Alumni Profile: Stephanie Wagas, BSN
By Stephanie Wagas
- What got you interested in health sciences?
- I was born and raised in The Philippines. I lived with my maternal grandparents while my parents worked here in the US. For as long as I can remember, my grandfather instilled in all of us the act of service, especially to those who are in dire need. “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ‘ (Matthew 25:40)
I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a long-term care facility before applying to a nursing program. Many of the geriatric patients there were grateful for my assistance. They would reminisce about the times when they were independent to do anything they wanted. Many times, I wondered if this is the sort of service my grandfather told us about. I decided that I need to know more and expand my knowledge in the nursing field. In the process of applying to a nursing school to attend, it was my mother who suggested I inquire about the nursing program at AUHS. She mentioned that she came across a flyer years ago, although, at that time, she didn’t look more into it. Despite getting accepted at Mount St. Mary’s University, there was something at AUHS that I believed God had planned for me.
- How did your volunteer experiences at AUHS affect you, or how have AUHS values become important to you?
- One of the university’s guiding principles that is near and dear to me is: “The University recognizes its critical role in community development and social health service. It is aware that institutional success lies behind what its students and graduates give back to society. The University seeks to impress upon all its graduates the higher mission and noble privilege of community service and improving the quality of healthcare through both provision of care and scholarly study of the impact of that care.” Every volunteer experience–Lamp Unto My Feet, Acts of Love, Santa Cause–reminded me of my grandfather and the principles he instilled in me since I was little. Although he passed years ago, the teachings he fostered live on with me.
- What are you doing now?
- I am currently working at Torrance Memorial Medical Center Burn ICU as a Staff Nurse as well as being a part of the School of Nursing at AUHS, assisting the Clinical Director with Clinical Readiness Camp, co-teaching a class, and being a clinical instructor.
- What are your plans/dreams for the future?
- Although I have plans for the future, I keep close to my heart this Bible verse from Proverbs 16:3-9 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Whatever endeavors God has for me, whether I am to continue to pursue my higher education, or assisting students navigate through the nursing field, with the opportunities and challenges that come my way, I know that with Him, anything is possible.