Danielle’s Success Story

Danielle’s Success Story

I Had Two Job Offers by the Time I Finished my Clinicals!
Submitted by: WIA Adult Program Participant, Danielle

Download a printable version of Danielle’s Success Story.

Danielle Smith NCWWDB Success StoryMy name is Danielle. I’m 38 years old and a mother of two. In 1992, I graduated from Lincoln High School with honors. After high school graduation, I attended UW-Eau Claire and UW Marshfield Extension for 2 years but was not prepared or mature enough to handle the freedom and workload of school at that time. I withdrew from school my fourth semester and started working. Within the next year, I married and started a family. I was a stay-at-home mom providing in-home daycare during my twelve years of marriage. I divorced six years ago and re-entered the workforce. I had been working at the Wisconsin Rapids School District for three years, trying to make ends meet on my own, which was a difficult task in itself. Due to the budget cuts in education, I lost my job with the school district as of September 1, 2010. It was a very trying time, emotionally and financially, for me and my children. Due to the small number of job openings in this area and my lack of a college education, I decided to return to school to finish what I started almost 20 years ago.

I felt it was important for me to gain a college degree for several reasons. First, I needed to do this for myself. I wanted to complete college and be a successful woman in today’s society. I needed to accomplish this goal for my own satisfaction and to become financially stable for my family. Secondly, I needed to show my children the value of committing to a goal and following through until the goal is met. They needed to understand the importance of a college education. My boys are excellent students, and I want them to continue on the
academic path they are on with me being a great example. Lastly, I feel that in today’s times, job security is
always in question. If you do not have the proper tools to compete in an educated workforce, you are
limiting your potential and risking job loss. Obtaining my degree was the best option to give me newfound
confidence and job security.

This was a very pivotal time in my life. I did not know where to start or how this plan was going to work.
First, I met with a counselor at Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) that started the enrollment process and
gave me contact information for Job Center. I had missed the start date for the fall semester but was
planning on starting classes in January, 2011. I was receiving unemployment and child support, and that
was not going to be enough to pay the bills, let alone school tuition, etc. I applied for financial aid through
MSTC and was blessed to receive enough assistance to pay my tuition. I was directed to Forward Service
Corporation’s WIA Case Manager Jamie Arndt, my soon to be case worker, a short time after. Jamie has
been an absolute godsend to me and my family. The WIA Adult Program helped with book costs, rent and
car payments when needed, oil changes, etc., over the last 2 years. I could not have achieved my goal of
graduating without her help and the funds available through the Adult Program. She is such a
compassionate person and was always available when things got tough and the outlook looked bleak.

During my second year, I was given the name of another contact though MSTC, Deb McDonald, who
assisted students with mileage and child care assistance. Deb was also a blessing to me. She helped pay my
gas expenses while driving back and forth to Stevens Point for class and clinicals every day from Wisconsin
Rapids. This also was an expense that I could not pay on my own and would have prohibited me from
completing my studies. These two women and the programs they represent were crucial in my survival and
success over the last two years.

I am a hardworking, determined woman who was put in a difficult situation and without the help of these
community/federal/state programs; I would not be where I am today. I graduated in December 2012, from
the Medical Assistant Program with highest honors. I maintained a strong 4.0 GPA for the two years of the
program and was chosen to be the MC at the graduation ceremony. It was quite emotional and such an
honor. I had two job offers by the time I finished my clinicals, and am now employed at Wisconsin River
Orthopedics as a Certified Medical Assistant.

I will never forget the help, financially and emotionally, these women provided to me during this period of
my life. They are to be commended and appreciated by all whom they help along the way.

Thank you all for all the continued support and assistance.