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Success Stories: Mark

Mark smiling, proud of his achievementsMark was a COVID related Dislocated Worker who was displaced from his position in the oil fields. He came to our Workforce program because the oil industry is diminishing, and it was exceedingly difficult for him to obtain employment in this industry.  

“I knew I needed to explore a new career pathway to secure a full-time position earning self-sufficient wages” 

As a result, Mark chose to pursue healthcare, he started Phlebotomy training in the summer and expects to complete training by the end of November.  

“After working with my Career Coach to evaluate my interests and explore the local job market, we decided a career in the healthcare industry would be a good fit.”  

Overcoming Tragedy 

Unfortunately, amid being laid off from his oil field job, tragedy struck. Mark’s wife began to experience progressive vision loss – her vision is continuing to deteriorate – and doctors expect her to become blind. To make matters worse, she was recently diagnosed with cancer. 

As a result of both diagnoses, Mark’s wife is unable to work and requires daily home health care. Mark knew he would have to make some financial sacrifices along the way; he could not go to school, work, and care for his sick wife at the same time. He attends Phlebotomy training in the evening, so he can spend the day caring for her. 

“Once I secure employment as a Phlebotomist, I will be able to hire a home healthcare provider to be with her during the day while I work. In the meantime, we struggle to keep our monthly bills.” 

The Success Awards Solution 

In desperate need of help, Mark turned to his career coach and heard – for the first time – about the Eckerd Connects Success Award Initiative. The Success Awards Initiative supports people in our programs who are especially vulnerable to failure get to the next stage in pursuing their dreams. It is given to clients who demonstrate a commitment to educational and career improvement but still face financial barriers. 

“The award is very important to me because it will allow me to continue to focus on successfully completing Phlebotomy training without constantly worrying about how I will pay my housing costs.” 

Together, they applied for a $1,500 Success Award to be used for housing assistance while he completes the final months of Phlebotomy training. 

He was granted the award! 

Finding His Way 

With the heavy financial burden off his back, Mark is focused on graduating in November and immediately finding employment in the healthcare industry. His Career Coach Geniece Chambers has all the confidence he will do just that. She stated: 

“Mark has demonstrated a strong sense of resiliency. Despite his circumstances, Mark has been able to move forward with learning a whole new industry and skill set all while balancing his family obligations. A strong work ethic is one of his strongest assets and that is helping him launch his new career forward very quickly.” 

After this experience, Mark has plans to assist other job seekers who are transitioning into new industries, and you can too! 

Donate now to help another dislocated worker like Mark. It could make all the difference.

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