• January 18, 2019

OC graduate an inspiration to nursing faculty - Odessa American: Odessa College

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OC graduate an inspiration to nursing faculty

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Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 3:25 pm

Caroline Salgong has had a rollercoaster journey to earning her licensed vocational nursing degree at Odessa College, but she’ll graduate Saturday. Along the way, she has provided inspiration to the nursing faculty.

Ceremonies are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the OC Sports Center, 201 W. University Blvd. Director of Media Relations Cheri Dalton said 500 degrees and certificates will be awarded.

Salgong’s husband died suddenly last spring. About a week later, she won a Ford F-150 at Drive to Success. She has four children and currently works for Invigorate Post Acute of Hobbs, N.M.

She said she made it to this point because of the support she received from her OC instructors at the Andrews campus, family, friends, classmates and well-wishers.

“I couldn’t afford to let them down and every day I remind myself every day that this was my husband’s dream that I finish college, so I stayed strong and hung in there. I learned never to lose hope. I was encouraged, lifted and strengthened to be what I am,” Salgong said.

Salgong, who is from Kenya, always wanted to be a nurse. She said OC offered the best program for her.

“It was a tough deal for me, but the instructors were really awesome. I’m really grateful and I’m trying to tell everybody about Odessa College. It’s the best place to be,” Salgong said.

“I tell everybody that it was worth it. I do not regret it. I’m really so grateful tell everybody not to give up, not at any point, because nothing is impossible.”

Nicole Hays, interim dean of Health Sciences, was the director of vocational nursing when Salgong was in the program. Licensed vocational nurses work in all the major hospitals, doctor’s offices, home health and schools.

“Caroline is a very kind, genuine, caring person,” Hays said. “She was always just a fantastic student; just a joy to be around. All the other students just loved her.”

Hays said Salgong always turned her work in on time and was the “dream student that everybody wants.”

The program lasts 12 months, but even after going to Africa to bury her husband, it only took her an extra month to complete it.

Hays said Salgong still had concern for other students and never played the victim or made excuses. She added that she thinks Salgong’s motivation increased from where it was after her husband’s death.

“She did absolutely fantastic,” Hays said.

She added that Salgong single-handedly made the program better.

“She’s just a fantastic person. We were honored to have her in our program. She made us better. She single-handedly made us better. She made myself and the faculty just better people. She humbled us and made us realize as a faculty that if she can do it, anyone can do it,” Hays said.

Odessa, TX

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