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Graduates in the Spotlight : 2019 Graduates in the Spotlight

Josyane Torres

image of Josyane TorresHOMETOWN: born and raised in Brazil; now lives in Danbury, Connecticut

MAJOR: Nursing

WCSU DEGREE: Bachelor of Science in Nursing

ACTIVITIES: Works full-time at Danbury Hospital

HONORS AND AWARDS: Dean’s List, 3.5 GPA

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At the age of 13, Josyane Torres knew she wanted to become a nurse. “A cousin of mine at the time was a student nurse, so she became a role model for me. As years passed by, I was able to realize how beautiful and gratifying it is to be able to help others in need.”

Torres, who was born and raised in Brazil, emigrated to the United States with her two siblings at age 16. “It was very hard for me to leave my family behind in Brazil, especially my father and my grandmother who raised me,” she says. “Many things changed in my life the moment I set foot on American ground. Culture and language were very hard for me to adopt. I had to be responsible, such as look for jobs to help my mother with the rent and to pay my own expenses. A year later, my father died in a car accident in Brazil, and I was devastated. I had no strength to fight for my goals and dreams. While grieving, I became pregnant with my first daughter, which changed my life completely. Six months later, I became pregnant again with my second daughter. I don’t think words can describe how I felt with all the pressure and responsibility, having to raise two kids at my age during that time. I felt my ‘American Dream’ fading away. However, I did not let the fear or the emotions take away my dream.”

Torres says she started with “baby steps,” by taking part-time classes at Naugatuck Valley Community College. “It was difficult for me to reconcile my work schedule with my school schedule and a being a mother. I came from a very humble and simple family in Brazil – we did not have much; however, my father and grandmother always taught me to be strong, fight for my dreams and to never give up.”

She worked at Laurel Ridge Health Care Center as a CNA and attended NVCC part-time pursuing nursing studies for five years. In 2012, she began working at Danbury Hospital as a nurse assistant. “One day during my break at work my nurse manager told me that WCSU had a GREAT nursing program and eventually most of the hospital would prefer to hire nurses with a BSN rather than the associate degree. So, with all the information she gave me about the BSN program and the associate degree, I decided to transfer to WCSU to pursue my BSN. The transition from NVCC to WCSU was very good. All my credits were transferred without any problems.”

Now, after five years at NVCC and five years at WCSU, Torres is graduating with a BSN. “During these 10 years in college, I have been through a lot and some days I thought I would never make it,” she says. “Many nights of tears and lack of sleep, but God gave me the strength to keep going and never give up on my dreams and objectives. Also, I want to point out that I would not have been able to do this without the support of my sister, close friends, Renan Max Hamoy who helped with my writing, and WCSU Nursing Professor Dr. Daryle Brown. During difficult times in the nursing program, Dr. Brown gave me a lot of support, which helped me not to give up. Today I can say I am very proud of myself and my accomplishments.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Torres says, “My most memorable experience  was during my clinicals. I had a great time and I was able to create a special bond with the student nurses and instructors.”

After graduation, Torres says, “My plan for the future is to go back to school for my master’s degree – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).”

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “No matter how difficult it can be, never give up on your dreams. Have discipline, focus and hope.”