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Knowledge is Power: This Nursing Graduate Is Educating & Supporting Communities in Maintaining Healthy Lifestyles

Bryant & Stratton College graduate Muhammad Mahdi in scrubs with his arms crossed

When Muhammad Mahdi’s grandmother was diagnosed with dementia at 97 years old, he took to caretaking right away. At the time, Mahdi was a recent military veteran commuting from Wisconsin to St. Louis frequently to visit with her, and he hated how helpless he felt in not knowing how to aid her outside of serving as a support system.  On his last commute back from St. Louis after she passed, Mahdi was determined to never feel helpless again if his loved ones experienced medical hardships.

 

“On my way back, I looked up schools near where I lived that offered associates degrees in nursing and Bryant & Stratton popped up right away. I literally pulled into the campus parking lot and took the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) to qualify for the program that very day,” said Mahdi.Former Bryant & Stratton College nursing student Muhammad Mahdi cleaning plastic from a beach.

 

A week later, Mahdi started the program with the support of a service-member grant and a determination to pass the NCLEX, a nationwide licensure exam required to practice nursing. From the start, Mahdi was impressed by the individualized attention he received, with instructors often staying well-past the end of class to help him understand the complex course material.

 

“I was encouraged to be myself and treated like a peer. They really helped me fall in love with healthcare,” said Mahdi. “My career took off right from graduation, due in part to the time my instructors and the dean took guiding me and even writing me letters of recommendation.”

 

Once he began nursing, Mahdi realized that while most of his colleagues were not persons of color, most of the patients he was treating were. Of these patients, he saw a troubling pattern of health issues stemming from what patients were consuming – including unhealthy foods, drugs, and alcohol. This inspired a passion for medical prevention through the spreading of health education and resources.

“I started using what I learned about nutrition in college to share free information about healthy eating,” he said. “After a period of creating educational videos under the name ‘Nurse Mahdi,” I managed to build a following in the community.”

To further his mission, Mahdi started to consider ways to put his medical education into action with a product that promoted the health and wellness principles that he frequently shared. From that came the concept for BKlear, alkaline water packaged in aluminum bottles to promote hydration while avoiding exposure to the harmful toxins found in plastic.Bklear water created by former Bryant & Stratton College nursing student Muhammad Mahdi.

Today, BKlear is sold online by the case and endorsed by celebrities including Rapper and Music Executive Master P and Olympic Gold Medalist English Gardner. Additionally, BKlear’s non-profit – Global Waters Inc. - is planning its second trip to Kenya to provide clean water to families desperately in need.

Mahdi credits his success to the obstacles he overcame to enter nursing and pursue entrepreneurship – especially the stigmas he faced as a man of color. About pursuing a career in nursing despite the odds, he said, “It’s my mission to prove that caring and expressing emotion is a STRENGTH. Nursing is for anyone- of any background, race, sexual orientation. Empathy is not a weakness, and neither is helping people.”

For more information on Nurse Mahdi, BKlear and Global Waters Inc., visit www.bklearh2o.com.

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