Latoya at Zepf Center

January 20, 2021
a graphic of a stethoscope in the shape of a heart

TOLEDO, OH

A dream not deferred

As a young adult, Latoya dreamed of a career in healthcare. During Latoya’s sophomore year of high school, she participated in a Health Technologies program that would prepare her to be a certified nursing assistant. When she transferred to another school without the program, she petitioned for permission to work half days in a doctor’s office so she could continue the hands-on learning experience.

After graduation, Latoya started her pre-med journey studying at Central State University. The newfound freedom and distractions at school became hard to balance with coursework and she had to take a break after her first year. During time away from school, Latoya was offered a high paying supervisor role at a healthcare company and decided to focus on work. Even with a good job, the desire to complete her education stuck with her. Latoya returned to school only to have her leave again due to a complicated pregnancy.

Over the next several years, Latoya moved on and completed courses in cosmetology, but she could not shake her dreams of becoming a nurse. She visited with a few nursing programs but was discouraged to realize she would not be able to afford the tuition.

Latoya was introduced to the Zepf Center Northwest Ohio Pathway to Healthcare Careers (NOPHC) Visit disclaimer page Project by a deacon at her mother’s church. A program that payed for school seemed too good to be true. While making minimum wage at a warehouse, Latoya did some research and decided to take her chance. Nervous and with a little hesitation, she applied and was accepted by NOPHC. In February 2017, almost 15 years post high school, Latoya was back on track towards her dreams.

Latoya looked into different programs and enrolled at the Toledo School of Practical Nursing. Patrick, her NOPHC Education Success Coach, stood by her every step of the way and encouraged her to keep going. After years full of delays and failures, Latoya graduated in December 2019 and passed the NCLEX exam in February 2020. At 37 years old, Latoya is now earning $24.00 an hour as a licensed practical nurse for Regency at Livonia, a rehabilitation facility in Michigan.

“This has been a journey, but I am forever grateful to the HPOG program and all their amazing staff who have committed themselves to helping single struggling moms like myself. The best part wasn’t just graduating but hearing my two daughters yelling, “Yay mommy!” I look forward to my new career and this isn’t the end; HPOG has opened the door for me to keeping going.”

– Latoya

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

Latoya at Zepf Center