CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 3

3

3

K AY M A L D O N A D O

A Dreamer Before
Dreamers Were Legit

A

By Dana Brandorff

THE DEAN'S

Commencement
THE DEAN'S
Message
Commencement
his year, things are a
little different. Not
Message

TT

better. Not worse.
Just
different.
his year,
things 2020
are a
will
remembered
littlebedifferent.
Not
for
many
to
better.
Notyears
worse.
come
as a unique
Just different.
2020
time. We know
been chalwillit's
be remembered
lenging, but you
much
to be
forhave
many
years
to
proud of, and we
wantastoacelebrate
come
unique
with
time.you.
We know it's been challenging, but you have much to be
While we forgo the playing of
proud of, and we want to celebrate
Pomp & Circumstance and adhere
with you.
to social distance requirements
because
of forgo
Covid-19,
takeof
a
While we
the let's
playing
moment
to shine a spotlight
on
Pomp & Circumstance
and adhere
you
and share
stories
about some
to social
distance
requirements
of
your classmates.
know
it's
because
of Covid-19,We
let's
take
a
not
even to
possible
highlight on
all
moment
shine to
a spotlight
of
things
thatsome
you
youthe
andamazing
share stories
about
and
the classmates.
Class of 2020
have
done,
of your
We
know
it's
but
a time totoshowcase
not this
evenispossible
highlightyou.
all
of the amazing things that you
As you flip through this commemand the Class of 2020 have done,
orative edition of CU Nursing/
but this is a time to showcase you.
Commencement program, take
a
to learn
about
what
Asmoment
you flip through
this
commemmakes
and your
fellow
classorativeyou
edition
of CU
Nursing/
mates
exceptional.program, take
Commencement
a moment to learn about what
Best,
makes you and your fellow classElias Provencio-Vasquez
mates exceptional.
PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP
Best,
Elias Provencio-Vasquez
PhD, RN,
FAAN,
FAANP
PLAY
VIDEO

rriving in the U.S. at age 4 from
Colombia, South America, Kay
Maldonado knew when she
graduated from high school that
challenges would lie ahead.
As an undocumented foreign-born
resident, it meant she couldn't go to college
despite being a straight-A student and having
scholarships. Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals, also known as DACA, was not even a
blip on the radar screen when she graduated
from high school in 2004. Introduced in
2012, DACA allows some individuals who
were brought to the U.S. as children to defer
deportation action for two years and obtain
a work permit. It does not provide a path
to citizenship. For Maldonado, hiding in the
shadows was not something she wanted to do.
One path to citizenship is through the
military. So in 2008, Maldonado joined the

Army. "It was a way of escaping," said
Maldonado, whose aunt recently died
from cancer. "I was very close to her
and kind of felt I needed to leave home
and do more with my life - do more
for my country and have more of a
purpose."
The military became her family and
a way to citizenship. "The military is a
lot more diverse than you realize," said
Maldonado. Both she and her husband
earned their citizenship while serving.
The two met after their first year while at
Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.
While in the military, Maldonado
was a medical lab technician and was
mobilized to Fort Lewis, Washington,
and Okinawa, Japan. For 11 years,
she has worked alongside physicians
and nurses and has seen their passion.
"I finally decided it was time to get a
nursing degree." The real impetus was
memories of her aunt. "I was so close to
her and when she died, I lost my way a
little and needed more of a purpose."
So, she took a little sabbatical
from the military before her second
year of nursing school at CU College
of Nursing to focus on the program.
As part of the post-911 GI bill, the
government pays for Maldonado's
education while she is physically in
school. Planning to resume her duties
in the Army soon, Maldonado said, "I
plan to go back in as a nurse. It's been
hard these last few months not being
in." Having three children ages 2, 7,
and 10, juggling their classwork during
the coronavirus pandemic and her own
in the nursing program, and a husband
who is active duty military necessitated
the break. "I found I needed to take
a step back." And now, Maldonado
will be stepping forward with her
Bachelor's in Nursing degree.



CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020

CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - Cover1
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 2
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 3
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 4
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 5
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 6
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 7
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 8
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 9
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 10
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 11
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 12
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 13
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 14
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 15
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 16
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 17
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 18
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 19
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - Cover4
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