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HPOG Success Story: Rosa at Central Community College

Published: January 30, 2020
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

Rosa smiles in her uniformGrand Island, NE

A language barrier couldn't stop her desire to pursue a career in healthcare.

When Rosa moved to Nebraska with her husband in 2017, she left a long career in healthcare behind in Puerto Rico. She held a bachelor’s degree in Nursing Sciences, and spent many years working as a registered nurse and nursing instructor.

Even with her experience, Rosa faced barriers to healthcare education and a career in the U.S. She had only studied basic English in Puerto Rico. She knew she would have to overcome this obstacle to continue her career in nursing.

In February 2018, Rosa began studying English at Platte Valley Literacy Association in Columbus, NE. She told her English instructor she still wanted to work in the healthcare field. Her instructor referred her to the Health Education Laddering Program (Project HELP), her local HPOG program, for support.

Rosa's desire to thrive and improve herself as a non-traditional student motivated her. She met with CoLynn, Project HELP success coach at Central Community College in Columbus, NE. CoLynn donated an old textbook and workbook to Rosa to study vocabulary words. This allowed her to set up a study plan before entering the program.

Rosa studied each week to build her English and medical vocabulary. She also had the opportunity to re-engage in the healthcare field by touring a local hospital. Observing medical professionals inspired her to push forward with confidence. Rosa was well-prepared to start class.

Rosa received assistance from Project HELP, including a scholarship, scrubs, gas cards, and study supplies. The HELP team provided success skills coaching, including setting priorities and time management. The team's support and encouragement pushed Rosa to complete the nursing assistant training.

Rosa completed her nursing assistant training in September 2018. She passed with an "A". She then met with her success coach to discuss next steps. Together they reviewed employment options and job search and interview preparation.

Rosa said, "When I was selected to participate in the program, I felt very fortunate and very happy...they made me feel confident to continue until I reached my goals."

Rosa applied for a position as an outreach educator for the local health department. She knew her background in teaching would make her a good fit for the role. She accepted a full-time job as a professional healthcare educator earning $18.00 an hour.

In a few short months, Rosa went from unemployed and studying English to working as a full-time in the healthcare field. 

Rosa says "(HPOG) offers great opportunities for applicants and I would recommend other students take advantage of the benefits offered by the program to develop new skills and reinforce knowledge which will help them to succeed."

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

Last Reviewed: January 30, 2020