I came from Cuba where I was a doctor. I came to Lancaster as a refugee. To get to Lancaster I traveled to Brazil and from Brazil, I got to Lancaster, PA. In Brazil I worked as a Doctor, I wanted my freedom as a person and decided to move to the USA. When I came to Lancaster, I was alone without any family, it was hard to adjust to a new culture and a new country. I did not speak the language. I worked under the table to make some money because I did not have a car or spoke the language to get a job.
I lived on E King Street, really close to Tec Centro, the agency that was helping me suggested I go to Tec Centro for services. I went to Tec Centro to start ESL classes, I attended for a bit but then I had to work. About 5 months later I began a relationship with a young man and his father suggested I go to Tec Centro and check out the services. He saw that Tec Centro was offering the Nursing Assistant Course. I decided to return to Tec Centro and I placed my name on the waiting list. The Career Navigator called me for an orientation and then a reading test. I tested a bit low on the reading test, I was placed in the reading support class at Tec Centro.
I took the class for three months, the instructor realized that I was ready and suggested I take the CNA class. I took the CNA class and graduated in 07/2017 as a Nursing Assistant. After finishing class, my work permit expired and I had to wait until November 2017 to renew it. After renewing my papers, I applied at Willow Valley for a CNA position.
In January 2018 I was hired at Willow Valley. In April 2018 I took the state test and passed. That is when I became Certified. Later on, I applied to Penn Stated and enrolled in their accelerated BSN program. Willow Valley assisted me with scholarship money and I was able to graduate in December 2021 with a BSN. I still work at Willow Valley and now I am in the process of switching from CNA to Registered Nurse with a nice increase in my salary. I feel that Tec Centro helps the community and the community should know that there is help and resources at Tec Centro to help us to grow as professionals. I felt welcomed at Tec Centro.