Cajun is a survivor. Her childhood in Texas with an unstable home life in a violence-ridden neighborhood had left her anxious and with little hope for the future. She held down some temporary jobs, but lacked the confidence to move ahead. After arriving in Atlanta she became homeless and went to live in Covenant House—one of New Hope’s partners—and there she was referred to New Hope.
When Cajun arrived at STRIVE, she knew she had to be independent and responsible to live independently. She entered the soft-skills training program determined to acquire confidence, and overcome the mindset of fear concerning her own capabilities and the judgment of other people. “There are so many things I want to learn that I was never taught” she said. STRIVE training helped Cajun move towards her goal: to start a career and keep it. She realized that she not only wanted to take pride in herself but to care for others, so after STRIVE graduation CNA training was natural fit. Cajun moved from fear to confidence, developing proven skills along the way.
Following CNA graduation and certification, Cajun found her “dream job” as a nurse technician on the cardiac unit at Emory Hospital. Not only does she have a career position, but also full benefits and Emory is covering 80% of her continuing education costs.