‘I know why I’m doing it’: Vicksburg’s Delgado tapped as speaker for Hinds CC nursing graduation

Published 10:24 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

PEARL – After one semester, Elaina Delgado of Vicksburg thought associate degree nursing school at Hinds Community College would be a snap.

The second semester proved to be a wake-up call for her when she not only failed, but failed big.

“I was completely distraught and destroyed,” she recalled in her speech to graduating classmates Wednesday at the school’s nursing school commencement ceremony.

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Delgado said she withdrew from the semester, regrouped and came back stronger, turning a potential life-changing failure into a remarkable success.

“I told myself … this is the hardest thing I have ever done but at least I know why I’m doing it,” she said.

Delgado shared with classmates three words and a phrase that she learned from her experience: Humility, persevere and motivation and, lastly, “I did it …And, well, we all did it.”

Delgado, 20, graduated Wednesday. More than 1,200 others will graduate from Hinds Community College in ceremonies held through May 10. She has a job lined up in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The speakers for each ceremony are students receiving degrees who have shown leadership and excellence in their fields of study and were selected by their instructors and peers.

Kamien Gray, 25, of Cleveland, said the invocation and benediction for Nursing and Allied Health ceremony. He will graduate with an associate degree in physical therapy. After graduation he has a job as a physical therapist’s assistant.

Amanda McFarland Wright of Crystal Springs has a similar story of failure and success to that of classmate Delgado.

She came to Hinds for a year after graduating high school in 2007, spent a year at Mississippi State University and returned to Hinds for the Associate Degree Nursing program, lasting only a semester. She returned again, and again wasn’t successful in the first semester.

“At the time I was 21 and honestly not ready to settle down in the books because I was still just a kid,” she said.

After dabbling in several other careers, she married and returned to Hinds for the practical nursing program, finally achieving success. But, three daughters later, she tried again in the Associate Degree Nursing program and again failed. She enrolled in Hinds’ summer Learning to Learn Camp, which gave her the edge she needed to finally complete the program.

“It’s definitely been a long road,” she said. “I’ve shed so many tears and wanted to give up so many times. But I didn’t. I reached my goal in life. I will finally have RN behind my name …  and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I have learned to never give up. No matter how hard life gets, never give up on your dreams. You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Paramedic Yarah Amador-Stubbs of Louisville drove two hours one way every day to get an associate degree in nursing through the transition program available for paramedics and practical nurses.

“I was given the chance to be able to come to school here and do it all in under a year,” she said. “The main reason why I became a nurse is for my husband, who is disabled, for him to be able to have a better future and be able to provide for him and our family.”

Her husband, Dylan Stubbs, has muscular dystrophy and has been wheelchair bound for six years. Her career goal is to work in critical care and pursue her bachelor’s and master’s in nursing.

Hinds has a total of four graduation ceremonies that included two on May 9 at the Muse Center and a fourth at the Utica Campus on May 10.