Perseverance Pays Off

Port Huron Career Center

Taking care of others came naturally to Florence Horner, but the challenge came when it was time to take care of herself.

Florence experienced a difficult time in high school with feelings that she didn’t quite fit in. She enrolled in an alternative high school, but found the same challenges and left the school after one semester. Her determination to improve herself began to show less than one year later. Florence came to the Port Huron Michigan Works! Career Center in 2007 to pursue her GED in a Michigan Works! sponsored Youth program.

While enrolled in a GED Prep activity, Florence learned that she was pregnant. Needing assistance, Florence was referred to the PATH (Partnership, Accountability, Training and Hope) program. Although her pregnancy was not without complications, she continued to dream of a better future for her and her child. She experienced stops and starts during her enrollment in the Youth and PATH program, but she persisted. Although she was now caring for a newborn, Florence did manage to earn a GED shortly after her son’s birth.

Two years later with a second child, Florence struggled to find employment that met the needs of her family. She worked as a cashier and in a child care center before establishing herself as a home health aide.

Again, wanting to improve herself, Florence came back to the Port Huron Michigan Works! Career Center with a desire to become a Certified Nurse Aide. Florence admitted, “I never ask for help, but there was no way I could have done this on my own.” She was approved for tuition assistance with training funds through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Florence enrolled in St. Clair County Community College for Certified Nurse Aide training.

Marwood Nursing and Rehab hired Florence immediately upon completion of her training in April 2017. She is now working a second job with Lake Huron Hospital. With hours totaling full-time and with wages at 30% higher than she earned prior to training, Florence now has confidence that she can manage her life and the needs of her children.

Florence says, “I love my work! I’m so excited to go to work every day.”

Submitted by Mark Marcelli