Ten Years in the Making

August 29, 2019
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Tinker Family at College of Western Idaho's 2019 Commencement

Hometown:  Kuna, Idaho
Major:  Professional Nursing
Graduation:  2019

“Because of CWI, I can do what I love to do – help people and make a difference,” said 2019 graduate, Mike Tinker.

Mike first came to College of Western Idaho (CWI) in 2009. Newly married, he and his wife, Danielle, were both working as CNAs at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho, and excited to pursue their dreams of becoming nurses. From his first day on campus to now, Mike’s journey has been filled with lots of ups and downs.

“I have always wanted to be the first one in my family to earn a degree, but never had the extra push I needed until I met my wife. She made me want to be a better person and never stopped believing in my potential. Fast forward 10 years, being turned down not one, but three times from CWI’s Nursing program, and after a plea from my wife to apply just one more time, here I am – a CWI graduate!”

During his last semester, an outpouring of love and support from his classmates helped Mike push through after he and Danielle experienced the loss of their daughter, Paige, who was born several weeks premature.

“They were all amazing – taking notes for him when he couldn’t be there, sending our family cards and gifts for Paige, and honoring her at the Nursing Pinning ceremony,” said Danielle.

“It’s been a long road to get to this point,” said Mike. “I’m very grateful for friends and family who have surrounded me with love and support during the hard times and the fun times. People always ask me how I got through school after the passing of our little Paige, and I have to give credit to her for the fight she showed everyone. She made me realize I have no excuse not to finish something I start.”

Mike and Danielle are both experiencing how CWI empowers families. Now a registered nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian, Mike plans to continue his schooling at Lewis-Clark State College. Danielle, also a Professional Nursing graduate from 2016, currently works as a nurse for West Ada School District.

“CWI has empowered me in every way possible. Even after ten years, CWI never gave up on me. This degree is for Paige, my boys, and my wife. Never give up on a dream, and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of that dream.”

Start empowering your future – visit cwi.edu/BeMighty!

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