In December of 2021, Red River College Polytech announced the establishment of the Kim Kotelo Memorial Award for Nurses.
This award, valued at $1,000, is presented annually to a student completing their third year of the Bachelor of Nursing program.
A graduate of the RRC Polytech’s nursing program, Kim worked as an acute care nurse at the Health Sciences Centre through the COVID-19 pandemic and passed away in April of 2021.
In a message sent to donors by RRC Polytech, Kim’s mother Eleanor Kotelo thanked donors and stated that she misses her daughter “every moment of every day.” She also shared a message she received from the first recipient of the Award, Katerina, who graduated and is working full-time as a nurse in surgery care:
Hello donors and family of Kim Kotelo,
I am writing to express my gratitude for being chosen as the recipient of the Kim Kotelo Nursing Award and to wish everyone a happy holiday season.
For the past year I have been working as a full time nurse in the Surgery program after graduating from the RRC. From starting as a float jumping from unit to unit, to obtaining a permanent position on my favourite surgical ward at St. Boniface Hospital (A4S - plastics, vascular, urology, and general surgery), entering this profession during the pandemic has made my first year as an RN incredibly challenging, but equally rewarding.
Every day I work as a nurse, there are moments that confirms that I am in the right career. There are also moments where I have come home feeling depleted, wondering if I did enough in my 12 (or sometimes 16) hours of work. When I learnt that I was chosen as the recipient of this award, I felt an overwhelming sense of validation. I read a lot about what kind of soul Kim had, how she touched so many peoples lives, and from what I gathered, Kim was without a doubt a one of a kind human being, and nurse.
I don’t receive this award lightly. I see it as a responsibility to uphold Kim’s legacy. I am blessed with the opportunity to work as a nurse, and meeting the Kotelo family has given my career path much more meaning. I have truly been inspired by the hearts of Kim, and her kind family.
In addition to the meaning that receiving the award has given me, I have been able to pay off a portion of my student loan that put me through nursing school. This is incredibly helpful as I continue to work and save to further my nursing education after gaining more experience in acute bedside care.
I want to wish the donors and the Kotelo family my warmest regards and endless appreciation and thanks. It was a pleasure to meet with all of you. You are in my heart this Christmas season.
Eleanor Kotelo also thanked those who had already donated towards Kim’s Fund, adding donors “are the special type of people who changes lives, lifts people, and makes the world a better place.”
If you would like to donate to the Kim Kotelo Memorial Award for Nurses Fund, please click this link.
Also, if you donate online, please remember to designate your gift in memory of Kim Kotelo.