Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Meet the Graduates

by Mary McInerney, USF News

As USF's May 21 commencement approaches, it;s time to focus on graduates. Meet three members of the Class of 2021.

Camile Williams DNP ’21

Camille Williams

She is an Army veteran, spouse of a disabled Marine, mother of seven children, a full-time working nurse practitioner, and a full-time doctoral student, soon to graduate.

“USF took me on a life-changing journey,” said Camile Williams, “keeping me forward-facing and challenging my thought process every step of the way.”

Williams is a family nurse practitioner in the child abuse prevention and treatment clinic at Valley Children’s Healthcare in Clovis, California. She earned a doctorate in population health leadership.

She said she hopes to use “the knowledge that I’ve gained to work with community leaders on health policies that close the health gap.” She said she would also love to teach and mentor nursing students entering the field.

She and her husband have five daughters, ages 19 to 25. One is graduating from Fresno State University this month. Another finished college and is serving in the Navy, and two others are expected to graduate from UC Fullerton and Sacramento State University later this year. Their 19-year-old daughter will graduate from Fresno State next May.

The couple also has two sons: a 16-year-old who is working on an associate’s degree while finishing high school, and a 14-year-old in middle school.

“My children have been supportive of me going to school,” said Williams, who will speak at the School of Nursing and Health Professions commencement. “I believe that we have encouraged them to follow their dreams, too.”

Kenneth Cacacho ’21

Kenneth Cacacho

An entrepreneur from a young age, Kenneth Cacacho was running his own bakery and catering business by his senior year of high school.

“I catered four weddings with 200 to 300 cupcake orders each,” he said. His business, Sweet Route Bakery, grew out of his love for cooking and baking, something he learned “from growing up in a Filipino household with lots of delicious food.” His aunt, who babysat him, taught him how to cook.

He chose USF’s entrepreneurship and innovation major, he said, to gain a Jesuit education with exposure to innovation in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Cacacho, the School of Management valedictorian and a member of the honors program, will speak at commencement.

After graduation, Cacacho will join Adobe as a sales development representative in San Francisco.

In the meantime, Sweet Route Bakery, in Fremont, expanded during the pandemic with so many orders that Cacacho is renovating the company’s kitchen in anticipation of a busy summer.

Shannon Foley ’21

Shannon Foley

Sisters Amanda, Shannon, and Elizabeth Foley all attend USF. Shannon, an art history major, is the first to graduate.

The three sisters are very close and are proud to be Dons, their mother, Natalie Foley, said.

“They are especially close, persevering through the loss of their father at a very young age,” she said. “He was 39 years old, and the girls were 1, 5, and 7.”

Amanda will graduate in December with a psychology degree, and Elizabeth has two more years and is also working towards a psychology degree. 

The Foleys are connected to USF in another way, too. Natalie Foley’s great uncle, Albert Casey, was a priest for 52 years, teaching at USF during that time. He was also known as the "Street Priest” in San Francisco for his work with people in the Tenderloin and downtown.

After graduation, Shannon will finish her internship with UCSF's Special Collections and Archives and is looking for a job in the arts. Commencement has meant reflecting on her family history with USF.

“It’s so special to have been able to attend USF with my two sisters,” she said. “It is also special to graduate from a school where our family history and roots go very deep. Knowing our family members attended, taught, and preached here made me feel closer to them — and to USF.”

All commencement ceremonies will be streamed on USF’s website, on YouTube, and on Facebook and archived for later viewing.

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