June 15, 2021

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They fulfill their dream of graduating from college amidst many obstacles


There is no hurricane, earthquake or pandemic that can stop Angela María Morales Gandía and Ángel Nazario Santos' desire to improve and study, who will headline this Saturday the virtual graduation of the National University College (NUC).

High-honors graduates, who began studies in August 2017, faced not only their personal challenges but also the vicissitudes of Hurricane Maria, the earthquakes at the beginning of the year and in March the emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced them to take their courses virtually to achieve their goal.

For Angela María, who is the mother of three teenagers – 16, 17 and 19 years old – the third is defeated, because after leaving her studies in 1994, achieving A technical degree in medical office clerk in 2000 and a try in 2006, she finally graduated Magna Cum Laude from a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in business intelligence, and already ma he triculated in the master's courses.

“I started at 18, but I came to graduate at 44, and it amuses me because my fellow students called me the hero because of my age, because of my tone of voice and because of my way of being with the mentality that I was going to learn, "he explained in an interview with Primera Hora.

Her career was sacrificed, since for years she raised her children as a single mother after their divorce, so she needed to work full time without neglecting the upbringing of her children. But, in August 2017, he overcame the obstacles to become an example of improvement.

“Demonstrate to my children that it is never too late, that nothing is impossible regardless of the stones that exist on the road … those stones all have a purpose, it depends on what to do with the stone, whether to throw it to the side, whether to pass over it, whether to look at the stone, cry, or stand firm and say that stone is a paperweight for me. And that is the satisfaction I have, that despite all the circumstances I went through, nothing stopped me and God wanted me to end, "said Morales Gandía, who acknowledges that he has much to learn from young people.

This will not be the only celebration of his family, since in 2021 his second fourth-year son graduates; in 2022, the youngest and in 2023 his oldest son from university. "What more could I ask for, I am happy and grateful," she said.

The university of the Arecibo campus, who aspires to establish a family business or develop a consulting firm to prepare students about to graduate from university and direct them to working life, thanked those who called their mentors. Among them, the then rector of Manatí, Daisy Martínez, who was also her twelfth grade teacher.

Another achievement that was pointed out by Morales Gandía is that he competed to offer the graduation message, and won.

" My mother was my first patient ”

For his part, Ángel Nazario Santos, 32, decided to study nursing in August 2017, since as a caregiver for his mother, who was totally dependent on him until his death in January of that year, he was able to learn first-hand that there is a great need for more health professionals, “humanely.”

Another life experience that made him lean towards nursing at an early age was a health crisis for which He went through that put him at risk of dying, for 2008. At that moment he felt that he had to somehow reciprocate the service he received, helping others.

“I got sick and had health problems for which I was about to die if they didn't take care of me on time. I had to learn to depend on others in order to be well, in order to survive. Nurses who took care of me for a long time and at that moment I remember that I was bedridden, that the nurses came to bathe me, everything, at that moment I said, at some point I have to pay the service of those nurses from the the same way, ”said Nazario Santos.

The young man was welcomed into his home by his older brother, who gave him support for his night studies at the Ponce campus, until he achieved his goal. First he started with an associate degree and today he graduates from high school with the aim of gaining experience in his field, to study his master's degree in two years, since he aspires to have a specialty in his areas of interest that are neonatology, pediatrics or even maternity. .

“I started at National very excited, despite the fact that in August it was my mom's birthday … Well, I start college with those mixed feelings that I am happy because at last I am going to make a dream that I always had , which was studying nursing, because I don't have my mother with me to see me, "stressed Nazario Santos.

On Saturday she graduated with a perfect average, along with two friends whom she considers her family, and then start Procedures to obtain your new license with which you hope to practice general nursing.

“We had to learn to adapt at all times and thank God, despite everything, we achieved our objective, which is to graduate with honors. Because thanks to God, with all the sacrifice, I graduate with four points, with academic excellence and for me it is something that I would love for my mother to see, "he said excitedly.

Last week the graduates were given by servicarro or by return mail in the case of residents outside the Island, a package with gifts that contained a diploma holder, the cap with the tassel, a T-shirt and various items to celebrate at their residence as confetti, with the In order for them to post their celebratory photos on their social networks to spread their images during the prerecorded ceremony.

Yashira Torres, special aide to NUC President Michael Bannett, reported that the university will celebrate the collation of grades of 3,229 students from associate degree, baccalaureate and master's degree from its six campuses (Arecibo, Bayamón, Caguas, Mayagüez, Ponce, Río Grande) and the Distance Education Division, which was pre-recorded and will be disseminated through from YouTube, Facebook and Telemundo.



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