All his life, Milton Lucas Jr. wanted to be a nurse. Nine years ago fate led him to West Coast University-Ontario and he has never looked back.
Today, Lucas serves as a prison nurse in Southern California. He strives to give quality health care to each individual he treats even in the most difficult cases.
"Sometimes there are inmates who come in and won't tell you what's wrong so you have to be able to find it," he said. "It's really contingent upon your assessment and can sometimes be life or death. In the end, they know I always have respect for them which allows me to build relationships and give better care."
Lucas credits his alma mater for giving him the skills he needed to be a great nurse, but the compassion he shows patients he learned at a very young age.
"When I was very young, my grandfather was hospitalized. I remember he had a really bad wound and he would tear up when they would treat him," he said. "I saw this male nurse not say or do anything but hold his hand. The nurse gave him exactly what he needed to help him through the treatment and that was so powerful to me. It made me want to do that for someone else."