Zaira is a Career Pathways participant that has successfully been progressing through all of her steps towards completing the Certified Medicine Aide Certification program at HCC. What is truly remarkable is that Zaira first became my client in November 2018 and not once did she lose sight of her many goals.
Zaira’s accomplishments have been many. Her journey began in 2008 when she arrived from El Salvador. She immediately started working in low paying housekeeping positions and taking English classes. By 2010, she had earned her CNA/GNA license and immediately started working fulltime as a nursing assistant. By 2015, she had saved enough money to purchase her first home. By 2019, she had two little boys to add to her household. The American dream was becoming a reality; however, she still had a desire to achieve even more.
The next step was to earn her high school diploma. Even though she had her diploma from El Salvador, it was not recognized in the US so she chose to get her diploma by taking the GED exam series. In collaboration with HCC’s Adult Education Program which offers GED tutoring at the Western Maryland Consortium location, I met with Zaira and determined that she was eligible for our services. After working with the tutor for a few weeks, she passed her first GED exam in January 2019. She completed the entire GED exam series on June 13, 2019 thus becoming a Maryland high school graduate. Meanwhile, little did I know, she had also been studying for the citizenship exam and proudly became a US citizen on May 10, 2019!
But Zaira wasn’t done. In order to advance at her job, the next step was to become a certified medicine aide. She took a couple of remedial college courses in the fall and as of February 2020, she is on her final step to earning her CMA license.
Zaira is clearly the poster child for what hard work and perseverance can do. Even though the journey has been longer than she expected, she has accomplished each and every goal while working fulltime and raising her two adorable boys. Zaira is an inspiration to us all!