"I know that what I do isn't just a job. I am making a difference. I love the fact that I have an impact on someone's life." -Zari
Program: Career Builders in Health, a Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)-backed employment program that jump starts careers in health care for young people. Program facilitator: Tracy Radden.
Why did you apply for this program? My mom was a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), then a nurse. I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I had recently graduated from Waterbury Adult Education but couldn't get a job. No one would even consider me because I had no work experience. So I applied to this program and, fortunately, got accepted.
How has this program helped you? Life was very stressful before I started this program. I was living with my mom. Living off her paycheck. When I got this opportunity, I worked hard to finish it, get CNA certified. I did it. And I was able to provide for my family for the very first time.
Do you have a job? Absolutely. I'm a CNA at Quality Home Care. I started my internship there in December 2018 through Waterbury Youth Services. They hired me full time last May. In October, I got employee of the month.
I know that what I do isn't just a job. I am making a difference. I love the fact that I have an impact on someone's life. I have mostly Alzheimer's and dementia clients. I have a client in Watertown who is full, total care. I have to get her dressed, feed her. Everything. One day her son came home, and she said to him: "Turn out like Zari." I honestly didn't know that she was even still "with us" because she doesn't talk, she doesn't move. To find out that she knows my name, enjoys the care I give and the first words out of her mouth in six months were about me, well, that just felt amazing.
What's next for you? Someday I may be a traveling nurse or start my own home health care company. But for now I'm happy where I'm at. I didn't know how much I would really love this type of work until I started doing it. You guys helped me get my start in everything. And I'm very grateful for it.