Isaac with Taylor

March 2020

Isaac always liked school but felt that he had to leave high school to get away from toxic relationships so that he could do better for himself. He enrolled in Santa Maria’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP) in March of 2019 with the goal of getting his GED and furthering his education by getting his State Tested Nurse Assistant (STNA) certification.

Isaac’s workforce coach, Taylor Rodgers, said that Isaac showed up to class every day and worked diligently toward passing each test on the GED, all while working part-time at Rally’s. Isaac obtained his GED in November of 2019 and reported feeling he “had actually accomplished something for the first time.” Isaac always wanted to be a doctor, so he quickly started working toward passing the WorkKeys test, an assessment that measures real world skills and career readiness. Then he was able to take the STNA Plus class at Great Oaks Health Professions Academy. He felt that obtaining his STNA would be the first step toward becoming a doctor.

Isaac with his High School Equivalency Diploma

Isaac said that friends and staff at Santa Maria kept pushing him toward his objective, and that’s what helped to keep him going – he didn’t want to let anyone down. Isaac received his STNA Certification on February 13, 2020 and the next day had a job interview and was offered an STNA job on the spot at St. Theresa’s in Madisonville. The employer wanted Isaac to start immediately but he wanted to honor Rally’s by giving them a two weeks’ notice because he felt that this was the job that got him through as he worked toward his goals.

When asked about what he has learned about himself throughout this process, Isaac reported that he’s learned that he is smart and is now making better decisions. “I don’t feel like I really cared about life before, and since I’ve been enrolled at Santa Maria, I’ve learned how to work hard. As I’ve been working toward my goals, I remind myself that if I don’t do it, then the thing I have to lose is my future, and I don’t want to lose that. I’m working hard to turn my dreams into reality.”

Isaac is most excited about the future and his next step is to go to college to become a nurse. He has so much momentum and is pushing through to achieve all his dreams. “At Santa Maria, we are thankful that we get to be a small part of Isaac’s story and can support him in his journey and keep cheering him on,” said Rodgers.