Frank Baez has come a long way and not just geographically. He and his mother relocated from the Dominica Republic to New York when he was a teenager. His first job as a janitor at NYU would lead him to something much much more.
It wasn’t long after he started working with the hospital that Baez said he began to develop an interest in working in medicine.
A man who once worked as a janitor at New York University has gone on to graduate from the college in an inspiring tale of success in the face of adversity.
Frank Baez, 29, received his degree from the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing last Friday, after completing an accelerated program that allowed him to graduate in just 15 months.
The new nurse first became associated with the university back in 2009, when he took a position cleaning bathrooms and mopping hallways at NYU Lagone Tisch Hospital.
Baez immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic when he was 15 years old, and he told ABC that he applied for the janitorial job in order to support his family.
He says he could ‘barely speak English’ at the time, but he quickly became intrigued by the nursing profession as he worked in the hospital.
‘While working with the nurses, I realized I wanted to be one of them,’ he stated.
‘I learned how much they advocate for their patients and the passion they have for their job.’
After a stint studying at Hunter College, Baez returned to NYU to complete his nursing degree.
‘I just studied a lot and worked a lot,’ the graduate modestly stated.
‘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. What I did was, I never gave up.’
One college director told ABC that she’s been blown away by both Baez’s academic abilities and his nursing talents.
‘Our program is extremely rigorous [and], he didn’t just kind of make the program, barely getting through. He flew through it with flying colors,’ Natalya Pasklinsky stated.
‘The way he interacted with patients, to me showed a lot of compassion. In my mind, he’s a star,’ she proclaimed.
Baez is the first person in his family to graduate from college, and he says he now has plans to become an Intensive Care Unit nurse.