Coming Into Her Own

Creation Date: 09/03/2020

Name: Erika Villalobos- Miller
Career Pathway: Health Science
Location of Service: 61068-2141
Program: WIOA Youth
Organization: Kishwaukee College
Credentials Earned: Copy of Credential

Program Details

Erika came to the program as a result of a referral from her sister, who was in the WIOA program and had explained how WIOA can help. At the time, Erika was in the process of getting her GED, and so her career planner worked with her towards this goal. However, Erika realized that the timing was not there and she was unsure of her direction. When she came in a second time she had her heart set on going into the CNA program. Even though she was pregnant and her case managers were concerned for her ability to attend the strenuous training, without hesitation, Erika was ready and willing to do everything she needed to do to get it done. On top of being pregnant, she also did not have stable living; she was constantly going back and forth between her parent’s houses.

As time went on it started to become difficult for her to be able to work and be part of the program as her pregnancy started to progress, but Erika was determined as she could not afford to lose her job. At times she could not even afford to eat lunch, so WIOA helped her by buying her a lunch card. Even her car was not the best but still managed to use it and at times WIOA was able to help her make sure her car was able to get from point A to point B. Eventually Erika ended up leaving her job due to being 8 months pregnant and it was starting to take a toll on her both physically and financially. She started to get worried as it was time for her to get baby needs and the father of the baby had no income coming in either. WIOA was able to help her on getting baby needs and it put her mind at ease. All while still going to class and going to her clinical and doing great in them. Erika realized that this what she wanted to do, she loved helping people. Erika was able to pass the state exam and took some time to be with her new baby born in December.

As of now she has landed herself a job as a CNA and was able to move out into her own place with her and the baby. She is now thinking of pursuing Pre-Med with the support that she has received from her family. It is amazing to see how this student went from not knowing what she wanted to do with unstable income,  to now supporting herself and her baby’s life, living on her own, and pursuing to go further in her education