A Challenging Childhood in Foster Care but Now She’s Preparing to be a Nurse

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Lilly Ness always had a plan, a goal.

“I am confident I will be continuing my education and getting a job in nursing.”

But it was a tough climb for Lilly, who was in and out of the foster care system most of her young life. And when she finally found a home, both of her adoptive parents were diagnosed with cancer. Lilly says she dropped out of high school to care for them.

“Well, my parents died of cancer, both of them. So, that’s why I wanted to enter into nursing.”

She still had the plan, still had the goal, but, “I had a job at a gas station, and I was a high school dropout.”

When she heard about the Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she knew it was a real good opportunity.

“They had the training that I needed to get a career—not just a job. This program helped people like me who had struggled in the past to succeed in getting a GED and a career, like finishing my CNA [certified nursing assistant] training.”

The plan, she says, “become a nurse.”

But, will she reach the goal?

“Yes, I’m going to be successful. I’m planning on doing more schooling and becoming a nurse. I like the medical field because I like helping people. I feel like that is my calling.”