Growing up, Yaniris “Gigi” always dreamed of being a mother and nurse. She belongs to a large, close-knit Hispanic family and has embraced the values instilled of taking care of one another with honor and respect. Before coming to the Youth Connections Program, Gigi had first-hand experience caring for elderly grandparents, sisters, and brothers, but lacked the professional experience and training for employment.
A former participant referred Gigi to the Vero Beach Youth office as a pregnant teen. She had dropped out of school and was motivated to earn her diploma and find a good job to take care of her soon to be “family of her own”. After taking care of her family, it was no surprise she chose the healthcare field as her career path.
Ready for Success
After having her beautiful baby girl, Gigi formally enrolled as a participant in the Youth Connections Program. Thankfully, she had a tremendous amount of support from her family. It was their turn to help Gigi out with childcare and transportation, which was no small task. Gigi travelled from Fellsmere to get to the Youth Center for trainings and GED Lab in Vero Beach.
Gigi was committed and intentional. She completed her internship at Pelican Landing Assisted Living in Sebastian-closer to her home. While participating in the internship, she attended a 6-hour training and earned her Med Tech Certificate. She performed so well the employer hired her as a Resident Care Specialist. Simultaneously, she was attending GED prep classes and earn her GED diploma. Gigi is planned on starting the Nursing Assistant Program at Treasure Coast Technical College this Spring.
Gigi is very grateful for the opportunities the Youth Connection Program has provided and is not shy to tell people about her experience and advocate for the Program. In her own words,
“I tell everyone about this program whenever and wherever I go!”
Help give struggling youth, like Gigi, another chance at life by donating today!