Four lifelong friends set to graduate together from Pitt State nursing program

The "Frontenac Crew" have gone to school together their entire lives leading up to college graduation.

Four Pitt State nursing students have earned a name for themselves the last four years.

“The Frontenac group.”

They’ve been by each other’s side for basically their entire lives.

“What 22 year old can say they’ve had the same friends for 20 years?” 

Brilee Rhuems, Karlie Zafuta, Emily Merando and Ryan Menghini graduated from Frontenac High School in 2016.

This weekend they’re graduating together again, this time from the Pitt State nursing program.

“We all sit next to each other in class,” Menghini says, “We stay in touch for homework assignments and all the way through school and clinicals. So it’s made it nice.”

“Nursing school is pretty stressful,” adds Zafuta, “I think it was helpful to have them there going through it, too.”

Their graduation ceremony has been pushed back a few months due to COVID-19.

“I feel like if we would have had graduation, I would have just cried the whole time,” Merando says. 

They’ll be fighting that same pandemic now that they’re done with school.

“There’s always scary diseases and stuff in the hospital,” Zafuta says, “I just think it’s another part of it that we’re going to have to get used to.”

Although they will be separated for the first time in nearly two decades, they will not be too far apart, and they plan to stay in touch after graduation.”

“We’re not going to stop being friends,” Rhuems finishes, “That’s really nice to know, and it’s nice to be able to have a support system like that.”