West Coast University-Dallas welcomed nearly 90 graduates to the Plano Event Center this November to celebrate the completion of their bachelor and master programs. Friends and family of the graduates watched and cheered as each student crossed the stage to receive their diploma.
"I feel like it's more for everybody that supported me through this journey — my friends and family that are going be here today to watch me walk across that stage," WCU-Dallas BSN graduate Kevin Punnoose said. "I'm really doing this for them because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here."
Punnoose said during his clinical rotations he discovered the incredible effect a nurse can have on the lives of others.
"Just being there with (the patients), getting to know them personally and understanding what I need to do for their care helped me understand how I can change other people's lives and that made a huge impact on how I want to live my life," he said.
Uchenna Nwaire always dreamed about working in the medical field as a child and, with the help of WCU, that dream is now a reality.
"Nursing just seemed like the best fit for me," she said. "West Coast is a school that promotes excellence, it's a school that promotes integrity and it just also teaches you a whole lot about life."
Keynote speaker and WCU-Dallas alumni JD Buchert-Bayes shared his experience and encouraged the graduates to always stand up for what's right and to remember that being a nurse is a truly powerful thing.
"I want them to be able to use their voice and not be afraid to do so because they have one of the strongest voices in healthcare — more than ever before," he said. "They have the capability of changing things, not only at the state but at a global level. I want them to understand they have that power."
Congratulations class of 2019! Welcome to the WCU Alumni Family.