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Freddie M Grimes Thompson

Born on 7-16-1931. She was born in Jackson, TN. She is accomplished in the area of Healthcare.
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Freddie M. Grimes Thompson was born in Jackson, Tennessee. She received her elementary school education at South Jackson Grammar School. In 1944, she graduated and moved with her mother to Buffalo, New York.

It was the World War II era and her mother gained employment as an Air Force Depot Packer located at the Larkin Building. That year Freddie began her high school education at Hutchinson Central High School. Upon graduation, her ambition was to enter Nursing School and become a Registered Nurse. Soon the struggle began. Local schools were not accepting African American students. Freddie had applied and was accepted into the E.J. Meyer Hospital. However, soon afterwards she received a rejection letter stating the school was unable to accept her. Freddie later learned, after an acquaintance who knew she had applied did some investigating, that two African American students had applied, and the school choose to accept only one.

Freddie was ready to choose another career, but her mother stated, "If nursing is your choice you should not give up!", so her search began. In 1949, Freddie was accepted at Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York. She started school that fall and graduated three years later. She was the first African American to attend Highland.

After graduation, Freddie remained at the hospital for two years before returning to Buffalo, New York and applied at Buffalo General Hospital, another hospital with no African American nurses. Freddie was soon appointed to Charge Nurse and remained employed there until she married and started a family. To meet the needs of family life, she sought employment at Head Start, Nursing Homes and other Health Agencies.