At the age of 15, Frank Baez moved to the US from the Dominican Republic with his mother. He stepped up to help his family financially by becoming a janitor at New York University’s Langone Tisch Hospital.
During his time as a janitor, he watched nurses care for their patients as he cleaned the hospital rooms which inspired him to become a nurse himself.
On Monday, the dedicated worker who’s now 29, graduated from the same university where he once cleaned for. He plans to be a critical care nurse in an intensive care unit. Speaking with Good Morning America, Baez said,
“I could barely speak English at the time when I started working at NYU,” Baez told the news outlet. “Now I reflect on it and I feel very proud of how much I accomplished.”
Baez shared that he eventually left his job to complete his bachelor’s degree at Hunter College then returned to NYU and completed the accelerated program at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing in 15 months. Baez is the first person in his family to graduate from college.
“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,” he told the news outlet. “What I did was, I never gave up.”