Hometown: Exeter, RI
As her family’s first college graduate, Trystan Del Tufo ’13 is living proof that hard work pays off.
She received the scholarships from the Narragansett Indian School and the Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island to attend college, entered URI through the Talent Development Intensive Summer Program, and she became a resident assistant so she could live on campus. At URI, she was a nursing tutor who helped fellow students in the Pathways to Nursing Program, which support minorities in nursing. She’s worked at numerous restaurants and completed hundreds of hours of community service at the West Warwick Youth Center, Women & Infants Hospital, and URI. in her last year of college, she was a paid classroom behavior specialist at The Bradley School.
“It was very important for me to work hard and seek every opportunity,” she said. “Having one job is going to be bliss for me.”
And one fantastic job it is. Trystan has wanted to be a nurse ever since her younger sister was born with a serious heart defect (she is fine now). She earned her bachelor’s degree in December, and is now a nurse in the gastrointestinal unit at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
As a student at URI, Trystan cherished her clinical rotations. During her maternity rotation, she helped deliver a baby and described it as a miracle. “I loved working with the patients,” she said.
At The Bradley School, she focused on students ages 4 to 22 with developmental delays. That experience honed her communications skills and made her realize she eventually wants to work in pediatric oncology. “Kids in oncology have delays in areas such as academic achievement and social interaction as a result of multiple hospitalizations, and Bradley prepared me for that,” she said.
Sloan-Kettering holds a pediatric prom and young patients dress up and socialize with each other about topics other than cancer. “The cancer patients, despite their cancer diagnoses, are so full of life and so resilient. They remind me why my job is important and how it makes such a difference,” she said.