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BeREAL is Empowering Young Adults: Meet Zoiyee

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Bereal Zoiyee and sonFor the past year, Zoiyee (age 19) has participated in Upbring BeREAL Austin – a Supervised Independent Living program designed to help young adults aging out of foster care in Central Texas.

As a single mom, Zoiyee has faced many harsh realities including the struggle to find a job that didn’t require her to work the night shift and have to pay evening childcare for her five-year-old son. Deciding to take control her own destiny, she enrolled in Goodwill Central Texas’ Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)  program, and on May 19, earned her CNA certification. Because Zoiyee is relieved and excited to have a clear career path that will provide long-term stability for her and her son, she’s set her sights on becoming an RN and has re-enrolled in classes.

And the best news of all? Zoiyee has secured a job that allows her the flexibility to work while her son is at school and have the evenings off so they can spend more time together.

Zoiyee is one of three BeREAL participants who enrolled and graduated from the Goodwill CNA program this May. We are super proud of all of them!

Learn more about Zoiyee’s journey
1.  How did you get involved with the Goodwill CNA program?
I learned about the CNA program at Goodwill from my BeREAL case manager. I wanted to be a lawyer and really didn’t want to go into the medical field – it wasn’t even on my radar. The more I looked into it, and found the CNA program was risk-free, I decided to go … and discovered that I really liked it!

2.  What was your favorite part of the program?

The number-one thing I loved about the program was the clinicals – they gave us hands-on experience so we would know what the job would really be like. We visited retirement and assisted living homes and had the chance to meet the people who worked there and hear their stories, likes and dislikes. Meeting the residents and hearing their stories was really good experience for me.

3.  What do you plan to do next?

Now that I finished the program, I’m waiting to take the State test. I’m very excited. I already have a job at HealthSouth – starting June 1 – and my RN class begins June 8. I’m going to follow this medical path – this program has made a big impact on me. Like I said before, I never really wanted a medical career but that has all changed. This is a good career path with many opportunities. I’ll be able to reach my goals and make a good life for me and my son.

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We know poverty is a strong predictor of child abuse and neglect. Although children from all socioeconomic levels are at risk, those living in families with an annual income less than $15,000/yr are 22 times more likely to be abused or neglected than children in families earning more than $30,000/yr. We also know families are less likely to abuse or neglect children when the mother has at least earned her high school diploma.

We’ve partnered with Goodwill Central Texas to empower Central Texans to transform their lives through work, by supporting job readiness and placement.

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