I didn’t pass the math portion of the AIMS test, which prohibited me from graduating. Sure, I received a Certificate of Completion (but not a diploma) which would not be enough to support the life and career I wanted.
After working part-time at a hotel and a home improvement store, I knew I couldn’t survive on minimum wage, even with two jobs I decided to put my education first, and that meant getting a legitimate certification. Who knew that Facebook would be the connector? But that’s exactly what happened. About a year ago, in my Facebook newsfeed I saw a General Education Development test (GED®) ad for ASPIRE, a United Way partner that helps kids like me find our way in education, life and career. I clicked on the link and got connected to Keake Williams, who has been my champion and coach ever since.
Keake guided me through the steps to complete the test. With her guidance, I passed in just six weeks. I finally felt whole, confident, and that I could move up in the world. We started to explore my interests and career options. I always knew I liked helping people, and was interested in nursing. In another eight weeks I finished a Certified Nursing Assistant program. I now work at an assisted living facility in Phoenix. I absolutely love my job because I know I am helping people every day. Also, the residents keep me going and humble.
Without seeing that ad on Facebook, I wouldn’t know where to start my journey forward. I’d be stuck working jobs that barely paid the bills instead of pursuing a career I love.
Because of United Way’s ASPIRE program; I’m continuing my nursing education and deciding whether I want to be a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Keake always says “It doesn’t matter where you start, it matters where you finish,” and she’s right. My journey isn’t complete, but I’m thrilled about my new career options and can’t wait to see my path unfold.
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