MassBay student commencement speaker shares story of perseverance

WELLESLEY, MA (WHDH) - The student commencement speaker for MassBay Community College is a single mother who was once homeless and now she is sharing her story to inspire others.

Lindsey Gaetani, of Dedham, is a single mother to a young son. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology but could not afford to get her masters after racking up more than $70,000 in student loans.

“There was a year span where things were not quite stable for us and my son was about a year old at that point,” said Gaetani.

By 2013, she fell on hard times. She and her son were homeless and were bouncing around from motels to sleeping on friends’ couches. At one point, they were even living out of her car.

“There were many times where it would’ve been very easy for me to give up,” said Gaetani. “It was hard. Logistically, along it was very hard.”

Gaetani took a minimum wage job and signed up for classes at MassBay, hoping to become a nurse. She was unable to get financial aid due to her student loan debt but applied to several scholarships.

Gaetani is now graduating Thursday, where she is being honored as the student commencement speaker.

“I thought it would give others hope to see what I went through and know that they can do the same,” said Gaetani.

Gaetani is taking exams soon in her next step at becoming a registered nurse.

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