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  • HPOG Success Story: Janie at Volunteers of America Texas

    Janie grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Houston, Texas. The trailer park she lived in was constantly filled with yelling, anger, and alcohol-fueled bouts of rage from her parents. Her parents never had steady employment, nor did they provide Janie with the basic necessities she needed as a child. Janie learned about Volunteers of America Texas Health Professions Opportunity Grants (HPOG) at a recruitment event at a local community college. She listened carefully to the presentation about HPOG but was apprehensive about applying. She figured she had nothing to lose and applied in the fall of 2016.
  • HPOG Success Story: Nuvia at Action for a Better Community, Inc.

    Nuvia came to Rochester, New York from Cuba where she worked as a registered nurse (RN). Coming to America as a refugee was exciting but not without conflict and challenges. When she relocated with her husband and two children, she did not speak English well and needed to find employment to support her family. Nuvia applied for many entry-level jobs in the healthcare field and at local restaurants, but she was turned away each time. She was not ready to give up on her goals of helping her family reach self-sufficiency. Nuvia knew that improving her English was the first step. In October 2017, she enrolled in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class at the Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES). OACES is a recruitment partner for the ROC-HPOG: Rochester Health Profession Opportunity Grant Project, facilitated by Action for a Better Community, Inc. After enrolling in the ESOL program, Nuvia learned about ROC-HPOG from a classmate. She was very excited about the opportunity to have financial and emotional support from the ROC-HPOG team while training in the healthcare field. After meeting her navigator, Dr. Malalah, she felt that with HPOG’s help, she could once again work in the healthcare field. Working together, they devised a plan to get Nuvia back to work as a registered nurse.
  • HPOG Success Story: Jenica at the South Carolina Department of Social Services

    At the age of 35, Jenica was a working student supporting five children. She temped as a medical surgical technician, making $9.35 an hour while studying to fulfill her dream of becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Her family received SNAP benefits, but Jenica knew she needed more support to achieve her goal of becoming self-sufficient. While searching for assistance, Jenica learned of Project HOPE: Healthcare Occupations Preparation for Employment. While attending a Project HOPE information session, she learned they could provide her with the assistance she was seeking. She enrolled in Project HOPE on June 26, 2017. Jenica was so excited that she cried tears of joy.
  • HPOG Success Story Brandi at Zepf Center

    Brandi has a long-standing passion for medicine. The mother of two worked for many years as a registered medical assistant before making the decision to go back to school to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). With few nursing school options near, Brandi and her family relocated to her hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Once she settled back in Toledo, Brandi enrolled at Professional Skills Institute (PSI). One fateful day, Brandi ran into an old family friend who had graduated from PSI. They told Brandi about Zepf Center’s Northwest Ohio Pathway to Healthcare Careers (NOPHC) project funded by the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program.
  • HPOG Success Story: Morgan at Schenectady County Community College

    Morgan grew up in a small town called Canajoharie, NY. Her parents were always fighting, and eventually, they divorced when she was 7. Her mother left her with her dad. Morgan’s new stepmom proved to be a bully, leading Morgan to leave home at 16 to live with her 21-year-old boyfriend. They were together for a year until she left him because he was “controlling, lying, and cheating.” Shortly after, she found out she was pregnant and moved south to Schenectady. Morgan was determined to make a life for her and her son. She worked as a bartender and took care of an elderly neighbor. As she remembers, after looking for a way to build a career, “…somehow I submitted an application to HPOG.” Then she got a call from Ashley, the Upstate Partnership for Healthcare Pathways (UPHP) HPOG program representative at Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP). The enthusiasm in Ashley’s voice convinced Morgan to start the application process.
  • HPOG Success Story: Vanessa at Hostos Community College

    Since she was a little girl, Vanessa strived to be a successful woman. To her, success was measured in love for your job, positivity through failure, and finishing what is started. She knew her first step to finding a job she loved would be education. Vanessa decided to quit her job at a supermarket to return to school and earn her High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma.
  • HPOG Success Story: Clarys at Montefiore Medical Center

    Clarys was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She immigrated to the United States in 1994, and in 2004, Clarys became a US citizen. Clarys’ three children were her inspiration for her goals. She wanted a career that would allow her to be a role model and support them. She was passionate about helping others and wanted a meaningful and challenging avenue for emotional growth. These factors led her to pursue home health aide training. In 2016, Clarys learned about the Montefiore Medical Center Health Profession Opportunity Grant Project. At the time, she was pursuing a home health aide training course at Allen Health Care. Clarys enthusiastically started the application process and was overjoyed when she was accepted into the HPOG program.
  • HPOG Success Story: Kimberly at Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board

    Kimberly was three credits away from graduating from high school when she found out she was pregnant. Feeling out of place, she made the tough decision to drop out. The next several years brought four more children. Eventually, Kimberly’s family of seven found themselves living with her mother-in-law. Her mother told her that Kimberly’s younger sister was going to finish school. This spurred Kimberly to start a General Education Diploma (GED) program. Kimberly was working to earn her GED when she heard about the Pathways to Healthcare Professions (PHP) program from a Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board employee. As she progressed through the GED program, her self-confidence soared when she passed the math test. Kimberly’s newfound belief in herself and the PHP staff inspired her to enroll in the two-week certified nursing assistant (CNA) class hosted at the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board in Rapid City, SD.
  • HPOG Success Story: Stacy at Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit

    Stacy is a single mother of three children, one of whom has special needs and requires additional attention. Stacy dropped out of high school, and although she received her GED, she was always underemployed. The jobs she found had low wages, no opportunity for advancement, and inflexible scheduling, which made it difficult to tend to her son’s needs. Her family relied on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to survive. Stacy always dreamed of pursuing a career in healthcare but couldn’t afford it. In the spring of 2014, she saw a flyer for the HPOG-funded Work Attributes Toward Careers in Health (WATCH) Project and applied. Stacy had no idea how much it would change her family’s life. Stacy found success in the WATCH program and trained to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Once she finished training, she accepted a job paying $17 an hour. Stacy worked full time for two years before deciding to go back to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
  • HPOG Success Story: Amy at Cankdeska Cikana Community College

    Despite overwhelming circumstances, Amy did not give up. Amy, a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe, was raised in a single-parent household with four older brothers. She and her siblings grew up in poverty. They lived on the reservation with a father who was an alcoholic and a mother who struggled to work and put food on their table.