Photo via Facebook Photo via Facebook

A Michigan mom has turned her pain into passion and purpose – at a time when the state needs it the most.

DETROIT, MI — Michigan’s medical professionals choose their vocation for reasons that most people may not think twice about — before a global pandemic. Now, essential workers of all kinds are at the forefront of Michiganders’ thoughts because now we need them most.

Randie Contreras, 31, of Riverview found herself in the midst of one personal tragedy after another. Losing her brother-in-law and father within a year of one another forced a self awakening in the Lincoln Park native.

WATCH BELOW

DON’T MISS: We Are Michigan Nurses During Coronavirus. Here Is Our Truth.

“As I grew up I just wanted to take care of everyone else,” says the downriver wife and mom. “Nursing is all about that so it made sense.”

Contreras was confident in her decision to pursue her nursing education well before the COVID-19 virus was confirmed in Michigan. In fact, she credits the viral outbreak with ensuring her Schoolcraft College cohort was prepared to enter the field in the midst of a global pandemic.

“We lost a lot of students who couldn’t keep up with the demands at that time,” she says. “I feel like this is a great opportunity for us [to be prepared for a pandemic].”

RELATED: Nurses Refused to Treat COVID-19 Patients Without Proper Protection. They’re Being Punished for It.

Classes were moved online and meticulous care was taken to ensure the soon-to-be nurses were still educated according to American medical standards.

“This is my passion and I’m going straight into the emergency room,” she says of the job she landed at Beaumont Hosptial’s Dearborn campus — a position most recent nursing grads wouldn’t be able to land in different circumstances.

Contreras is one of 168 nurses to graduate from Schoolcraft College this term. It is the school’s largest graduating class ever when the country needs them most.

READ: Michigan Officials: We Need More Ventilators And Nurses — Now