Student on Bench

Every Minute Counts

Ozuruigbo Ijeoma Atulegwu is a special person. She spent most of her life doing for others and taking care of the people around her. A 2020 graduate of South Suburban College’s Nursing Program, Ozuruigbo will now take her compassion into a workforce starving for more people like her. She is ready to join the heroes battling the pandemic on the frontlines.

“I chose nursing because I saw it as a profession that was going to help others and help me to become the best person I can be,” said Ozuruigbo, a 26-year-old South Holland resident. “It is a career that I love – one that challenges me every day while making people feel better every day. I truly love seeing the faces of people as they improve their health.”

Ozuruigbo began looking for a place to start on her healthy career path three years ago.  She wanted to stay close to the area and tuition was a concern. Enter her community college: “SSC is a school that’s part of my community and I instantly connected here. “I was also able to get both the financial and tutoring help I needed to get started on the right track.”

Ozuruigbo said the positive momentum she experienced early on propelled her to great success in a challenging program. She currently works at Villa at South Holland for post-acute and long-term care with plans to stack an advanced degree in general anesthesiology at Governors State University.

While most people would have some trepidation pursuing a career in healthcare at this time, not Ozuruigbo. “This is THE time to go into healthcare,” she says. “The world is at a standstill and we need brave and caring people to commit to healthcare and help our communities get better. We have an incredible opportunity to do so much good in this profession, and I for one am excited to see the difference I can make.”

While Ozuruigbo found her career passion early, she is impressed by others who are moving into healthcare mid-career and hopes more people will do the same. “If you are going to be successful, you have to gravitate towards something that is going to truly give you joy. Every minute counts in life, and you have to see what kind of difference you can make in the world.”

Every minute that more heroes like Ozuruigbo are in the world may count a little more.