Ashley Aguilar - YMPAs a new graduate Registered Nurse, I would like to thank 1199SEIU and the Youth Mentoring Program (YMP) for where I am today. This program takes a chance on the potential of young individuals like me and believes in greatness. I don’t come from a family of healthcare professionals, so to achieve something as demanding as nursing school and pass my NCLEX on the first attempt made me truly believe I have greatness in me.

My experience during the YMP opened a door to opportunities for me, and it made me realize how much I wanted to join the nursing profession. It was because of this program that I was chosen among 200 people to enter a very competitive nursing program. Every sacrifice, every obstacle I have endured was because this program took a chance on me and believed I had greatness in my future. I would not be the successful person I am today had I not been a part of the YMP.

Six years later, I never would have thought I’d be a college graduate from nursing school, with my license as a Registered Nurse and my first job as a Cardiac Stepdown Nurse at North Shore University Hospital. A true Cinderella story indeed. I am eternally grateful for all the support my friends, family and Northwell Health have offered me. I hope my story inspires young individuals to believe in greatness and tap into their true potential as well. The future is very bright, and I can’t wait to begin my journey as a Registered Nurse helping those in need with a caring hand.