‘Glad to be out!’

PUHI — Graduation started early at the Kauai Community College as 21 nursing students went through a special pinning ceremony on Friday.

“These are all students who are part of the graduating class,” said Brian Yamamoto, KCC instructor. “They all had to come through me before starting their nursing studies. Some of them will be at the graduation at Vidinha Stadium. Otherwise, the graduation program will just go on and on.”

Tiloi Alapa is one of four male nurse graduates.

“This is awesome,” Alapa said. “It has been a long process, and it’s almost over. I just need to pass my licensing examination. It’s good to be out.”

Alapa said he spent a year in general education before getting into nursin, where he finished off four years with the Friday graduation.

Tracy Hoppe was announced the recipient of the Josefina Abaya Cortezan Nursing Award.

“We’re all named after my mother,” said Josephine Duvachelle who normally makes the award named after her mother and to congratulate her grand neice, Qyla Parongao, a nursing graduate.

Cortezan was brought over from the Philippines as a nurse to help the plantation doctors because the Filipino workers brought over as laborers were skeptical of the doctors and many didn’t take the prescribed medication, or because of the language barrier, took it in wrong dosages.

Duvachelle started the KCC nursing program.

Including the nursing degrees, KCC planned on distributing 381 degrees and certificates to about 175 graduates during graduation ceremonies at Vidinha Stadium.

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