KRA’s Spotlight! is shining brightly on Brittany Snipes, a single parent to a daughter. Originally, she enrolled in KRA’s SCWORKS Adult Worker Program, but was almost immediately referred to KRA’s Youth Employability and Success (YES) Program. Alisha Williams, KRA Program Manager for both programs, reported, “Because Brittany is 21, she did qualify for our Adult Program, but we pride ourselves on customizing services for customers, and other aspects of her situation indicated she would be better served through our YES Program for Out-of-School Youth.” Brittany’s primary long-range goals are impressive: she wants to obtain a Nursing degree and to buy a home. Short-term, she wanted to improve her verbal communication skills, i.e. public-speaking and presentation, and start training in the Nursing field as soon as possible.
Pat Davis, KRA Career Agent, was confident she would be able to assist Brittany with her short-range goals, and help her develop an Individual Employment Plan to guide her for the rest of her journey toward self-sufficiency. Davis commented, “Brittany attended all of her YES Work-Readiness classes, completing the program with perfect attendance! She was very interactive in group sessions, and completed and presented all of her individual assignments on time. While she was waiting for acceptance into a Nurse’s Aide training program that we arranged for her, she continued attending workshops, giving presentations to new student-groups, and assisting me with group projects.”
Brittany was accepted for training, but had a difficult choice to make: the program offered programs for an RN degree and Nurse’s Aide certification. For the RN program, she would have to take college-level courses that were prerequisites for enrollment, and that meant years of study. With Davis’ guidance, they assessed her situation and decided she should apply to the certification program, for which she was qualified. Davis reported, “Brittany completed the program, and while we were waiting for certification-test dates from the State Licensing Board, Jeff Ward, one of our Business Developer Representatives, submitted her resume to the Georgetown Hospital System (GHS) so she could, hopefully, get some entry-level experience in the medical field.”
The GHS interviewed, hired, and assigned Brittany to the Surgery Center as an Office Helper…an unpaid position. She decided to take the position anyway, traveling more than 30 miles daily, and hoping with every mile that soon she could become a paid, full- time employee. After volunteering more than 100 hours, she was indeed offered a full-time job with the GHS’ Waccamaw Community Hospital (WCH). Davis continued, “Brittany came by to tell me the good news, and the best part of the news was that as a fulltime employee, she will be eligible for their tuition-reimbursement program, which will allow her to study for her RN degree!”
Brittany’s story would not be complete without including, verbatim, two accolades KRA received from GHS and WCH professionals: Matthew Securro, Director of GHS Human Resources Operations, reported, “Brittany’s willingness to hang in there and work unpaid was what caught the attention of the Chief Nursing Officer. She felt anyone who would stay on unpaid for that long would be dedicated to our mission.” And, Ronnie McDonald, House Supervisor of the WCH Surgery Center, wrote, “We are so pleased to have Brittany as part of the patient care service delivery team at Waccamaw Community Hospital. I was impressed with Brittany when I first met her. Brittany committed to continuing her full time work schedule, but did so unpaid! This was not without financial pain for young Brittany, but she hoped her commitment to our organization would be recognized…and it was. Soon thereafter, Pam Maxwell, Director of Patient Care Services, came to me and said ‘Anyone who is that committed to stay on and work unpaid for over 100 volunteer hours is someone who shares the dedication and commitment of the employees of Waccamaw Community Hospital and we will find her a job in our facility’.”
Brittany is scheduled to take the Nurse’s Aide Certification exam in April, and all who know her are confident she will pass with ease. However, her temporary lack of a license has not discouraged the WCH from utilizing her knowledge, skills, and abilities to the fullest. She is still assigned to the Surgery Center, but on an as-needed basis, works in the ER as a Technician and assists the Nursing staff with patient care. Davis concluded, “I am so excited that KRA/YES was able to give Brittany the resources and tools she needed to pursue her goals. I know, in my heart, that she will be an RN one day and that she will buy that home for her family.”