Two of my children graduated from high school and I can still recall the excitement and ceremony around their graduations: they were times of reflecting back on the hard work and hardships to get through their schooling and graduation requirements. There was recognition of the hard work and closure on the hardships. There was celebration and anticipation around what the future would hold for them, the promise of opportunity, further education, and growth. All proud moments for a mom.
Yesterday I attended a graduation ceremony that had much of the same excitement and pride for the graduates and for their families who were in attendance. Ten young women graduated from our Certified Nursing Assistant program. I attended the ceremony and watched the pride and excitement their family and friends had for them.
As the instructor prepared to hand out the certificates and “pin” the CNA grads, she shared something personal about each one of the students -some struggled with getting to class on time, one was described as “always smiling,” another was “great with patients,” and another was a friend to everyone in class.
The women smiled and celebrated each other’s success in passing the class. I thought about some of the personal information shared and not shared during this ceremony.
There were lots of hardships that had to be overcome by these young women that many of us can’t imagine or will never experience. Out of respect for their privacy, I won’t share the details, but suffice it to say, their accomplishment in graduating from this program is significant and not easily done.
They had to work harder than the average student given where they came from and what they endured during their young lives - but they did it!
They achieved this milestone for themselves with their hard work and determination – something no one can ever take from them. I wondered what was next for them, what do their futures hold?
I learned that the recent job fair we held for them at Crossroads was attended by many companies who were interested in hiring them. Each student was able to secure at least one job interview with a local company.
They still have work to do to pass the State CNA licensing exam and secure employment. But, I have no doubt that with their continued hard work and determination, they will be successful.