Frank Baez moved to New York City from the Dominican Republic when he was 15 years old. As a teenager, he quickly got a job cleaning patient’s room and bathrooms at New York University’s Langone Tisch Hospital.
On May 20th, nearly 15 years after moving, Baez graduated from the same school he worked as a janitor. He graduated from the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing earning his nursing degree.
Baez, 29, reflected on his journey on Good Morning America saying, “I could barely speak English at the time when I started working at NYU,” Baez told GMA. “Now, I reflect on it, and I feel very proud of how much I accomplished.
When first arriving to the United States, he wanted to get a job in housekeeping as soon as possible to help provide for his family. However, once he began as a janitor at the hospital, he realized his love for the medical field and climbed his way up the ladder.
Once he finished being a janitor, he got a job at the same hospital as a patient transporter where he was in charge of taking patients to and from their rooms for surgeries and tests.
He then left this job to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College. Once he graduated, Baez was officially the first person in his family to graduate from college, and he then began to pursue his nursing degree.
“While working [at NYU] with the nurses, I realized I wanted to be one of them,” he said. “I learned how much they advocate for their patients and the passion they have for their job.”
He applied to the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing that has an accelerated program that allowed him to earn his nursing degree in just 15 months.
“Our program is extremely rigorous,” Natalya Pasklinsky, director of simulation learning at the college of nursing, told GMA. “Frank didn’t just kind of make the program, barely getting through. He flew through it with flying colors.”
The same woman, Natalya Pasklinsky, saw Baez when he was a janitor at the hospital. She was a nurse in the same unit as him and saw him work his way up to patient transporter. She always admired his care with the patients.
“The way he interacted with patients, to me showed a lot of compassion,” she told GMA. “In my mind, he’s a star. I think he’s going to be a fantastic nurse.”
Baez graduated with a 3.6 GPA and said, “I was never an A student. I just studied a lot and worked a lot,” he told GMA. “Of course there were times I doubted myself, but then I felt that I wanted to do something more for myself, that I deserved better, that I wanted to continue to move forward and grow and go on with my life.”
His next dream is to become a critical care nurse in an intensive care unit.
Frank Baez was a teenager when he started working as a janitor at New York University's Langone’s Tisch Hospital, cleaning patient rooms, bathrooms and hallways.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 22, 2019
Written by Imani Maxberry
Sources: www.bet.com // www.goodmorningamerica.com