KRA Customer Earns College Credits Before GED

When Sade Wood, 26, and mother of four, enrolled in the Norfolk KRA/VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment Not Welfare) Program on April 30, 2012, she already had her sights set on a career in the medical field.  According to Kirk Houston, KRA Case Manager, “Sade knew what she wanted all right.  She told me that her goal was to enroll in the Certified Nursing Assistant [CNA] Program offered by the Tidewater Community College [TCC] Job Skills Training Program [JSTP].  And, I told her that Ninette Adams-Terry [KRA Job Coach] and I would do everything we could to make that happen…but first things first.”

For one thing, since Sade did not have a high school diploma or equivalent, she had to take the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) that covers basic reading, English, and math proficiency, and is required for enrollment in occupational-skills training.  Sade’s TABE results qualified her for the CNA program, so  after participating in other KRA/VIEW work-readiness activities… career guidance and planning; resume preparation; etc…she completed the TCC/JSTP application for enrollment, the paperwork for funding the training, and was accepted for both. 

Sade began CNA classes in May, and completed the program last month.  As stated, she did not have a diploma or GED, but  completing the TCC/JST earned her five college credits, and when she continues her education she will start with a 4.0 grade-point average.  Everyone at KRA/VIEW who worked with Sade, as well as her JCC/JST Instructor, knew how important receiving her CNA was to her and her family.  Houston stated, “We were all very impressed with Sade’s dedication and perseverance.  She was able to maintain perfect attendance during her training, even though she was coping with a 4-year old who is battling Juvenile Diabetes.  She was a role model for her fellow students.”

As of August 27, 2012, Sade was gainfully employed fulltime as a CNA with Norfolk’s Sentara Nursing Center at $10.64 an hour…more than 46 percent higher than the minimum wage in the area.  Interestingly, Sade still has to obtain a GED.  To attend college to become a Registered Nurse…her ultimate career goal…even with five college credits, a diploma is required.  Houston concluded, “Sade is going to continue to participate in the KRA/VIEW Program to receive her GED.  Staying with Sentara, and becoming a Registered Nurse, is very important to her.  She realizes that she has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, and with our support, she is going to take full advantage of it.”