C O M M U N I T Y C O N N E C T I O N S 19 When Amy Hetherington first arrived in the desert with her husband in 2000, she was unsure what her long-term career path would be. “We had relocated from Bogota, Colombia, and were not only new to the desert, but also to the U.S.,”she said.“My first job as an adult in the U.S. was at a locally owned video rental chain. It was fun, it helped pay our bills, but it was not my preferred career path.” Amy had also trained in esthetics in Colombia and was able to eventually find work in the valley as an esthetician at a local spa. “A client encouraged me to look into a career in nursing.The following day was a pivotal moment in my life. I met with a counselor at COD, and soon I was on my way to my career as a nurse. I am forever grateful to the counselors at COD for helping me pursue my education. “I am also indebted to the desert community for the many grants and donations given to COD; I was part of a local donation-funded cohort of evening and weekend registered nursing program students, and graduated with my Associate Degree in Nursing in 2007.” College of the Desert in 2003 launched a privately funded fast track program to help fill a regional nursing shortage. An anonymous donor paid half the cost of the $1.3 million supplemental program, with Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center, JFK Memorial Hospital and another major donor stepping up to contribute the rest. After COD, Amy transferred to Cal State San Bernardino to enroll in the Registered Nurse- Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program and followed that with a Master’s of Science in Nursing program. “Most recently, I graduated from Brandman University with my doctorate in nursing practice and a clinical focus as an adult acute care nurse practitioner. I have worked in many roles at different hospitals and facilities locally in my 10 years as a nurse.” And now Amy has come full circle. “I am proud to say that I have returned to COD to be a part of the nursing faculty. I am de- lighted to inspire, educate and develop a passion for the nursing science in our future nurses. For me, it all started here at College of the Desert.” Local community support really matters. It changes lives, like Amy’s. Community Support Leads Nursing Alum Back to COD Instructor Hetherington Joins Faculty to Inspire Future Nurses Student Amy Hetherington 2007 COD Pinning Ceremony Instructor Hetherington, BSN, MSN, DNP 2017 Barker Nursing Complex