5/23/2019Before the graduating Van Loan School at Endicott College students receive their degrees at Thursday’s Commencement ceremony, they will hear two inspirational stories from fellow classmates.
Following the Commencement Address by NBC10 Boston’s Latoyia Edwards, Nicholas Molinari ’12 M’19 and Noime Alves ’19 will take the stage to give their student remarks.
Molinari, who is from Staten Island, N.Y., will become a “Double Gull” with his second degree from Endicott, this time a Master of Business Administration to go along with his initial bachelor’s degree. He says, “It was a great fit because I live two miles down the road, the professors really care and listened to our needs, and they were there to help me every step of the way. Endicott truly showed me how much they care time and again.” Between obtaining his two degrees, Molinari served in the U.S. Army beginning in 2013. He served in the 75th Ranger Regiment and 82nd Airborne Division with a tour to Afghanistan.
“Honored” to represent “not only the MBA program but all the professional studies” is how Molinari described his reaction to hearing the news that he was selected to speak at Commencement. He also admittedly was a little tired as he was napping with his 2-week-old when he got the call. He says, “I plan on speaking about how all the hard work we did got us to this one event. The things we learned and the people we met will help all of us in the future.”
As far as future goals, Molinari has many, including being the best possible husband for his wife and father for his two children that he can be. He also has his sights set on running a company and potentially becoming a CEO in the Boston area.
“Both of my Endicott experiences have been life-changing for me,” says Molinari. “My undergrad years I played football, made lifelong friends, and met my wife. During graduate school it was different—I was focusing on providing for my family and starting a long-term career. I love Endicott and that's why I keep coming back.”
Following Molinari’s speech, Alves, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, will take the stage to share her story. Alves came to the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester in 2011 from her home country of Cape Verde when she was 18 and pregnant with her son, Nehemiah, who is now 7 years old. She had family in Dorchester, but the transition wasn’t easy, including being away from her now-husband for four years until they married.
But Alves’ story is one of great resolve and perseverance, which she displayed by getting her high school degree at Boston International High School while being pregnant and not knowing any English. As Van Loan family and friends will hear on Thursday, though, she now speaks near-flawless English and has so much love for Endicott and her community.
“That’s what Endicott does—they protect you and they care,” says Alves. “When I say family, they really care about you. I became a U.S. citizen in 2017 and one of my teachers was there with me. That impacted me. … Endicott is my family.”
Alves plans on speaking about her eight years in the U.S. during her speech—when she came here and being pregnant but never giving up. She says, “I feel like I deserve it after the struggles and everything I went through. … I feel even better about Endicott because they see you deserve something. If they give something to you it’s because you really deserve it.”
After graduating, Alves plans on joining the police force academy and working in the criminal justice system. And one day she hopes to go back to school again—this time law school—and become a lawyer.
For more information about Commencement, visit endicott.edu.