In 2014, Cynthia had a life-changing experience when her husband’s aunt became terminally ill. While caring for her aunt in her final weeks, Cynthia had the occasion to speak with the attending physician and shared that she had a lifelong desire to become a nurse. “He saw that caring for others came naturally to me and agreed that nursing was an excellent choice, so I took his advice and ran with it.”
When she decided to return to school, she had not been working aside from brief stints at fast food chains. “I felt like I was going nowhere, so I made the choice to go back to school and focus on a career,” she said. As a mother of five, and with her husband as the family’s sole provider, Cynthia was concerned about the cost and time commitment of returning to school.
Nevertheless, she persisted and enrolled in classes at Gavilan College. In the enrollment office, she saw a flyer for Fresh Success. During her first appointment, she learned about the many types of support it offered.
“I felt a huge burden was lifted off of my shoulders because, for once, I felt like I could afford college. Fresh Success made my hopes of returning to school a reality,” she said.
Cynthia and her Fresh Success counselor Ozzy, worked together to make an educational plan and schedule check in meetings. These meetings have been essential to keeping her where she wants to be academically. Book vouchers covered much of the costs of her textbooks while CalFresh benefits helped support her and her family’s well-being during this time of change. Fresh Success provided transportation assistance so she could travel to and from her certified nurse’s assistant clinicals.
Cynthia has finished the prerequisites for Gavilan’s nursing program and has submitted her application. “I look back at all that I have accomplished and still wonder how I was able to get this far. But I thank my husband, children, and the Fresh Success program for their continued support.”
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