While other college students were taking a well-deserved summer break from classes, Donald Darville embarked on a problem-solving journey in automated software loads — systems that decrease the time it takes to install computer programs.

“He worked on it every day for months,” says Holly Clausen, Information Technology Director for Bates Technical College. “It was inspiring to see how dedicated he was.”

“I have to continue to learn and be challenged,” says Darville, a 30-year old applied electronics student at Bates, referring to a difficult two-year injury-recovery.

Before a work-related injury damaged a nerve in his arm, Darville had a lucrative career as a pipe layer for an underground utilities business. One and a half years before the injury he joined a start-up company that was expanding and created a leadership role for him. Those plans ended when he could no longer continue to do the work.

Transitioning from a productive, physically demanding daily routine to sedentary waiting and healing, was culture shock for Darville. “It was hard to feel good about myself,” he explains.

“I had no clue what I would do,” he says. He and wife Karol had purchased a home six months before his injury. Though they needed financial assistance, accepting money from the state was a painful reminder of his condition.

“Eventually,” he says, “I realized it was important how well I weathered this and how I could scratch opportunity out of it.”

Darville’s opportunity came in computer electronics. He researched colleges and liked what Bates had to offer.

He says, “I didn’t see other schools that met industry standards and certifi-cations.”

He completed his training at Bates with Cisco, A+ CompTIA and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification. Energized by a new job, he says he foresees a fulfilling, worthwhile career, both monetarily and mentally.