A new mother, little education, and stuck…until Job Corps

High school didn’t work out for Andrea Cunningham. When she turned 20, she tried to go back, but she says, “I became discouraged and quit. I did not think school was an option for me.”

She was unemployed, unmotivated, and stuck. Then, she became a new mother to a beautiful little girl. That was the motivation she needed to get her life on track.

I always remembered,” Andrea recounts, “Job Corps as the BIONIC (Believe it or Not I Care) center in Wilmington, Delaware. I knew this would be my final chance to be stable and successful with my life.” After all, her she says her experience in the workforce before Job Corps was awful.

“My job experiences were terrible. They were a vicious cycle of working many irregular hours with very little pay. I would get a job, work a few months, get an apartment, lose my job, and end up homeless. I discovered without a high school diploma and career technical certification—I could not get a job making more than minimum wage anywhere. I was totally frustrated. I could not get ahead in life. I was stuck!”

Andrea enrolled at the certified nursing assistant program Wilmington Job Corps Center in April 2017. 

I became confident as I practiced the skills I learned in the lab,” she says. “I obtained my CPR certification and began clinical rotation at Cadia Nursing Rehabilitation Center. I had the best experience ever!”

In August, Andrea had completed 200 hours of nurse aid and competency evaluation training and also obtained the nursing assistant certification through the State of Delaware. She’s currently enrolled in Penn Foster to achieve her high school diploma and is more than half way through.

I am happy,” she adds, “to see how I’ve almost completed everything I set forth to accomplish at the Wilmington Job Corps Center. I would not have been able to do this alone. I am truly grateful for everything! Wilmington Job Corps became a “one-stop-shop” preparation site for my future.”

Andrea is working hard for herself and her new baby. “I know that by bettering myself, I am bettering my daughter’s life as well.”

She’s currently employed part-time, but as soon as she completes her studies (end of 2017)—she’s guaranteed a full-time position as a certified nursing assistant.

I beat the odds,” she cheerfully says. “I had everything going against me. It was not easy. It was an uphill battle, yet I keep working hard to finish because I have the help and support from all of the staff on center.  The Wilmington Job Corps Center promised that if I did my part, they would do their part. Every promise has been kept, and I am grateful!”

The next step says Andrea is to enroll in a licensed practitioner nursing program at Delaware Community Technical College. From there she wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become a homeowner.

I am confident and equipped to achieve all of my life’s goals. Thank You Wilmington Job Corps Center!