Alumni Spotlight: Valentine’s Edition!

Alumni Spotlight: Valentine’s Edition!

For most students, nursing school is a venture they undertake solo for both personal and professional growth. Yet, for WCU alumni Brenda L. and Abey G., it was a family matter.

This husband-and-wife duo met freshman year of high school. Being on the same bus route, it took no time for friendship to bloom. However, it wasn’t until their senior year that they decided to pursue a romantic relationship — and the rest was history. They have now been together for nine years and a big part of their bond has been graduating high school and figuring out career plans together.

Read on to hear more about Brenda and Abey’s story!

Finding Purpose in Nursing

After high school, both Brenda and Abey took classes at their local community college. Nevertheless, during their time there, neither found a major that clicked with their goals and passions. Seeking careers that made a real impact in the world, they were both drawn to the healthcare field. That’s when Brenda heard about WCU-Miami’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program — and they decided to take the plunge together.

“After a couple of years in community college, bouncing around majors, not knowing what to study or what to do, we set a goal of becoming nurses because of our desire to work in the healthcare field,” Abey said.

They enrolled at the same time, taking all their lectures together and even participating in some of the same clinical rotations, working side-by-side at Miami hospitals.

Throughout their nursing school experience, they had a built-in support network, study partner, and accountability buddy. They were in the unique position of being able to recognize and appreciate the amount of work that goes into nursing school, rooting for one another and sharing pride in a job well done.

“Finishing the program together was an honor,” Brenda said of the experience.

Choosing Specialties

Today, both Brenda and Abey are licensed registered nurses. Brenda, who works in the pediatric cardiac ICU, knew she wanted to work in pediatrics by the time she started her clinical rotations. She expressed her interest to her clinical professor who placed her in the cardiac ICU.

“I fell in love with the unit. I saw myself working there, and I applied as soon as I graduated,” she said.

Meanwhile, Abey’s placement was much more serendipitous. He said the job offer simply came at the right time. “I trust that God puts people in places where they are needed.”

The fit happened to be a great match for his skills and demeanor. “The most incredible part about my job so far is being able to help patients recovering from surgeries as well as attending to the needs of more critical patients,” Abey expressed. “The unit I work in is very exhilarating and it takes being calm under pressure to be successful.”

Q&A With Brenda and Abey

WCU: How has your alma matter influenced your relationship and life journey post-graduation?

Abey: For starters, it has taught me that now is the time to really put the pedal to the metal and hit the ground running in terms of working and absorbing knowledge. There are many goals we want to achieve like buying a house and starting a family, and there needs to be a financial foundation set up in order to proceed with that. At the same time, it has taught us to take advantage of the free time we have to spend with each other and with friends and family.

WCU: How has WCU helped you get to where you are today in your career?

Brenda: WCU has helped me get to where I am today by providing very valuable resources. The staff at WCU are very helpful and friendly, from administration to professors. WCU provided me with the tools I need to become a nurse.

WCU: Are there any memorable stories from your time as students that you often reminisce about?

Abey: Yes, there are many memorable stories from our journey. Our first live clinical experience was in our mental health class. Rotating through a mental health hospital for the first time is very intimidating to say the least, but we had each other’s backs and our classmates’ as well. Besides that, we can think of the countless Starbucks runs before clinicals, as well as carpooling with classmates to the rotation sites and being part of many study groups.

WCU: What advice do you have for students who want to follow your path?

Brenda: The advice I have for students who want to follow this path is to never give up on their dreams, no matter what life throws at them. This is a beautiful and rewarding career.

Abey: Be prepared to make sacrifices. This career path is very time consuming and requires a lot of your effort and attention. Be ready to say no to going out for the weekend or going on vacation for the time being, but the other side is very rewarding, so the sacrifice is worth it.

Want More WCU Valentine’s Stories?

Check out some of the amazing couples that have made West Coast University part of their journey.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.