Kristina, a recent High School graduate, had dreams of joining the military and becoming a combat medic. She wanted to help save lives. After a recruiter told her she would not qualify for the military, it was devastating. This had been her life goal.
Now she was not sure what to do. She lived in a household with 9 others and only 1 income, so college was not really an option for her. Money was tight. Kristina began looking for a job and feeling her dreams of becoming a paramedic were out of her reach… or so she thought.
Kristina was referred to Eckerd Connects. She met with a Career Coach and soon learned her dreams were, in fact, a possibility. Together, they developed a career plan and went right to work.
After Kristina finished YESS training, we placed her in an internship with Port St. Lucie Volunteer Ambulance Services working as an EMT intern. Kristina was ecstatic. She was finally learning and working in the field she longed to be a part of, but this was only the beginning.
In order to become a paramedic, she needed her EMT license first. With the help of the Youth Connections Program, Kristina was enrolled in the EMT program at Treasure Coast Medical Institute and successfully earned her EMT License.
Hard Work Pays Off
Now she could find employment in the medical field. She was hired full time as an EMT for United Medical Transportation and could finally start saving for college. Kristina was so close to fulfilling her dreams.
Kristina enrolled in the paramedic program at TCMI, but still was unsure how she could afford the program. She brought her concerns to her Career Coach and once again, found the support she so needed.
She was able to negotiate a payment plan for the 11-month program. It would be tough, but this was her dream. Ms. Ashlie was so impressed with Kristina’s drive and determination that she nominated her for the Eckerd Connects Success Award.
Success Award Recipient
The Success Award through Eckerd Connects provides vocational and educational assistance for those select few that show a commitment to education and career improvement. After reading Kristina’s story, they felt she was a deserving candidate. Eckerd Connects help pay her tuition by awarding her the amount of $3,728. She was over the moon.
“The idea that I am given the opportunity to fulfill my dream is almost overwhelming. Thanks to Youth Connections and Eckerd Connects, I am taking the steps to secure my future. I am beyond grateful.”