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A Fresh Start for a Career Goal

The goal of a career in nursing that Tre Léna gave up years ago to take care of her children is back within reach, with help she received through the SDHC Achievement Academy’s Bridges to Career Opportunities program.

“I have a future, thanks to the Housing Commission,” Tre Léna said.

In September 2019, she celebrated the completion of a Certified Nursing Assistant course, an initial step as she attempts to earn a nursing degree for the second time. Her previous nursing work was disrupted 12 years ago after Tre Léna’s daughter, now 17, was hit by a car just shy of her fifth birthday and became quadriplegic.

The demands of caring for her daughter’s medical needs, along with the special needs of some of her other children, meant Tre Léna had to stop working.

Unable to meet the state’s continuing education requirements, Tre Léna, lost her nursing license, leaving behind a career that was her passion.

“I thought I wasn’t going to have my career anymore. I was stuck in the slump in my head, ‘Oh this is never going to happen,’” Tre Léna said.

However, Tre Léna, who has received federal rental assistance from SDHC since 2014, began pursuing her nursing career again through the Bridges to Career Opportunities program.

The program is funded by Citi Foundation through a grant the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) awarded to the SDHC Achievement Academy.

Bridges to Career Opportunities paid for Tre Léna’s coursework, uniforms, and additional costs related to her education, which she could not otherwise afford.

“The roadblock before was money. Financially, to go to a school like this … there would be no way that I would be able to do that financially,” Tre Léna said.

As part of her training, she’s once again doing the things she loves–taking blood pressure readings and brushing up on nursing skills, such as the mechanics of medical beds, and dressing patients.

“I’m back in the game,” Tre Léna said.

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