Anna’s journey to successfully enrolling in the Eckerd Connects Workforce Development program was the epitome of determination and persistence. She was enrolled in late August 2022, but she began the process about 1.5 years earlier. Anna had started the process to being enrolled not once but twice, but personal setbacks kept her from moving forward. Most recently, her uncle’s death proved to be a challenge to overcome. She remained in touch with her Career Coach and intent on enrolling to reap the benefits of the program. On her third try, Anna was enrolled.
She knew coming into the program that the GED Math test would be the biggest obstacle – and it was. Anna started her academic testing the first week of September and by mid-month she had passed three of the four subject areas. Math stood in her way; she took the test a total of seven times before passing it. Her Career Coach explained to us that taking the test multiple times without passing is extremely frustrating, but it allows test takers to better identify areas to master while building confidence in what they know for sure they excel at.
Anna only needed to work on one or two skills. If she mastered just one topic, it would allow her to earn her diploma. Anna took the test once more after missing a passing score by one point! On her next try, Anna passed and became a high school graduate on March 23rd, 2023 after taking 15 total GED tests (9 of which were a Math test). Once again, Anna demonstrated unprecedented commitment to her goals.
While she was enrolled in the program, Anna had multiple employment lessons to assist her in identifying a career path, including thank you letter creation, online applications, soft skills assessments, workplace ethics, mock interview tips, resume creation, and networking. She also acquired life skills in the area of lifetime earnings and salary vs wage, alcohol use/abuse, anger management, domestic violence, and the true cost of car ownership.
Anna also completed the LEEAP component of the program that aims to have participants develop and practice entrepreneurial thinking to set themselves up for continued success in/with future endeavors. She also attended a presentation with Daytona State College (a partner of Eckerd Connects) to learn more about the school and consider enrolling as a next step.
Anna successfully completed the program after being hired as an Administrative Assistant for DaVita, a national dialysis employer. When we sat down to interview her about her experience, she brought a binder thicker than a telephone book so she could excitedly explain some of her responsibilities and job roles. We are exceedingly proud of how hard she works to pursue success.
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