the world," Candice recalls. She graduated from the one high school in town, then went on to U of L for a sports medicine degree, followed by UK for a masters degree in public health. She very narrowly got into Spalding's night school program to study nursing, and then while working in that field, she earned her Doctorate of nursing practice last year. "All along, I was lucky enough that things fell into place," Candice humbly observes.
Candice has two kids. 13 year old Terral is a burgeoning archery ace, he enjoys family time and accompanying his mom on jogging excursions. 6 year old Gentry carries Candice's maiden name in honor of an uncle she never had the pleasure of meeting. "He died when I was just 15, and I have no other brothers to carry the family name," Candice explains. Gentry is into gymnastics and just had her kindergarten graduation.
For Candice, her entire worldview- as a parent, as a professional, as a person- is part of a family tradition. "I have, or I suppose I should say I had, a loving set of parents. They were married for 42 years, and they taught me to respect everyone," she says. "They both passed away way too early in life, but I don't hold any bitterness in my heart. I just carry the memories of the love that they shared, and I am thankful that I can pass that love and respect on to my children and other people in my life."
I first met Candice early in 2017, just as TOPS Louisville was getting going. She told me that she was interested in becoming a photographer, so I gave her my card and told her to call me if she ever decided to really pursue it. This is no slight against her, but knowing people and how we all tend to be about starting new things, I didn't expect to hear back. It wasn't a week later when she called me and said: "So I bought this really nice camera, and I've been reading up on everything related to photography..." I've never doubted her since.
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