Article by Tim Dekowski | Photography by Joshua Eller | Owl Staff
Imagine you’ve lost your job and gained all the worry and uncertainty for the future that comes with it. Student Mike Soleas lost his job as a car salesman, and while most people faced with this would be upset, Mike welcomed the opportunity. “I was making too much money and not helping enough people, so I decided to become a nurse.”
Mike was inspired to be a nurse by his six-year-old son Logan, who was born with myelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida, and has had multiple surgeries at John Hopkins.
Through the time he spent at the hospital, Soleas realized he wanted to make a difference in his son’s life, help other kids make it through their procedures, and let parents know that there is always someone who genuinely cares.
After his son’s most recent surgery, Soleas and his son returned to John Hopkins to see all his nurses and doctors. Even a few weeks after he was discharged, everyone knew Logan by his first name and greeted him. “That moment, I wanted to work at Hopkins.”
Despite the social stigma that “only women are nurses,” his extreme dislike of needles, and not being in college since 1991, he still pursued his dream and went into Harford’s Nursing program in 2011. Mike decided to go to HCC first since it was “cheap and close to home ‘cause I’m a family man.” Soleas is trying to get his degree in two years, but he realizes that it won’t be easy.
As a happy father of three kids with two dogs and a cat, you’d think that he wouldn’t have any time for hobbies. However, Mike is an avid gardener who loves his peppers. His most recent batch, the Scorpion Butch, a deceptively pretty purple, are the hottest he has ever grown. When he spends time with Logan, they play video games, football, and go to the gym for some bonding time.
So even in these rough economic times, someone can pull through. After losing his job, Mike kept his head up and found a new goal, changed his whole lifestyle, and came to Harford to make a difference in the world.