A teenager boy then, Frank Baez started working as a janitor at a university’s Langone Tisch Hospital in New York. He used to clean patient rooms, bathrooms, and hallways.
The boy who is now 29 years old graduated with a nursing degree from the same institution where he started as a janitor.
Baez said, “I could barely speak English at the time when I started working at NYU.” The boy who moved to New York from the Dominican Republic with his mom at the age of 15 said “Now I reflect on it and I feel very proud of how much I accomplished.”
The teenager got his first job in housekeeping at the hospital because he wanted a job that would help support his family.
Once he started working, he became curious with the medical field and applied for and got a job as a patient transporter, taking patients to and from their rooms for surgeries and tests.
He then left the job to finish his bachelor’s degree nearby Hunter college, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. But the boy wanted to return to where he started.
He said “While working [at NYU] with the nurses, I realized I wanted to be one of them,” he said. “I learned how much they advocate for their patients and the passion they have for their job.
The boy was supported by the nurses he worked with to apply for the degree at the college. He then entered an accelerated program that allowed him to graduate with a nursing degree in just 15 months.
Pasklinsky worked as a nurse in the same unit where Baez worked as a janitor while in high school. She saw him be promoted to patient transporter and remembers the thoughtful care he gave patients.
“The way he interacted with patients, to me showed a lot of compassion,” she said. “In my mind, he’s a star. I think he’s going to be a fantastic nurse.”
The man has now set a new goal of becoming a critical care nurse in an intensive care unit.