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Selma graduate: Cody Friend

Cody Friend, second from right, is pictured with his wife and son, Catrina and Brody Friend, and parents, Darlene and John Friend, a retired Fresno County Sheriff and an Army sergeant, at his U.S. Army commissioning ceremony.

SELMA – Selma High graduate Cody Friend says he’s finally making his life’s dreams come true.

After recently being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s nurse corps, he’s also realizing setting goals sooner would have made his path smoother.

Friend was Selma High’s graduating Class of 2011’s salutatorian. He graduated magna cum laude, or with great distinction, when he earned his associate’s degree in biology at Reedley Community College. He graduated cum laude, with high distinction, while earning his bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing and minoring in philosophy and military science at California State University, Fresno. He is also a distinguished military graduate placing in the top 10 percent of the ROTC Commissioning Class nationwide.

Soon, Friend will be stationed at the Tripler Army Medical Center at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. His career goal is to become a labor and delivery nurse.

“Being afforded the opportunity to do both simultaneously is literally a dream come true. My achievements along the way are just a testament to my hard work and determination to make it happen. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents, wife and son,” he said.  Friend’s family includes his wife and son, Catrina and Brody Friend, and parents, John and Darlene Friend.

Friend said becoming a registered nurse and serving his country in the armed forces has always been a dream of his. He realizes now, though, that if he had set those goals sooner, the process would have been more straightforward.

“When I was younger, I wasn’t much of a forward or proactive thinker in regards to planning for my distant future. Looking back now, I know that if I would have thought more about my future then, it would have made this entire process much smoother, to say the least.”

Friend shared some advice for Selma High Bears hoping they’d set, and start working toward, their own goals sooner than later.

“If I were to give the students of my alma mater any advice about setting goals, it would be just to do so in the first place. College is not an environment that you want to waltz into being undetermined.”

Friend suggests students pick a major based on their interests and passions so they’ll be determined to finish their own educational goals.

“You’ll be much more likely to stick with it and see it through. Even though you’re from a small school in a small town, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make something big of yourself. Just remember, it’s OK to take help from those around you, but work hard because no one else can do it for you.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or

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