Download printable version of Laci’s Success Story
When Laci Lenten first met Career Planner, Jamie Arndt, she was searching for resources to help her realize her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. She had heard about the WIOA Adult Program and was eager to learn more. Laci explained to Jamie her limited financial resources and how she was caring for her husband with a disability while raising an infant and a toddler. Laci knew going back to school while caring for her family on public assistance sounded like a crazy idea, yet Laci was determined. She was determined to get off public assistance! Laci’s WIOA employment plan was driven by her four personal commitments:
1.) Pass each class and don’t waste this opportunity
2.) Make time for family while still keeping up with school
3.) Remember it’s ok to ask for help
4.) Never give up!
Laci started her journey by taking general courses for the nursing program in summer 2015. The nursing program was intense. It wasn’t long before Laci began to struggle. Between raising her young children, caring for her husband, managing the house and bills, and attending school was becoming overwhelming. Laci had to schedule time just to study. She began to experience guilt when she had to take time for school when she would have rather spent time playing with her boys. Laci’s husband also underwent a couple surgeries with hospital visits during her time in the program. The guilt and added stress made it difficult for her to focus on school. The stress reached an all-time high when she and her husband divorced toward the end of her program. She soon realized she could not survive financially without securing employment outside the home. All of her family lived in Texas, so she didn’t have any other support. Laci’s nursing program was at risk. It was her four personal commitments that got her through this very rocky point. Laci asked for help! She found a temporary employment opportunity that fit her school schedule, and allowed her to maintain time with her children. Laci quickly learned to write papers and study with babies on her lap or when snuggling while watching a movie. Time management skills and holding herself accountable were two skills Laci developed during this time in her life.
Laci didn’t give up; she took advantage of Jamie Arndt’s career guidance and also the emotional support from her W-2 Case Manager, Kristin Lepinski. Both programs played key roles in helping her through the intense program. In Laci’s own words, “they listened to me, helped guide me to services that would benefit me and my family. They honestly cared about me being successful and checked in frequently to see my progress and if I needed any help and offered advice. They were my cheerleaders and kept encouraging me because they believed I could do it.”
This past May, Laci graduated from the nursing program with a 3.73 GPA! She passed her NCLEX-RN exam the following month and officially became a Registered Nurse. In August, she accepted a full-time position at Marshfield Clinic working in an area she really wanted. Laci’s future is bright. Not only is she earning a family-sustaining wage, she is setting goals for the future. Laci hopes to go on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. It is Laci’s tenacity and forward thinking that will keep her goals in sight.
We all can learn from Laci’s commitments:
1.) Don’t waste opportunities
2.) Make time for family
3.) It’s ok to ask for help
4.) Never give up!