Gabriela Yambo: From Health Science Graduate to NAVY Corpsman
GabrielaYambo graduated from Goodwin College with an associate degree in Health Science in 2013 and, as of fall 2014, is just months away from leaving for basic training after enlisting as a Navy corpsman.
With the support of her family and the help of her mentors, she saw her studies through to graduation, but the journey was not without its struggles.
While Yambo was still finishing her courses, her mother moved back to Puerto Rico, where most of her family resides. At 20, she moved out on her own and took on many new responsibilities in pursuit of her degree. “I can’t thank Goodwin enough for my education. The WISE program felt more like a family than anything. It was a sisterhood,” Yambo stated.
Coming from a military family and having married a marine, Yambo received much support after enlisting. Latanya Kennedy, WISE Program Coordinator, provided guidance and direction every step of the way. “Latanya has always been very supportive. If I was struggling in school, she would tell me about tutors that were available. When I told her I enlisted in the Navy, she researched and gave me great tips.”
Through the WISE program, Yambo was able to mentor students and speak about the transition from high school to college. Now reflecting on life from a new perspective, she is anticipating yet another transition. “It’s bittersweet leaving everything and starting fresh, but I’m looking forward to starting a new life and having a medical career.”
The WISE program started out with 10 women in the first cohort and has since expanded to 69. Yambo is proud to have been part of this growing program that will continue to help so many women reach their educational and professional goals. Yambo plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree while in the Navy.
By: Hannah Stacy