Thousands of college students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center celebrated graduation day on Saturday.

Jesus Guzman was one of those graduates. In 2010, Guzman got a behind the scenes look at the Paul Foster School of Medicine’s White Coat Ceremony. It was a day that would completely alter his life’s plan.

 “I was studying accounting and during that time I was working at the Chamizal National Memorial as a theater tech,” Guzman explained. “I saw the master of ceremonies kind of talk about how the journey they were going to embark on was a field of serving others.”  

Now, nine years later, it’s him on that stage fulfilling his call to service, and he wasn’t the only one. 

“This is my second bachelor’s degree. I used to be a teacher for special education students and I left that profession,” said Raul Sanchez, another TTUHSC grad.

Sanchez left a career of ten years to focus on nursing, which meant going back to square one.

“Taking 17 hours on top of clinicals, it was a daunting task. The most challenging thing I’ve done in my life,” Sanchez said. 

For the students, their families are also a part of the process. Behind each graduate is a support system. 

“Doing nursing school while having such a young daughter, I feel like I have missed a lot of her milestones and things in her life, but I know I’m doing it for a better future for both of us,” TTUHSC grad Frida Espinoza said. 

For all of these graduates, they can count on a future where their family remains supportive of them and a community that is proud of their accomplishments.