Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive September 2014 Show 1436 Nelson Kap-Kirwok - Setting Goals

Nelson Kap-Kirwok - Setting Goals

Neither distance nor disadvantage is keeping this young Kenyan student from his goal of helping others.
Nelson Kap-Kirwok - Setting Goals

Nelson Kap-Kirwok - Setting Goals

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Show Details

Show 1436: Nelson Kap-Kirwok - Setting Goals
Air Date: September 7, 2014



Rob McClendon: This year we began a new segment here on “Horizon” we call our “Oklahoma Standard,” recognizing those, whether an individual or an entity, that are setting a standard for our state. And today, we meet a young man who has let neither distance nor disadvantage stand in his way of helping others. From humble beginnings in a small Kenyan village.

Nelson Kap-Kirwok: When I was growing up, I didn’t know anything about America. I didn’t even know that it existed.

Rob: Nelson Kap-Kirwok, or Kap as he’s better known, is working to fulfill a dream.

Kap: Well, it’s a long, long story but I will make it short. My long-term plan is to be a nurse anesthetist, and that is my calling.

Rob: Kap immigrated to the U.S. with his parents, finished high school and attended college in Michigan on a track scholarship, earning his university degree, yet?

Kap: After I got out into the job market I was not able to get a job. And I’ve spent all this amount of money.

Rob: So determined to become a nurse anesthesiologist, Kap began another journey, this time across country.

Kap: Actually I went online, when I compared the, you know, the tuition amount to other schools that had the same sort of application duration, KTC was very reasonable.

Rob: So Kap got in his car and drove a thousand miles just to turn in an application.

Cory Richards: He drove 14 hours one way to even turn in his packet, just to turn around and head straight back.

Rob: One of three trips he was to make.

Kap: It was raining, you couldn’t see nothing.

Rob: Through bad weather and worse.

Kap: On my way back there was a tornado.

Rob: Arriving knowing no one, only to immediately find a new friend.

Cory Richards: My parents were missionaries in Africa when I was a teenager, and so I heard an accent that I hadn’t heard in a while.

Rob: Kiamichi Tech instructor Cory Richards.

Cory Richards: So I followed this young man and I said, I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I said, “Where are you from?” And he said, “I’m from Detroit.” And I said, “Ah, before Detroit?” And he said, “I’m from Kenya.”

Kap: Just the fact that he had been to Africa, I found that he was family.

Rob: Family that took Kap under their wing helping him find a place to live.

Richards: He stayed in my parents’ fifth-wheel trailer. And after staying there a couple of months, he thought, “You know, I can survive in something like this,” and gets on Craigslist and finds an RV in Arkansas, and next thing you know he’s buying it and driving it back.

Rob: And while modest even by African standards.

Kap: Uh, oh, it is hot in here.

Rob: It is a home that Kap will always be grateful for because it allows him to take classes to become a licensed practical nurse -- studies he’s already half-way through.

Kap: They’re very student-oriented, and they emphasize and help you to make sure that you succeed. You’re not going to fail because you have great teachers that will help you, push you, kick you a little bit. This program, the licensed practical nurse, here at KTC will cost three times less what it would cost me in Michigan or at a college. I wish when I got to the United States I knew that I could go to a CareerTech and get my education and get into the job market.

Rob: Beginning a career Kap hopes he can someday use to help his home village back in Kenya.

Kap: I want to start a children’s foundation in my village. I just want to be able to show kids that you know what you see around, there is more beyond.

Rob: Which is why Nelson Kap is this week’s “Oklahoma Standard,” for his giving heart and a vision to see through the difficulties and recognize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Rob: Now next week in our “Oklahoma Standard,” we meet an Oscar-winning Oklahoman who’s changed the face of entertainment. Come on in; I’ll show you house of horrors.