Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"

Frank Baez took up a job as a weekend housekeeper at NYU Langone's Tisch Hospital when he was 17 in order to help his mother take care of the family. Today, he is a nursing graduate from the same university.
May 20 became one of the most important and memorable days of Frank Baez's life as he graduated from New York University's Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a nursing degree. Years after he worked at the same university as a teen janitor, that involved cleaning patient rooms, bathrooms, and hallways, he fulfilled his dream of stepping into the medical field. The 29-year-old gained his graduate degree after he successfully completed an incredibly intense 15-month-long accelerated program. His hard work and dedication finally paid off and no one is more happy or proud about it than Baez himself.
Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"
Baez moved to New York from the Dominican Republic in 2004 at the age of 15 with his mother and two brothers. Speaking to Good Morning America, the former teen janitor said, "I could barely speak English at the time when I started working at NYU. Now I reflect on it and I feel very proud of how much I accomplished." Wanting to help his mom take care of the family, Baez took up a job as a weekend housekeeper at NYU Langone's Tisch Hospital when he was 17.
Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"

According to CNN, the teen discovered that he liked the fast-paced environment of the hospital. Intrigued by the medical field, he applied for a job as a patient transporter, and after two years of scrubbing the floors, Baez got the opportunity to take patients to and from their rooms for surgeries and tests. Nataly Pasklinsky, who's now the director of simulation learning at the NYU nursing school, was a registered nurse at the hospital at the time and would see him daily.

Speaking about young Baez, she recalled, "He was always compassionate to patients and families. He would ask the nurses questions about patient care and what it takes to become a nurse. My colleagues and I encouraged him to follow his dream." As much as he enjoyed spending time with the nurses and patients at the hospital, he knew he had to focus on his education. Baez eventually left his job to finish his bachelor's degree in Spanish literature with a minor in biological sciences from Hunter College and became the first person in his family to graduate college.
Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"

"I was hoping that I would be able to care for patients in Spanish. I wanted to work with underserved populations," Baez explained. He was well aware of the importance of being able to care for people in their own language. He got to work closely with nurses again when he got a job as a unit clerk at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital after college. "I felt inspired by them to become a nurse, so I told them 'I want to be a nurse like you guys.' I was inspired by their work and everything they do for their patients," he revealed.
Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"

"I learned how much they advocate for their patients and the passion they have for their job," said Baez. The nurses, on their part, encouraged him to apply to NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and he soon entered the accelerated program. He continued to work full-time during his first semester and pushed through some long and frantic days. Looking back at those hectic days, Baez revealed that his morning classes would run until about 2 pm after which he'd quickly change and grab a bite before getting to work at 3. He would be up until later after work finishing his homework and preparing for the next day.
Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"

Despite the long and tiring days he endured, the experience was worth it for Baez. At work, he could watch the nurses demonstrating the things he was learning at school and making them "come to life". He said, "It's amazing because you are like 'Oh my God, I just learned this and look at them, they're doing it.'" Pasklinsky couldn't help but gush about the devoted student. "Our program is extremely rigorous. Frank didn’t just kind of make the program, barely getting through. He flew through it with flying colors," she said.
Man Works As A Janitor in NYU and Graduates As a Nurse Years After, Saying: "I Never Give Up"

Baez graduated with a 3.6 GPA and has already set his next goal. He plans on becoming a critical care nurse in an intensive care unit. "I was never an A student. I just studied a lot and worked a lot. Of course, there were times I doubted myself, but then I felt that I wanted to do something more for myself, that I deserved better, that I wanted to continue to move forward and grow and go on with my life. What I did was, I never gave up," he said. At the moment, Baez is preparing for his licensing boards and hopes to bag a nursing job at NYU.