A year into his studies as a nursing student at Austin Community College, Daniel Bustillos faced the ultimate challenge. He watched his mother lose her battle with liver cancer. Two paths lay before him. He could turn his back on medicine or put his heart into it.
“It was very tough,” says Bustillos. “But when I felt myself fall to my knees either in frustration or sadness it was my mother’s soothing words and compassion that brought me back to center.”
Bustillos knew he could not give up on his family or school. He now takes care of his two younger brothers while he completes the associate degree in nursing and supports the family as a rehabilitation technician at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
“My mother leaving my side was the biggest challenge I have faced while in the process of completing my degree at ACC and the never ending balancing act of trying to manage life as a 29-year-old.
‘I have skills that can save lives and that is an amazing feeling to have.’
A day at a time, he works passionately to manage his schoolwork and sustain his family.
“I consider myself to be a relatively strong individual,” he says. “I’m one of the top students in my class.”
The friendships he has made in the nursing program have helped him carry on. He graduates in May 2015 and plans to continue his studies to become a family nurse practitioner.
“ACC has instilled in me a confidence I didn’t have prior to becoming a nursing student,” says Bustillos. “I have skills that can save lives and that is an amazing feeling to have.”
While his mother won’t physically be there to see him finish his academic journey, Bustillos knows she will be proud.
Bustillos is a recipient of the Kinnser Software Scholars Program.Back to Top