“I am a first-generation child of Filipino immigrants. I am a product of environments marked by poverty, street violence, substance use, and mental illness. I lost a best friend to a bullet the day I began my first nursing job at a top ranked hospital. He was a child of Nigerian immigrants.
“I was five years old in a public restroom when I made my decision to become a nurse. My mother was helping me get dressed for school, as she had countless mornings before, but this morning, for a reason I’ll never know, she took a very serious pause to tell me I could be anything I want someday.