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HPOG Success Story: Nuvia at Action for a Better Community, Inc.

Published: July 29, 2020
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Success Stories

Nuvia smilesRochester, NY

HPOG Helps a Mother Get Back to Helping Others

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.

Nuvia enrolled in the certified nursing assistant (CNA) program through OACES. She began the CNA program in November of 2017, one month after beginning the ESOL class. It was hard for her to handle both classes at the same time, but Dr. Malalah and Nuvia’s peers offered constant encouragement. She graduated from the CNA program in December 2017.

While Nuvia looked for work, she continued to go to the ESOL class. Dr. Malalah helped her prepare her resume and apply for positions. After completing the requirements of the ESOL class in April of 2018, she obtained employment as a CNA with Lifetime Home Care in July, earning $13 an hour. Nuvia did such an amazing job in that position that she was promoted to a hospice aid in only two short months. Her promotion increased her wages to $15 an hour.

Nuvia was happy to be able to support her family and continued to press on. She enrolled in the highly competitive RN program, Monroe Community College’s registered nurse track. Nuvia is working through the prerequisites, and she currently has a 3.3 GPA.

Nuvia overcame the language barrier and the day-to-day challenges of being a refugee. She never gave up on her goals of supporting her family and getting back to work as an RN.

This success story was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: July 29, 2020