BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Haney Technical Center is celebrating after 16 graduated from the Practical Nursing Program for the class of 2021.

School officials said they are very proud of their students pushing through what has been another challenging year. Many students having inspirational stories of their own.

These 16 Haney Technical graduates are committed to being caring, compassionate, and dedicated nurses, that’s the pledge. The traditional lighting of the nightingale lamp, symbolizing career guidance followed by a pinning ceremony, which represents the transition into the professional world.

“Wear it with pride and always remember what you have endured reaching your goals,” one of the graduating students voiced to her classmates.

And for nursing graduate Rebecca Wages, she did exactly that.

“I was 17 years old, I got pregnant,” said Wages. “Unfortunately, that set my whole goal of becoming a nurse soon, back.”

Now twelve years later, with two grown children, Wages knew it was time to chase her dreams.

“And I truly believe that we are going to make a difference in a lot of lives,” Wages said.

Wages is not the only one. Another now-former nursing student, Na’ Shia Meyers said her grandmother and mother were nurses as well graduating from Haney’s Practical Nursing program. She knew from a young age, she wanted to follow in their footsteps.

“Looking at them doing it, I just knew I would be able to get through it with their support and encouragement,” said Meyers. “Because I had my doubts about joining the program.”

Meyers said her grandmother pushed her to apply at Haney.

“Because it’s three generations of us and this is what she wanted to do, and it’s really awesome,” said Meyers grandmother and nurse Yvonne Bowser.

Meyers is planning to work as a nurse while completing more schooling to become a registered nurse.

To learn more about Haney Technical’s nursing programs visit their website.