On June 25, 2014, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College alumna Ruby Bryan will receive the Caribbean American Healthcare Award from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), proving conclusively that there is no expiration date on a dream.
One of seven children, the Jamaican immigrant had two goals in life. She wanted to be a teacher and a nurse. Both!
Ruby accomplished the first goal as a young woman in her native country; the second took a while longer. It was attained in the Bronx in 2013, when at the age of 62 she received her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) certificate from Hostos’ Division of Continuing Education as well as her Associate in Applied Science in Registered Nursing (AAS/RN) degree from the College.
Last November the Continuing Education Association of New York (CEANY) named Ruby Outstanding Adult Continuing Education Student of the Year. Her accomplishments are even more impressive when one considers that she completed her education while working over 37 hours per week in a night-shift job, bringing up three children, helping with her grandchildren, dealing with medical issues, and being an active member of her church and community.
When asked how she could bear such a heavy load of responsibilities, Ruby says: “Age is just a number. Just follow your dream and don’t doubt yourself. Have faith, hope, courage and determination no matter how many obstacles come your way.”
Ruby also credits her family, friends, work supervisors, members of her church, and the College community for the support they provided. When she received the award from CEANY, she acknowledged that “The faculty and staff at Hostos treated me with respect and dignity. They not only cared for me academically but emotionally as well.”
Ruby’s kind and positive spirit is evident to everyone she encounters. Professor Luisa Porrata, who was her mentor, regards Ruby as a colleague in Holistic Nursing. Professor Jeannette Marrero, also a mentor, says Ruby is a peacemaker and a wonderful role model for others: “Despite her many responsibilities, she never complained. She took care of her family, made time to study [and] never wavered from her goals.”
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is a union of 37,000 frontline nurses standing together for strength at work, their practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all. It is New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.
About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique “Student Success Coaching Unit” provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.
Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.