Perspective: Maria Goode – Alum, Nurse, Educator, Mentor, Donor

Maria D. Goode, M.S.N., B.S.N., R.N., C.E.N.; Class of 2009
Assistant Professor/Lab-Simulation Coordinator, Gateway Community College

Maria Goode inspires Gateway nursing students with her warmth, energy, smarts, and story. When asked why, she said, “The college helped me in so many ways. I will always want to make a difference here.”

Maria arrived in the U.S. in 2001 with big dreams and little English. “I left everything to make a better life for my kids,” she said. “Everything” included a job in IT; her family, friends, and culture; and her two sons, Derphys and Dayro. Maria, a single mom, entrusted her boys to the loving care of her own mother in the Dominican Republic.

Maria enrolled in an ESL adult education program in New Haven and worked at a neighborhood grocery store. She hadn’t considered a nursing career until a friend helped her get work as a homemaker-companion for the elderly.

“I discovered I liked caring for people,” she explained. “I wanted to be ‘that person’ – the nurse who treated patients on a different level.”

In 2006, she started non-credit coursework at Gateway Community College to improve her English and math skills. The following year, she began taking classes for college credit … and she did well.

She excelled scholastically and was accepted into the Gateway’s rigorous Nursing program. She worked hard, earned good grades, and qualified for membership in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the national honor society for community colleges.

“I worked hard but I wouldn’t have achieved what I did without that financial support,” Maria said of the PTK scholarship she was awarded via the Gateway Community College Foundation. She smiled, practically glowing with gratitude, when she remembered the mentorship she received from her professors and advisors at Gateway. “They pushed me to be the best I could be.”

Maria’s best is truly remarkable. She graduated from Gateway in 2009 and began practicing at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH). She didn’t rest, but continued studying and earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Western Connecticut State University and a master’s, also in Nursing, from the University of Hartford … all while working at YNHH.

When Maria’s sons immigrated in 2009, Gateway became a family tradition.

Derphys is now a nurse in YNHH’s Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. He attended Gateway, then transferred and graduated from Quinnipiac.

Dayro graduated from Gateway’s Criminal Justice Program, transferred to Central Connecticut State University, where he earned his bachelor’s in 2022. Maria’s husband Michael is also a YNHH nurse and Gateway alumnus. They live in Guilford with teenaged sons, Ryan and Aiden.

Maria became an adjunct professor of Nursing at the college in 2016 and a full-time assistant professor in 2021. She continues to work 24 hours a week at YNHH’s Emergency Department.

She is a mentor and role model for the next generation of nurses.

“I know firsthand how hard it can be just to survive. I also understand the importance of education, and I hope my story touches someone’s heart.”

She pays it forward by supporting the Gateway Foundation financially – and encouraging her fellow faculty and staff members to do the same “I couldn’t have achieved what I did without that help. Because a scholarship can change a struggling student’s life.”

Be a helper to a current Gateway student like Maria Goode! Please make your online gift to the Gateway Foundation today at If you want information about donating to a scholarship in honor or memory of someone, please call Victoria Dancy at (203) 285-2558 or email her at

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