Emma was a senior at Buffalo High School when she enrolled in WIOS IS program March 2019. She was working at Lake Ridge Care Center as a Care Attendant, living at a friend’s house temporarily, and did not have stable housing, or family support. Emma shared that she has a mental health diagnosis, is homeless, and is on the free lunch program.
Emma did not know what she wanted to do for a career, and felt unsure about continuing to work in healthcare. “I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t have any money to go to college.”
After talking to her school counselor at Buffalo HS, she was referred to the youth program at Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services. Once enrolled in the youth program, Emma did career exploration, took a career assessment, and researched healthcare careers.
In April 2019 Emma took the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course at Anderson CNA/HHA Training Center with the funding assistance of the youth program and became a certified CNA/HHA. Emma graduated high school in May and started a fulltime overnight CNA position at the Monticello Hospital Geriatric Behavioral Health unit making $18 per hour.
Emma was excited to be able to get her own apartment. She shared, “I am moving up because of my new job.”
In January 2020, Emma started general education classes at North Hennepin Community College with a goal to start the RN program Fall 2020 semester. Emma is currently taking 15 credits and is able, and encouraged to, work on her college classes during the down time on her overnight shifts. She has been thankful for supportive assistance to help with transportations costs.
Emma’s future goals include completing the 2-year RN program and exploring positions and other populations to serve as a nurse. When asked what she would share with others about the youth program, Emma said, “I tell everyone about your program. I wouldn’t have gone to college – you started my whole career!”