Campus Life  

Son’s heart surgery inspires Kelowna father to enter new career

Okanagan College Media Release

When Darrell Hopegood’s 18-week-old son underwent heart surgery, it was an experience he would never forget.

The images lingered long after the recovery, but it was the significant role of the nurse involved that really shaped Hopegood’s future in a way he could never have expected.

“He was a male nurse and he did a fantastic job – I was just amazed at what he did,” recalls Hopegood, who will be among 115 practical nurses graduating this Saturday at Okanagan College’s Winter Convocation ceremonies.

Returning to school was quite a change for a 42-year-old man who has managed to keep up his trade as a finisher in the construction industry.

“It was last year when I decided this would be a good thing to do – a bit of a career change and add some skills.”

Hopegood upgraded his Grade 11 and 12, and with good grades was accepted into the program. Now it’s time to find work.

“I’d love to work in the O/R room, but I’ll need a few more courses to do that.”

Okanagan College is hosting two separate ceremonies for its Winter Convocation to confer credentials on 429 students graduating from more than 30 fields of study.

The morning convocation at 10 a.m. will recognize graduates from a variety of programs including Engineering Technologies, Business, Computer Information Systems, Health and Social Development and university studies in Arts and Science.

The afternoon ceremony starts at noon with the College conferring certificates on practical nursing graduates.

This is the first Convocation ceremony of 2011. Okanagan College’s larger Convocation and Commencement ceremonies take place in June.

Last year, Okanagan College conferred credentials on nearly 2,000 students.

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