BOSTON (CBS) – She’s overcome more than most can imagine, and is sharing her message of perseverance and hope. A single mother who has been homeless is about to graduate from Mass Bay Community College with a nursing degree.
Lindsey Gaetani has the honor of delivering this year’s commencement speech, and it’s well worth a listen.
“I made the choice to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep persevering. You all have that choice as well.”
Gaetani’s voice rings out from the podium as she rehearses her commencement address. She has been through more than most in her 30 years.
“It’s been a really hard journey to get to this point,” she told us. Her son Cameron is five now, but four years ago they were homeless. “We bounced around from friends couches, to my car, to motels,” she says.
They struggled to find help. But when things stabilized, Gaetani decided to follow her dream, and with incredibly hard work and sacrifice, she’s graduating from Mass Bay with a degree in nursing.
The theme of her speech is choices. “As I have come to realize, although there is much we cannot control in our lives, we always have a choice in how we react to the uncontrollable,” she will tell her fellow graduates.
“I wanted to relay that message of hope to others. That you can do it,” she says.
Her son is her number one inspiration through all the hard times. “His strength gave me strength. I just wanted to really show him that he could do anything, and be a role model for him. And if I gave up, what message would that be sending to him?” she asks.
And when they gather Thursday for graduation, she hopes that students, friends and family will be inspired by her words.
“Choose your own destiny. Don’t let your circumstances define you. Ignore statistics. And remember, hard work does pay off in the end,” she will tell them.
Lindsey will speak to about 300 of her fellow Mass Bay graduates Thursday. She will take her boards shortly after that and become a registered nurse.