Hailey was just a year out of high school when she took the first steps toward her dreams. She was working part-time, saving for school, while living with her parents. “I was very nervous and unsure of my future,” she tells us. “I was on my own financially and did not know what support and help I could get to pay for school.” While enrolling at NWTC, she met someone from WIOA and knew right away “that it would be the perfect opportunity,” she says. Thanks to her resourcefulness, Hailey persevered through the pandemic and is graduating as a licensed physical therapist.
“COVID-19 in general was a huge obstacle,” Hailey states. Due to her program’s rigorous schedule, including statewide clinicals, she’d left her job to focus on training. When the pandemic hit, her final clinicals were postponed, meaning that Hailey was going to be out of work for longer than she had budgeted. Classes became virtual; and with the campus on lockdown, Hailey lost her primary access to WiFi. To top it off, her car started breaking down.
Hailey asked Tracy, the WIOA teammate she’d come to know and trust, how she could keep on track. WIOA paid for her books, helped with tuition, and “provided reimbursement for my travel and help enrolling in NWTC’s emergency fund for my car,” Hailey says. She adds that Tracy also guided her “through the process of applying for unemployment and went out of her way to call and follow up to help alleviate the stress of that process.”
As a result, instead of fretting during COVID-19, Hailey focused on school and used the time to study for her boards exam. She drove to the nearest library for WiFi access and spent hours completing homework in her car.
“I can’t even put into words how much Forward Service Corporation staff and services helped me,” Hailey says. “I was able to graduate debt-free thanks to this program, and now feel I have a head start in beginning my career. I have learned so much about budgeting and financial planning and… know that I don’t need to worry about how to make ends meet, because of the skills I’ve learned.”
Hailey plans to secure a full-time job as a pediatric physical therapy assistant with her degree. Congratulations, Hailey!