A firm belief in knowledge and education is a driving force behind Parkland College’s proposed Trades and Technology Centre in Yorkton. It’s a philosophy shared by the companies, service groups, and individuals contributing to the capital campaign in support of the project.
Drs. Ron and Bree Rogoza represent a prime example of this commitment. The father-daughter optometry team is donating $25,000 to the campaign.
“We, along with many businesses and individuals, support a lot of programs and events in the Yorkton-Melville area,” said Dr. Ron Rogoza. “Our scholarship support at the high schools in Yorkton and Melville and at Parkland College is very important to us.
“We’ve been looking for something that we could contribute to that isn’t just going to be a benefit solely to Yorkton or Melville residents because we see patients from a wide variety of regions and towns and farms,” he continued. “Donations to a concept like the Trades and Technology Centre will benefit a lot of people in this whole area. That’s partly what attracted us to look at it. Let’s do something that applies to education, which has given me an opportunity to be of service in the field of vision care and has given me a chance to say, ‘Hey, maybe I can contribute in a small way.’”
Rogoza was raised on a farm in the Wroxton area and graduated from the Yorkton Regional High School in 1967. He was awarded a scholarship from Logan Stevens Construction which funded two years of tuition at the Saskatchewan Technical Institute in Moose Jaw (a forerunner to the SIAST Palliser Campus). He studied drafting technology and was employed as a design technologist by Atomic Energy of Canada before pursuing optometry at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He’s been practising in Yorkton since 1975, and now operates a second office in Melville with his daughter.
“I’ve had a constant appreciation through my life for those couple of years [of trades training] that I think set the tone for further learning and education,” Rogoza noted.
“We really feel that it’s important for us to play a part in assisting others in some way as many people have done for me.”
Despite receiving his post-secondary education in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Rogoza is a proponent of life-long learning. He is constantly updating and upgrading his skills and knowledge to keep on top of the new technology, equipment, and approaches affecting his profession.
Rogoza gives credit to the scholarship he received for boosting his self-confidence and helping him recognize his potential to excel. By contributing to the Trades and Technology Centre, he hopes to give people throughout the region the chance to realize their own potential.
“I’d like to emphasize the importance of the Trades and Technology Centre for a larger number of students,” Rogoza said. “I think the concept is even more important now that the West needs employees. We need trained people. What better place to train them than where we have the work?”
Since its inception in 1973, Parkland College has worked to expand the philosophy of life-long learning in East Central Saskatchewan. Among the seven basic principles upon which the community college system was founded is the idea that programs are to be developed in response to the needs of the community. Today, Parkland College offers a broad spectrum of educational services from trades training and high school upgrading to the province’s most diverse off-campus university offerings.