“Anything is possible in life and my family is a great example of that.”
Each year from September 15 until October 15, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month. During this time, we celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose heritage can be traced back to Hispanic and Latin American roots. And we can think of no better way to observe this month than by highlighting the incredible journeys of Chamberlain’s Hispanic and Latinx nursing students and alumni.
This year, we got to chat with recent Chamberlain RN to BSN grad Angelys Centeno as she shared stories from her journey from Panama to healthcare and beyond.
“I was born in Panama but shortly after my parents made the decision to move our family to the U.S. with only $1,000 to their names,” Centeno explained. “They worked tirelessly to make a new life for us here. Their ultimate goal was to earn and save enough money to send my sister and I to college when we were old enough.”
And that goal certainly paid off. Centeno completed her Chamberlain RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option—and won The DAISY Award® in the process—in March of 2021. Upon graduating, she was immediately hired to work as an RN on the medical-surgical, detox floor of a hospital.
Not only is Centeno working full-time at her dream job, but she continues to pursue her other passions in her free time. She opened a nursing-themed online jewelry shop, AC SHOPCO, with her sister and runs a popular TikTok channel that’s dedicated to helping nurses and nursing students.
But the road to where she is now wasn’t always easy to travel—and Centeno never forgets her roots are what helped her get to where she is today.
“I have witnessed my parents struggle and they showed me that with hard work anything is attainable. My Latin roots are a reminder of where I came from and it continues to ignite that fire within me.”
And because Centeno feels grateful that her parents were able to provide her with an education, she wants to give back to help others on their academic journeys.
“If you want to be successful, the best way to do it is to help others.”
“Since most Hispanic students have similar struggles to what I experienced, I would like to help in any way I can by bringing the essence of social responsibility to society. That’s why the goal for my jewelry business is that it will grow enough that I can use the money to pay for someone’s tuition—to give back to the community. That is the ultimate dream.”
Centeno most likely inherited her deep sense of altruism from her parents. They taught her from a young age that the best way to be successful in life is to help others.
“We came from nothing and now the entire family works in healthcare,” Centeno said. “Since moving from Panama, my parents have owned and operated several group homes where they take care of people with disabilities. They taught me that the best way to be successful was to help others. As long as you’re helping someone, giving back to society, anything is possible.”
We’re endlessly proud and inspired by Centeno’s story and eagerly await to see how she and her family will continue to shape the future of healthcare for our diverse communities.
To learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month, visit hispanicheritagemonth.gov.
By Chamberlain University
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