Class of 2017 Nursing Grad Sings the National Anthem at 25th Commencement

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Gateway Community College Class of 2017 included more than 1,200 talented and accomplished graduates, among them, nursing major Juan Carlos Reyes, who opened the college's 25th Commencement ceremonies at the Toyota Oakdale Theater by singing the National Anthem.

A New York native, Reyes is an outreach worker at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), where he was inspired to pursue a nursing career. He is the recipient of the Nurse’s Choice and the Peace Award for his compassion and dedication to his clients. He credits the support of YNHH, Director of Community Health Stephanie Bilskis, Patient Service Manager Peggy Simmonette and his GCC Nursing colleagues with keeping him motivated to complete his degree, which he will receive with 92 other graduates of the GCC Nursing program.

Reyes is no stranger to performing for large crowds. Along with his current career, Reyes is a musician, preacher, and father of two amazing children: Christina and Jonathan Reyes. His music and preaching have led him on travels both internationally and throughout the United States, bringing inspiring messages to communities devoid of faith and hope. Born to a large humble family of 13 siblings, his parents, Rev. Angelino and Hortencia Reyes, instilled the importance of community and family values to their children.

Reyes is grateful to GCC's President, Dorsey L. Kendrick, for establishing the Nursing Program at the college, and acknowledges that the support from his employer, family, friends and faculty have been instrumental in furthering his career. He begins his new position at Yale New Haven Hospital as a Registered Nurse on July 10.