For the KU Port St. Lucie Campus Trio, graduation was a family affair

The opening ceremony of Keizer University’s Port St. Lucie campus held special meaning for US veterans and sisters Natasha and Charlene le Gendre as they received their degrees alongside brother-in-law Gabriel McMinn.

With a “family first” motto, the trio have been tremendously supportive of each other while also making sure that the wish of Natasha and Charlene’s late mother, Joyce, was granted. “We’ve come a long way since losing our mother in 2020. She wanted nothing more than for us to be okay. Now we’re fine together,” smiled Natasha, who currently works as an ER nurse and is about to complete her Masters of Science in Nursing. “Although our learning paths were different, we took the time to support each other with study, proofreading, or just moral support when we each needed a little motivation,” she said.

The group is drawn to Keizer University for its individual approach to learning, flexible schedules, and more. She refers to the university’s Port St. Lucie campus as her “home away from home” and is grateful for the mutual support and continued support from family members who lent a hand when needed. They often commuted together and met after class to study at a local restaurant. They accepted the challenge, knowing that the day of celebration would eventually come.

“Learning was difficult at first because I had to get used to the schedule and the daily routine. Once I got the hang of it, my family helped me through the courses through study and quizzes, which were a bit difficult. My teachers were also very supportive, always reaching out and allowing me to ask questions about my concerns at any time,” recalls Charlene, who will be pursuing her Associate of Science degree in Graphics and Design.

“Being a nurse has humbled me and helped me see the importance of family and my classmates. Being a military veteran, I needed a village to learn the civilian way of learning. “My family gave me the confidence to never give up and to keep going,” said Gabriel, who is pursuing his Associate of Science degree in Nursing and would like to become a Certified Nurse Anesthetist.

When asked what she would recommend to others who want to achieve their dreams, Natasha replied, “Go ahead…” Stay true to your vision. God has been the center of our success and he remains the anchor.”

The Keizer University College of Nursing offers a range of programs and degrees for students who wish to prepare themselves to succeed in this field. The Graphics and Design program at Keizer University builds on an interest in fine arts, design, and communication to help students learn a variety of software applications and design principles to create successful design solutions. Graphic artists and designers influence how people see the world, where they shop, how they choose, how they learn and what they remember.

Keizer University is a private, independent, not-for-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students in 21 Florida, online and two international campuses. Co-founded by Chancellor Arthur Keizer, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keizer in 1977, Keizer University currently offers more than 100 associate’s through doctoral degrees. Keizer University is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and ranked #1 in the United States for providing social mobility in 2023 by US News and World Report.

L-R: KU Vice Chancellor of Finance/Treasurer/CFO Joseph Berardinelli, Acting PSL Police Commissioner Richard Del Toro, KU Graduate Natasha de Gendre, KU Graduate Speaker Tatsiana Minevich, KU Graduate Charlene le Gendre, Congressman Brian Mast, KU Graduate Gabriel McMinn and KU Leslie Kristof, President of the PSL Campus

Family members Gabriel McMinn and Charlene and Natasha le Gendre share their story with WPTV (ABC) television viewers.

Natasha and Charlene Le Gendre with Gabriel McMinn