Photo of Rachel Yepes

Nursing student Rachel Yepes moved from Stanford, Connecticut, to New York City in search of a fresh start when she was 19 years old. She found a new home with family friends in the Bronx, where the Hostos bridge spanning across the Grand Concourse caught her eye, signaling an opportunity for her to continue her education in pursuit of a healthcare career. “I was like, it seems like I should go here,” she said.
Having previously served as a volunteer firefighter and taken EMT classes, Rachel enrolled in the Nursing program (RN) at Hostos, where she found more than an education — she found community and a renewed passion for a healthcare career.
Although she admits she felt overwhelmed and battled self-doubt at times, she was able to push through with the ongoing support of her advisors, professors, and especially her classmates, who have been a constant source of inspiration for her.
“The student body at Hostos is unlike anything else I’ve seen, especially in the nursing program,” she said. “The students were so driven and motivated. Just because everyone is coming from a different background and everyone has a reason for why they want to succeed and why they want to go into nursing. A lot of my peers, I admire them so much, because they juggle families, they juggle work; none of us really get sleep, just for the goal.”
Rachel and her classmates continued to support one another throughout the pandemic, meeting via Zoom outside of class time to study or keep in touch.
Looking ahead, the 23-year-old RN Class President will take her State Board exam this summer and go on to pursue her B.S.N. at Hunter College. She hopes to someday work in the ICU or emergency unit of a hospital.
She advises new and prospective RN students to ask lots of questions in and outside of class, “find a good group of people who can help inspire you and keep you going,” and take time to take care of themselves.