The Many Roads to Success
We measure our success by the success of our graduates. When they accomplish great things, so do we! Everyone has a story, a traveled road, and obstacles to overcome, and it is a great honor to share their journeys.
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Lauren Gregg, CNA, Brookside Health and Rehab Center
It is bittersweet when our SEIU Training and Education Fund participants succeed out of our benefit program, and Lauren Gregg’s success story is one of pride and loss for us. As a veteran CNA for 17 years, Lauren was certainly dedicated. She participated diligently in our TEF Champion program, and helped spread the word about our benefits and programs at Brookside Health and Rehab Center.
Lauren graduated from our CNA Skills Enrichment program in 2021, where she received several certifications in Mental Health First Aid, CPR, and Non-Violent Crisis intervention. These courses sparked her interest in Mental Health.
“I wanted to explore that avenue, so I looked around for jobs in that field,” Lauren said.
She credits her education and experience with The Training and Education Fund as a resume builder that helped her reach her goal. The certifications she earned with us made her an attractive candidate to employers. To kick-off her search, Lauren took our Career Exploration workshop to hone in on her career strategies.
“Fatinma was wonderful with Career Exploration. She taught me how to find out where I fit, what kind of person I am.”
She soon secured a position as a Mental Health Technician in a live-in facility, as well as a substantial pay raise and flexible opportunities. But she will take the skills she gained with The Training and Education Fund with her.
“I learned to manage my workflow and how to deal with stressful situations better. Chris Berg taught me how to manage these things,” Lauren remembers. “It’s a wonderful program, and I think all facilities should have the TEF. It benefits everyone, the worker and the employer too.”
We wish Lauren all the best in her success!
Habakkuk Gaye, CNA, Green Meadows
Teaching in a Liberian refugee camp on the frontlines of a civil war zone is only one part of Habakkuk’s epic journey. His stamina, resilience, and generous spirit is truly awe-inspiring. To honor Habakkuk’s experiences appropriately would be a story of novel proportions, but we are here, now, to celebrate his recent graduation and receipt of his Masters of Education degree from Strayer University in Spring 2021.
“I set a precedent that my family follows, and they are all pursuing their goals. Education is a way forward,” he says of his recent success.
As Habakkuk wastes no time moving further ahead, he has already begun a second Masters program in Business Administration in Fall 2021.
His long-term goal is to return to Africa to teach at a university to non-traditional, post-secondary students, though he hints at a possible position as the Deputy Secretary of Education in his home country. Based on his work ethic and will to succeed, Habakkuk will certainly make a positive difference in such an important role.
“I have a great deal of appreciation for my employer, for the Training and Education Fund for everything they have done. I have been transformed.”
Surely, he will use his knowledge and education to help others transform as well. Habakkuk is an inspiring example of how beneficiaries of our programs can accomplish anything. We are so proud of you, Habakkuk!
Mary Beth Mussolino, CNA, Mountain City
After six years at Luzerne County Community College, Mary Beth graduated in May 2021 with her Associates degree in Nursing.
“If you are willing to do the work, you can be anything you want,” she says. “Now I’ll be going from the bottom to the top at my job.”
When she contracted COVID-19 one week before her final, Mary Beth took the exam while experiencing symptoms, and passed. Her demonstration of will is truly inspiring. In her words, “When it got harder, I worked harder.”
Though it was Mary Beth’s solid work ethic that ultimately led to her success, she was savvy enough to take advantage of The Training and Education Fund’s generous Tuition Assistance program to help with her expenses.
“I am out of school debt-free. That’s huge, and it covered a lot. Between tuition, books, and medical equipment, school was expensive. But it would have been so much more without The Training and Education Fund.”
We couldn’t be prouder for you, Mary Beth, congratulations on your achievement!