By Taylor Okamura | Staff Writer

Word on the Street: What does Commencement mean to you? Or what are you excited about having this degree?

Marianne B. Mariano
Age: 37
Hometown: Waipahu, Oʻahu
Major: Nursing

“I’m excited to start using my nursing degree to help others. … It started with my son. He’s wheelchair bound, so having helped him, I wanted to give back to the hospital that helped my son … or kids that are suffering from his ailments.” 

Joy Casuga
Age: 54
Hometown: Kapolei, Oʻahu
Major: Nursing Aid / CNA

“I’m excited for a new beginning. I have four kids, so I had to raise them first; so this is my time. I’ll hopefully make my way up to an RN.” 

Hollie Toma
Age: 35
Hometown: Mililani, Oʻahu
Major: Nursing

“What commencement means to me is a lot of people may think it’s the end to their journey, but I think it’s a start to their journey. I think it’s getting into something new.” 

Sarah Yomes-Cunha-Ling
Age: 21
Hometown: Kalihi, Oʻahu
Major: Nursing Aid / CNA

“I’m excited about becoming an RN. … Doing the OPN program before the RN program and just getting more experience of college, … we dreamed about this when we were small, we’ve seen all the movies, it’s not the same but it’s still fun.” 

Rochelle Baybana
Age: 40
Hometown: Stockton, California
Major: Nursing

“I’m excited for what every other nurse is excited for, to make money and start my career as a nurse. Hopefully to move my way up to management.”

Chelsea Jaye Abordonado
Age: 18
Hometown: Kalihi, Oʻahu
Major: Nursing Aid / CNA

“I’m really excited about being able to finish my first stepping stone because later on I’m excited to go up the ladder of being an LPA and then RN and maybe master’s. I’m excited to gain more experience and do more patient care. … I’m excited to work in a hospital and get more experience.”