Halfway Hurrah is a time-honored Caroline Center tradition that we observe with our trainees each session as they reach the mid-point in their 15-week education and career skills training program. It is a time for reflection – for looking back and looking forward. And, it is a time for taking stock – for appreciating progress made and for summoning the strength and determination it will take to complete the program and to graduate.
At every Halfway Hurrah, Caroline Center staff advisers return to trainees the personal letters that they wrote to themselves and sealed in an envelope during their very first days in the program. The experience of reading these letters mid-way through the program invariably brings tears – tears acknowledging the inner strength that was there from the beginning and tears that acknowledge the growth and change that have occurred in such a short time. If anything at all demonstrates the verity of the words from What It Takes - “Past ain’t prologue, and I ain’t no victim," - it's the content of these letters.
Caroline Center women are remarkable professional career trainees and remarkably strong women. Their commitment to one day providing the highest quality, most compassionate care for their patients can only be matched by the strength of their resolve and the beauty of their dreams.
In this installment of The Breakroom we want you to hear from our trainees in their own voices, out of the letters they wrote only for themselves.
They have given us permission to share their innermost thoughts. We are grateful to be able to share this significant part of their journeys with you in The Breakroom.
You are a strong, independent African American woman. Keep working hard to get to your dreams. You owe it to yourself and your family. You should be proud of yourself; you are working two jobs and going to school. Everything will fall into place shortly. Put all your worries into God’s hands. Good luck on your journey. Love yourself!
I want you to know that heartbreak and let down do not define you. You have to believe in yourself because if you don’t know one else will. When will it be your turn to stop putting yourself last? Please start believing in yourself. You can make it! Your past is history. Your daughter matters. You are here to do better for your child.
Keep your head to the sky! This journey of life has taken you through many trials, and God has allowed you to bend and not break. Be proud – and, “proud” is an understatement. You have already quieted all the naysayers. All those who spoke destruction over your life were just steppingstones that elevated your life. Everything in your life, good and bad, has motivated you to discover you own value and worth. Your wonderful parents helped make you who you are – an awesome, strong-willed, determined go-getter!
Stay focused and be determined! Don’t let any obstacles get in your way! Come to Caroline Center every day in a positive frame of mind – don’t miss a day! Don’t let anyone take away your positive outlook. Remember, you are doing this for yourself and for your kids – nobody comes before your children.
I am proud of you! You came so far to get here, and you never gave up. Never. I know that you want to be something special for yourself and for your children. Keep reaching to become a RN (registered nurse). Keep pursuing your goal of becoming a PCT (patient care technician). Keep fighting your mental health challenges. You are strong, and nothing will hold you back!
I just want to let you know that I am proud of you because you are so focused and passionate about your future. You inspire me – especially the way you set goals and work to reach them, slowly but surely. I am here to cheer you on; and, I will be waiting for you at the finish line to celebrate you. I believe in you!
Did you make it? Of course, you did, girl! You have always had greatness in you! You started to grow on your journey when you learned to let go and started to be the person God called you to be. You started making changes in your life without needing anyone else’s permission. Now, the sky has no limits. Always remember that this is your journey. Never forget that. Allow yourself to have fun and make friends along the way. Love yourself. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
I want you to know that everything will be okay. Takes things one day at a time. And, try not to do this “just for the kids.” Do it for yourself as well. Be kind to yourself and others. Try to meditate every day. As you leave Caroline Center and move forward – as you gain and maintain employment, always make time for your children. Most of all, as you walk away from this class, walk away from your past.