When graduates from the Class of 2023 cross the Commencement stage to complete their Cabrini journeys on Sunday, May 21, their Commencement speaker, Lucy Bustamante, will be completing a full-circle Cabrini journey of her own.
Long before Bustamante delivered Philadelphia’s morning news as an Emmy Award-winning news anchor and journalist for NBC10 and Telemundo62, she was a Cabrini High School student in New Orleans who traveled to Radnor, PA, to volunteer with the retired Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSCs) at the former St. Cabrini Home in Philadelphia.
As the daughter of Cuban refugees who fled Fidel Castro’s regime, Bustamante said she and her family found a home in St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’s story, passion and life’s work as the Patron Saint of Immigrants. Bustamante’s sister who came from Cuba at age 4 was also educated at Cabrini High School in New Orleans.
Bustamante encourages graduates, particularly first and second-generation Americans, to embrace their cultural identity as an asset as they discover their own vocations.
“I don’t think there’s a better character to be in the American story than a first-generation American,” she said. “It is the front row seat for why this country is so special, at least in its ideals. As graduates, they need to really focus on what they have to offer and realize that the duality of being an American and whatever other culture they came from is a humongous benefit—more now than ever.”
Bustamante developed her craft as a broadcast journalist under some of “the first women in broadcast.” Early in her career, she rose to the challenge of covering Hurricane Katrina, which devastated her hometown of New Orleans in 2005.
At Cabrini’s 63rd Commencement Exercises later this month, Bustamante will amplify messages of inspiration to graduates and their families. She said she hopes to impart a lesson learned from her immigrant parents: visualize yourself living the American dream in the form of a vocation based on your passion.