Caroline Center believes in women. And, we teach, empower, and stand by women until they believe in themselves. Why? Because women and the contributions women make matter. And, because if you want things to change, you need to start with women. That’s what it takes.
If I learned just one thing well, took one thing to heart, during my time at Caroline Center, it’s this: “If you change a woman’s life, you change everything.” This is what the teachers and staff at Caroline Center believe. Today, as a Caroline Center graduate, I am a firm believer in this quote because it is my testimony.
From the first time I heard about Caroline Center, I knew that I just had to be there – to be part of what Caroline Center was all about. I had heard that Caroline Center offered career training and job placement assistance for women who wanted to become nursing assistants. And, I also had heard that the training program was completely tuition-free! I needed to know more. Could this be too good to be true? Well, it was true.
I guess you could say that I’m just one woman whose life was changed because of Caroline Center. But, because of Caroline Center, everything about my life changed for the better. When I applied to Caroline Center in 2012, I was homeless and out of work. In my head, I kept thinking – “This is really my last hope. If it doesn’t work out for me here, I don’t know what I will do or where I will go.”
But, hope is exactly what Caroline Center gave me. Caroline Center provided me with all of the essential classes that I needed for my new nursing career. But, more than that, the teachers made sure that I had strong technical skills as well as solid life skills so that I could succeed. This combination of career and life skills is what, in my opinion, makes Caroline Center’s program one of the absolute best workforce development programs for women in the country.
Caroline Center’s holistic approach to learning included classes beyond the CNA/GNA training – such as how to manage your personal finances; professionalism and customer service; employment readiness; communications skills; and even conflict resolution. It felt like all of my classes were specifically designed for me – to help make me more prepared to work in a professional setting and to give me a more positive and confident approach to life. What I learned at Caroline Center made me a better problem-solver, improved my confidence and communication, and taught me that professional appearance and behavior are important.
Every single day at Caroline Center, there was some part of me that was being worked on – and, most importantly, being “loved on.” And, for that, I will always be grateful. Caroline Center not only changed my life – it dealt me a new hand of cards – cards that changed everything about me and everything around me, so that I can be more of who I really am.
Thank you, Caroline Center.
Guest writer Brittany Harvin is a 2012 graduate of Caroline Center, who began her CNA/GNA career at FutureCare in Canton. In 2014, she was selected through a competitive process to participate in a pilot training program for hospital clinical technicians. The program provided Brittany with the opportunity to take an Advanced Patient Care Skills course while working as a hospital sitter and patient observer. Upon successful completion of the course, Brittany entered a rigorous 10-week internship. As of this blog post, Brittany is working as a hospital clinical technician as part of a patient care team at Johns Hopkins Hospital, using her advanced skills in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.