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It takes a village!

When I first arrived in my new country, I didn’t expect miracles to happen since I did not speak English. However, I began my journey by enrolling in English classes. Once I started feeling more confident with my new language, my dream of becoming a midwife resurfaced. My teachers encouraged me to get a high school diploma through the National External Diploma Program (NEDP), which I accomplished in just three months. With a high school credential in hand, more options opened for me. I was able to enroll in a skills training program and became a CNA and moved on to a better job.

The next step in my journey was to find a way to enroll in college to study nursing. It was then that I met the Transition to College (TTC) team at RIRAL. TTC played a significant role in my education. Through this program, I worked closely with teachers who encouraged me to excel in subjects where I had previously struggled. Moreover, they provided the guidance necessary for me to enroll in the Community College of Rhode Island Nursing Program. The TTC team was with me every step of the way—-checking to make sure I took the right courses and getting help when I needed. Believe me, navigating the sea known as the American higher education system would have been much bumpier if I had not received this support.

Being successful takes a village.

After years of working hard and receiving the guidance to pursue my education, working as a CNA, and raising a family, I finally passed the nursing entrance exam and am proud to have R.N. at the end of my name. Although I faced many hurdles along the way that made me reconsider my academic abilities, those hurdles aided me in becoming the person I am today. Despite the many challenges, I learned to adjust by working harder than I ever had in my entire life. Over time, I excelled in my courses and even started helping other struggling nursing students. After years of hard work, sacrifice, and countless challenges, I graduated as one of the top students in the nursing program and landed a job as a nurse in a local nursing home shortly after graduation. Moving from an entry level job, to a better job, to a great career in nursing took time, a village, and a strong commitment for a better life.

~ Sidonie.