To the left is Alyssa, proudly capturing one of her first days as Medical Records Supervisor at the hospice center where she has worked for over two years. Alyssa started out as a nursing assistant after graduating from the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. She was hired within three months of completing the program and has since received two pay raises and, most recently, this promotion to Medical Records Supervisor.

Life has not always gone so smoothly for Alyssa, though. She dropped out of college and, as a single mother to an infant son, had to rely on government aid in the form of TANF, Medicaid, and SNAP (food stamps).

It was one day when Alyssa took her then one-year-old son to the library that she saw Community Action’s flyer for the CNA program. Alyssa, loving to learning and wanting “a certificate in everything,” contacted our Career Pathways Coordinator, Francesca Ramirez, who quickly enrolled her in the CNA program.

“I was really grateful to Francesca,” says Alyssa,” She was always very supportive and helpful.” Even when Alyssa had to bring her playful one-year-old into the office, Francesca “was very understanding” and would find something to distract him. Our Career Pathways Coordinator and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), who helped in Alyssa’s path with the CNA Program, even helped her find childcare for her son while she attended classes.

Since completing the CNA Program, Alyssa has really shone with her work and was recently even promoted to a position that typically requires at least an Associate’s degree. Alyssa is now also completely free of any form of federal financial support and says that she wants to take advantage of Community Action’s College Prep Academy. She even referred a friend of hers to see Francesca, and he seemed “very encouraged and excited” after their meeting.

Alyssa remains grateful for the help that she has received: “I’m thankful for the opportunities [Community Action] provides. Without that step in the door, I wouldn’t be on this rise to success.”