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Curves in the Road to Success

Port Huron Career Center

Alexis came to the Michigan Works! Young Professionals in December of 2015, with the goal of being employed as a Certified Nurse Assistant. The road that led her to our program included many personal battles and ups and downs, and like many of us, she felt that she would take one step forward only to take two steps back. Her story proves how important it is not to give up, even if you fail the first time around.

When we first met with Alexis, she explained how she had been previously certified as a nurse assistant, but due to some difficult circumstances in her life, her license had lapsed. Alexis was also working with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and it was determined that MRS would be able to fund Alexis’ CNA refresher course and state license exam, and that Michigan Works! would provide employment and support services in the form of job readiness work-shops, transportation assistance, work clothing, and a potential Paid Work Experience.

On March 12, 2016, Alexis passed her Certified Nurse Aide exam and obtained her license. Alexis had already worked with Young Professionals staff to create her résumé, learn how to write a cover letter, practice interviewing, and search for employment, so she had a job offer even before she obtained her license. Alexis started working part time as a direct care worker, and hoped that this position would lead to a full-time opportunity.

“the program helped me to get back on track and stay focused. When you have curves in your road to success, it is helpful to have positive people standing behind you.”

Unfortunately, Alexis experienced a setback when after several months, this job did not provide her the hours or opportunity she had hoped for. She continued striving toward her goal, and began working diligently with the Young Professionals’ Placement Specialist to find employment. In August of 2016, Alexis started a Paid Work Experience with Wadham’s Creek Assisted Living Center. She enjoyed the work and quickly became a star employee due to her compassion, experience, and strong work ethic.

After a couple of months at Wadham’s Creek working hard and doing well, Alexis believed that she had finally reached her goal. It turned out that her journey to success was not quite over, as in October of 2016, Alexis experienced another setback when she found herself without stable housing. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she decided that it would be best for her to move out of the area, at least temporarily, to stay with family. This was a tough choice for Alexis. “I felt bad about leaving the residents, especially particular ones I had built a relationship with,” she shared.

Alexis’ story, however, is one of determination and resourcefulness, and after coming so far there was no way that she was going to quit. She had made such a strong impression on Wadham’s Creek that they told her when she left that she would be welcome to return at any time. In December of 2016, after overcoming the obstacles that had stood in her way, Alexis was able to return to St. Clair County and was re-hired by Wad-ham’s Creek Assisted Living Center as a full-time Certified Nurse Assistant.

Alexis’ journey and ultimate achievement, with all of its challenges and ups and downs, is representative of so many of our Michigan Works! customers. She came to Michigan Works! Young Professionals with a vision of what she wanted her future to look like, and kept pushing forward through barrier after barrier until she reached her goal. Of her experience in the Young Professionals program, Alexis said, “the program helped me to get back on track and stay focused. When you have curves in your road to success, it is helpful to have positive people standing behind you.”

Submitted by Elizabeth Lozen