When we last checked in with our intrepid heroine (PRC Newsletter, Summer 2016), Net N. had just started working with WorkNet DuPage on her journey to a health career.
Net, a Vietnamese native, first arrived at People’s Resource Center (PRC) after she joined the Learn and Experience to Advance Your Potential (LEAP) program, held at PRC. “When I first came in 2011, I could barely speak English,” she recalled. “But I thought PRC was an amazing place. In high school I couldn’t get ESL help, but at PRC they helped me.
“After LEAP, I didn’t come back for a while, but when I returned, I started learning how to write properly, learn English and how to study for classes. (Former Adult Learning and Literacy Director) Maryanna Milton helped me.”
Maryanna encouraged Net to apply for the WorkNet Program, which would fund her education and find her the right school to achieve her goals.
“I had my phlebotomist certificate (to draw blood) already, but in the past year and a half I earned an EKG certificate (for heart screenings), CNA certificate (nursing assistant) and I’m now a PCT (Patient Care Technician),” she said proudly.
But earning the certificates was no easy task.
“Even though Maryanna helped me, I almost quit. I almost quit so many times, but these teachers wouldn’t let me. ‘No! You can’t quit now,’”they said. “‘You’ve come so far.’”
Net persevered and with certificates in hand went looking for a job. “Since I didn’t have experience, it took me a year to get a job, even with help from the PRC Job Assistance Program. But now I am working at Glen Oak Hospital in Glendale Heights as a Patient Care Technician.
“I take patient’s vitals, draw blood, set up EKG’s and assist wherever they need me,” she explained.
Looking back, why did she embark on such a demanding path? “Because I love to help others,” she said without hesitation. “It’s been a lot of work, but I want to become an RN (nurse). I already attend College of DuPage for my pre-requisite classes.”
Net currently resides in Glendale Heights with her parents and still comes to PRC to get help with her schoolwork.
“What I’ve learned is to ‘never say never.’ And I don’t lose hope anymore.”
She smiles. “I feel proud of myself.”