UPEI valedictorian fulfils childhood nursing dreams, appreciating peers’ resiliency
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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Henrietta Obodo mentioned she used to work as an auditor, staring on the display screen, unearthing monetary errors hidden between strains and feeling unwelcomed when she confirmed up at somebody’s door.
Now, she has discovered a lot pleasure after dwelling in P.E.I. and turning into a UPEI nursing pupil.
The smile on individuals’s faces is probably the most rewarding half. It helps her overcome the bumps on the highway to her dream.
“I would like individuals to smile after they see me. I would like individuals to be completely happy. I would like to have the ability to do one thing for any individual that makes them really feel higher.”
Obodo got here from Nigeria to P.E.I. in 2017. She has a bachelor’s diploma in agricultural financial system and a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration. She had labored for the Nigerian authorities as a senior agriculture officer after quitting the accountant position.
At UPEI, she accomplished the nursing program one semester early and was the valedictorian for 2023, giving a valedictory deal with on Could 16 throughout the first of 4 convocations this week.
“I’m completely happy. I’m excited. It’s a fulfilment.”
“Folks could not bear in mind your identify or what you probably did or what you mentioned, however they’ll bear in mind the way you made them really feel. So, in a world the place you may be something, be type to individuals, be type to one another, be type to your self.” – Henrietta Obodo
Valedictory deal with
In her valedictory, she urged her friends and all working nurses to all the time bear in mind to be type to one another, particularly to themselves.
“Folks could not bear in mind your identify or what you probably did or what you mentioned, however they’ll bear in mind the way you made them really feel. So, in a world the place you may be something, be type to individuals, be type to one another, be type to your self.
“Handle your self so that you don’t break down, so that you just’re in a position to handle individuals. … Let the sunshine shine from inside. (Nurses) needs to be the sunshine to assist individuals to be completely happy and simply do what they’ve been skilled to do – to take care of individuals.”
She additionally praised her friends for staying of their positions and dealing laborious regardless of troublesome instances throughout the pandemic.
“My classmates are resilient individuals. They’re hardworking individuals whom this nation can rely on as a result of, throughout COVID, all people stayed house, however we have been working,” she mentioned. “We put ourselves in danger, you understand, to handle Islanders throughout COVID.”
Ardour for nursing
At first, Obodo didn’t got down to work within the health-care sector when she got here to P.E.I.
She and her husband determined to maneuver to P.E.I. so their kids might obtain a greater schooling and stay in a safer surroundings. She shaped bonds along with her neighborhood members which have given her a way of belonging.
“I like the Island. I like the neighborhood. I like the individuals. The persons are welcoming and accommodating. It’s good to know that after some time, I grew to become a part of the (neighborhood).”
Taking nursing had all the time been her childhood dream. When she arrived in P.E.I. and heard concerning the excessive demand for nursing employees, she felt prefer it was time to do it.
She landed a job at a long-term care facility, taking care of seniors, serving to them inject insulin and take medicine.
“I liked it. I needed to handle individuals.”
As she labored longer, she needed to have additional correct coaching. She was on the fence about whether or not to use for the UPEI nursing program. As she thought of her future, she left her job on the senior care facility and went to work at Canada Income Company for a 12 months.
She needed to see if she might neglect about nursing. She couldn’t.
“I might all the time name my different (earlier) job and say, ‘How is that this mister? Did he get his insulin? Did he go to see the physician? How is that this woman? I hope you bear in mind to do that for her. What about this particular person?’
“You understand, I’m now not there, however my thoughts is simply there. So, after some time, I knew that was what I actually needed.”
She enrolled within the UPEI nursing program in 2019. She’s now working in a single day on the Prince Edward Residence, a long-term care house in Charlottetown.
“I would like individuals to smile after they see me. I would like individuals to be completely happy. I would like to have the ability to do one thing for any individual that makes them really feel higher.” – Henrietta Obodo
Her husband, Gilbert Obodo, mentioned Henrietta is devoted to something she decides to do in life.
“I’ve been married to her for like 19 years now. And all of the packages she did – an MBA program and this bachelor of nursing program – she’s a dedicated pupil. She’s a go-getter.”
She can also be good and disciplined, in a position to stability work, examine and household life and takes on duties on the senior care relaxed, he mentioned.
“I’m so glad, so completely happy about her success. Some individuals will drop out, however I’m so completely happy she utilized for the school.”
Henrietta mentioned there have been troublesome instances prior to now few years, particularly throughout the pandemic the place coaching grew to become distant.
She missed having in-person lessons and fascinating with different colleagues and sufferers.
“I believe it wasn’t simple for many individuals. Courses have been on-line. We couldn’t do a few of our practicums there, too, due to smaller teams.”
Regardless of the difficulties, Henrietta mentioned she by no means considered giving up. She reminded herself to remain sturdy and be a very good mannequin for her kids and different younger individuals.
“I all the time simply inspired myself, ‘You possibly can’t surrender.’ I couldn’t surrender as a result of I do know that if I surrender, it’s going to have an effect on my individuals round me,” she mentioned. “I should be a very good mannequin to them, for them to know when robust issues occur to you in life, you need to be robust. Powerful instances in life by no means final. Powerful individuals final.”
Tracy Regulation is a contract reporter in Prince Edward Island. She may be reached by electronic mail at [email protected].