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Dominic Fortune stands smiling in a courtyard at Pima's Northwest Campus

From Calgary to Tucson: A Big Move Opened New Possibilities for Nursing Student, Fortune Dominic

Now treasurer of the Black Student Union, Dominic is glad she chose Pima

By Dina L. Doolen, External Relations

Pima student Fortune Dominic says the College has helped her find her educational focus and make lots of friends. The 2021 Walden Grove High School graduate has lived in Arizona for five years since relocating with her family from Calgary, Alberta, Canada after her father got a job in Green Valley.

Through Pima's JTED programs at Walden Grove, Dominic was exposed to healthcare careers. JTED is a public career and technical education district for high school students. As a junior, she took a JTED class that gave a general overview of health professions and earned a CPR certification. Her senior year, through a JTED Licensed Nursing Assistant class, she earned certifications in food handling, caregiving and as a licensed nursing assistant. She later learned that she couldn’t use the certifications to work because she did not have the legal standing in the U.S. to work. Yet, the die was cast.

Dominic Fortune
Fortune Dominic
Photo By Tanner Grammar, External Relations

“I knew from when I was in high school I wanted to be a nurse,” she said.

Originally, Dominic was leaning toward a pediatric nursing career, but lately has become interested in cardiovascular care. But, first things first – where to go to college?

“My senior year, I was not sure where I wanted to go to college,” she said. “I thought about going back to Canada. As I started looking into it, I saw it would be hard. So, I asked around - friends and family and other people I knew - and they said, ‘go to Pima first.” Not long after she enrolled, her dad got a job in Texas and the rest of the family moved again. Yet, Dominic decided to stay in Arizona and now lives in Tucson.

At Pima, she first chose a liberal arts degree pathway because she wasn’t sure which pathway to choose.

Pima has a variety of nursing programs – from Nursing Assistant and Practical Nurse certificate programs to a Registered Nurse associate degree (ADN) program. It even has a concurrent enrollment (CE) program, allowing RN students to simultaneously earn their Associate of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) from one of several Arizona public, private and for-profit universities. 

By her second semester, and with guidance from academic advisor April Horne, Dominic fine tuned her studies to the RN pathway. She is completing her prerequisites and will apply to the program this summer, in hopes of being one of the 80 students accepted for the fall semester.

"...being active in Student Life and on the (BSU) cabinet is great. It’s helped me make friends I wouldn’t have made otherwise." ~ Fortune Dominic

She is making the most of her Pima experience. She joined the new Black Student Union (BSU) club in the fall and, in February, participated in Pima Student Life Black History Month activities. Her friend Caleb Bailey started the club and asked her to join. Now, she is its treasurer.

“I have always loved making friends and talking to new people,” Dominic said. “So being active in Student Life and on the (BSU) cabinet is great. It’s helped me make friends I wouldn’t have made otherwise.”

Dominic greatly appreciates the Black History Month events Pima Student Life presented. “It helped me realize that there are a lot of people just like me,” she said.

As of Fall 2022, 5.3% of students self-identified as Black or African-American. Nearly half of Pima students identified as Hispanic/Latino, followed by 36.53% identifying as White.

West Campus Student Life Coordinator Danielle Chaney, who led planning of Black History Month activities, hopes they give everyone more knowledge of Black history. “I want to connect students with resources and let them know that even though we are a minority, our culture is here and should be celebrated. Black history is American history!” Chaney said.

Dominic looks forward to BSU’s future events, on and off-campus. “If I had known that being in a club would be this much fun, I would have been in one in high school!” she said and smiled.

Dominic may not stay in Arizona after she completes her Pima degree. The idea of attending college in Canada is appealing, just not Calgary – “I’ve already been there,” she said.

“It was really hard moving (to Arizona) because I was young and I felt like I was leaving my whole life because I was leaving all of my friends,” she said. “But over the years, I’ve seen that it was for the best.”

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